Oakland City Center hosted its second annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Thursday, ringing in the holiday season with music, edible treats and of course, Santa Claus. Hundreds of people crowded City Center plaza sampling the free cookies, cotton candy and popcorn provided by local vendors and enjoying music from Oakland-based bands.
“I work in the area and brought my kids last year,” said city employee Keith Ramore, who showed up at the event with his two small daughters in tow. “It’s great that there is this kind of opportunity available for them.”
The crowd chanted a countdown leading up to the lighting of the 30-foot tree, which sparkled against the night sky. “This is my favorite part right here,” said Oakland resident Shontelle Evans, gesturing up at the tree as the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir sang holiday tunes.
Jean Quan was a no-show at the event. Though the mayor-elect was expected to attend the city’s official tree lighting, she was nowhere to be seen.
For a list of more Oakland holiday events, click here.