OCEANSIDE — ‘Tis the season for holiday lights! Oceanside lit up its town tree on Dec. 3, with the help of Santa Claus, Mayor Jim Wood and Lt. Gen. Joseph Dunford, USMC.
The festive celebration took place at the south end of the Thursday night Sunset Market in front of the Regal Theater. Santa, Mayor Wood, and Lt. Gen. Dunford made a grand arrival for the tree lighting ceremony on board a fire engine with its lights flashing.
Following tunes by the Marine Corps band, the 20-foot tree was lit. Then Santa sat down with boys and girls to listen to Christmas wishes.
This is the third year for the annual Christmas tree lighting in the downtown area. The first year the city sponsored the event to welcome folks to the redeveloped downtown. This year, Oceanside Parks and Recreation and Fire Department hosted the tree lighting ceremony, complete with kids holiday crafts and milk and cookies doled out by local Girl Scouts.
A new addition this year were the bright new decorations on the tree. “They’re all new ornaments,” Shannon Sellinger of Parks and Recreation said. “They have a whimsy to reflect the whimsy that’s unique to Oceanside.”
Lt. Gen. Dunford shared his appreciation of the many ways the community has reached out to Camp Pendleton families during the holidays. For young Marines away from their families and military spouses and children with loved ones deployed, the community outreach has been especially welcome. “It’s a great partnership,” Dunford said. “I wish everyone in Oceanside a Merry Christmas and all the best in the New Year.”
The tree will remain lit through the holiday season. This is the first year there are also holiday lights on the Oceanside Pier.