The Coast News Group
The children’s choir from Oceanside Theatre Company’s “Miracle on 34th Street” serenade guests with Christmas carols at a tree-lighting ceremony on Dec. 1. Photo by Angela McLaughlin

Oceanside lights up the season

OCEANSIDE — A cheer erupted from the crowd as the tree lit up, and a sense of merriment and camaraderie filled the air.

Hundreds attended the third annual Tree Lighting Ceremony, held on Dec. 1 at SpringHill Suites Marriott in Oceanside. The event was bursting with festivity — live performances by a dance team from the Cadence Dance Project and holiday music by the children’s choir from Oceanside Theatre Company’s “Miracle on 34th Street,” set the tone for the evening.

Attendees enjoyed a variety of activities, from beer and wine tasting, to arts and crafts and more. After several guest speakers and a rendition of the national anthem, the countdown began for the much anticipated lighting of the tree. With cheering and applause, it was a night to remember.

The annual tradition was enriched this year due to a collaborative effort by the hotel, Toys for Tots and Oceanside First Friday Art Walk.

And art was certainly a large theme of the night.

More than 80 artists attended the exhibit, said Susan Brown, president of the Oceanside Friends of the Arts, which organizes the Art Walk. Guests were able to peruse locally crafted goods for a chance to purchase unique gifts for friends and family.

“We have been selected as one of the 14 cultural cities in the state of California,” said Brown. “We are very proud of that.”

With the ocean and dark sky as a backdrop to the glistening tree and sounds of laughter, it was a festive way to kick off the holiday season.

“We are very happy with the support from the community,” Brown added.