- There are plenty of community tree-lighting celebrations around the county, like this one in Oceanside, each with a character all its own.
Beyond tonight’s celebrated Christmas tree lighting during December Nights, there are plenty of community tree-lighting celebrations around the county. They may not attract as many people as the Balboa Park event, but each has a character all its own.
The following are free and open to the public, unless noted. (Some communities, including El Cajon, Oceanside, Santee and Eastlake, already held their ceremonies.)
Chula Vista: The yearly Starlight celebration begins with the Mayor’s Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at 5 p.m. Saturday in Memorial Park, 373 Park Way. The parade follows at 6 p.m. along Third Avenue between E and H streets. (619) 422-1982 or thirdavenuevillage.com.
National City: Mariachis and performances will be part of this tree-lighting ceremony from 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 9 at Morgan Square, between Ninth Street and National City Boulevard. (619) 336-4290.
Ocean Beach: The 31st Annual Ocean Beach Holiday Parade begins at 5:05 p.m. Saturday along with a tree lighting on Newport Avenue. obtowncouncil.org.
Little Italy: The Little Italy Tree Lighting and Christmas Village is from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday. at Piazza Natale, Date and India streets. (619) 233-3898 or littleitalysd.com.
La Jolla: The La Jolla Christmas Parade begins at 2 p.m. Sunday at Girard Avenue and Kline Street, followed by a tree lighting at the La Jolla Recreation Center, 615 Prospect St. (858) 922-4046 or ljparade.com.
Pacific Beach: Christmas on Crystal Pier begins at 2 p.m. Sunday with Santa, food and entertainment followed by the lighting of the pier tree. pbtowncouncil.org.
Point Loma: Liberty Station’s Holiday Station is a daylong celebration from noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 11 that concludes with a tree-lighting ceremony. libertystation.com.
Coronado: After the annual holiday parade, which begins at 6 tonight, the tree at Rotary Park will be lit at 7 p.m. followed by music at 7:15 p.m. coronadochamber.com.
Alpine: The Alpine Village Christmas Parade of Lights and Snow Festival begins at 6:30 tonight along Alpine Boulevard and ends with Santa lighting the tree at the Alpine Community Center, 1830 Alpine Blvd. (619) 445-2722 or alpinechamber.com.
Lemon Grove: A bonfire, not a tree, will be lit at a festival in Lemon Grove that features horse-drawn wagon rides, live music, crafts and more from 6 to 8 tonight at Civic Center Park, Olive and Church streets. (619) 825-3815.
La Mesa: Christmas in the Village, which transforms downtown La Mesa into a Victorian village, will be celebrated from 5 to 10 p.m. Dec. 10 and 11. (619) 462-3000 or lmvma.com.
San Elijo Hills: The San Elijo Hills Foodie Fest and Tree Lighting features treats from gourmet food trucks and happens from 5 to 8:30 tonight at the San Elijo Hills Town Square in San Marcos. sanelijohills.com or (760) 798-1765.
Vista: A tree lighting ceremony at Vista’s Main Street Gazebo happens from 5 to 8 tonight. vistachamber.org.
Escondido: The annual Tree Lighting and Winter Wonderland at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday at 340 N. Escondido Blvd. Festivities include Santa, carolers, children’s crafts and snow. artcenter.org.
San Marcos: The two-day Santa’s Magical Village festival features a tree lighting at 6:45 p.m. Saturday at the San Marcos Community Center, 3 Civic Center Drive. san-marcos.net.
Poway: Poway’s Christmas in the Park celebration will have a community tree lighting at 5:20 p.m. Dec. 11 at Old Poway Park, 14134 Midland Road. poway.org.
Encinitas: Santa will light the Encinitas Christmas tree at 5 p.m. Saturday in the Lumberyard courtyard, 937 S. Highway 101. A holiday parade down the 101 follows. (760) 633-2740.
Carlsbad: The Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park, 6200 Flying LC Lane, has a tree lighting at 5:45 p.m. Saturday. followed by a family festival. Tickets: $8 at the door, free for ages 3 and under. (760) 434-2843.
Del Mar: A holiday bazaar goes from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday throughout downtown Del Mar, followed by a 5 p.m. tree lighting at L’Auberge Del Mar Amphitheater. Cost: $25 for book of 30 tickets; $30 day of event. delmarmainstreet.com.
Solana Beach: Live music, visits with Santa and the annual tree lighting happen at 5 p.m. Sunday at Fletcher Cove Park, 111 S. Sierra Ave. (858) 720-2453.