Pasadena kicks off the holiday season on Dec. 4 when Mayor Terry Tornek lights the city’s official Christmas Tree at the Mayor’s Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration from 5 to 7 p.m. on Dec. 4 at Pasadena City Hall, 100 N. Garfield Ave.


The tree will be lit at 6 p.m. and, city officials have it on very good authority that Santa Claus will make an appearance along with Pasadena Fire Department after the tree is lit. Parents are encouraged to bring their cameras to snap a picture of their kids and Santa at Santa’s Village.


Great live entertainment throughout the night includes the thundering beat from the Wilson Middle School Drum Corps; the adorable Robinson Park Tiny Tots Troupe; the Boys and Girls Club of Pasadena; and the kids from Pasadena’s Afterschool Adventures Program. A special “Santa Serenade” will be performed by Monet Bagneris while the Olde Fashioned Carolers will stroll through the crowd singing all the holiday favorites. 


The event will be emceed by Pasadena police Cpl. Glenn Thompson and retired police Lt. Rodney “Rodney D” Wallace. 


Free art projects by Pasadena’s Armory Center for the Arts will feature special Holiday Crafts from Around the World for young people to do. The crafts will highlight the holiday celebrations of cultures from around the globe. A special “Santa’s Village” display will also be available for viewing enjoyment and photos. Light refreshments will be served. 


All of the evening’s activities are free and open to all, [participants are encouraged to bring toys to help stuff a local Fire Department paramedic ambulances full of toys for those in need. The Pasadena Fire Department will gratefully receive any new, unwrapped toy or sports equipment from attendees able to donate a gift for needy children as part of the annual “Spark of Love” Toy Drive sponsored by the Pasadena Fire Department in conjunction with ABC7 television, 


In nearby Altadena, the 95th Annual Christmas Tree Lane Lighting Ceremony & Winter Arts & Crafts Festival will be held from 2 to 6 p.m.

The festival will be held at 2 p.m. at the Altadena Public Library, 600 E. Mariposa St., and the tree lighting will kick off at 6 p.m.


Christmas Tree Lane has been lit annually as a Christmas holiday since 1920 when local businessman Frederick Nash came up with the idea of lighting the trees along a quarter-mile stretch for the holidays. The route expanded until 150 trees in all were adorned with Christmas lights and the Avenue of the Deodars, as it was called then, soon became known as Christmas Tree Lane. According to, about 50,000 cars cruise Christmas Tree Lane every year. 


Head a tad bit east and you can follow Pasadena’s Friday ceremonies and make a full weekend of enjoying tree lighting events by sharing in Arcadia’s Holiday Tree Lighting & Dedication at 5 p.m. Saturday in the Arcadia Transit Plaza, located at the corner of First Avenue and Santa Clara Street in Arcadia. There will be refreshments and entertainment for the entire family, plus participants are asked to bring an unwrapped toy to be donated to the Foothill Unity Center. 


The holiday spirit and merriment continues afterwards at the Arcadia Downtown Street Market from 5 to 9 p.m. on First Avenue in Arcadia. For more information, call (626) 574-5460.


And for those wishing to catch a public Menorah lighting ceremony for Hanukkah, the city’s Santa Anita Mall will be hosting one from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Dec. 6 at its location at 400 S. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia. Call (626) 445-3116.