Christmas in the Park combines old classics, pandemic favorites in 2021 display in San Jose

Dustin Dorsey Image
Thursday, June 10, 2021
Christmas in the Park will be all new in 2021 display
Even though Christmas in the Park is a more than 40-year-old tradition, 2021 will bring new surprises to guests at the walkthrough and drive-thru events. Here's what to expect this holiday season.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Believe it or not, some people are already talking about Christmas. Christmas in the Park that is!

Organizers of the San Jose holiday tradition are making plans for a return to normalcy this year while keeping around some pandemic favorites.

It's not even officially summer, but the countdown to San Jose's "Christmas in the Park" is already on.

RELATED: Christmas in the Park is a holiday wonderland in the Bay Area

"We're here 365 days a year," Christmas in the Park Executive Director Jason Minsky said about their San Jose warehouse. "It's where we store all of our displays. In addition, it's where we construct, renovate and come up with new ideas to offer our guests every year."

We got a first look at some of their new holiday magic including the renovated Candy Cane Shipping Depot.

"It's the first project that our new team has worked on together," Minsky said. "When you push this button, all this activates. We've added new lighting, new animatronics, a soundtrack and even smellevision."

But that's not the only new thing this year.

In just a few months' time, everything in this warehouse will be on display at two locations, brand new for 2021.

That includes both the walkthrough and the drive-thru.

A pandemic pivot, the drive thru was so popular that organizers are keeping it around with a few tweaks.

"We're going to be at Lake Cunningham Park this year," Minsky said. "Brand new music, brand new lights. The walkthrough, I'm even more excited about. We are adding a 65-foot-tall walkthrough Christmas tree and we're putting in a 40-foot by 60-foot inflatable beer and wine garden. We're just excited about everything we're going to be offering for both our drive-thru and walkthrough events this year."

RELATED: Christmas in the Park is a drive-thru experience this holiday season

"New" isn't usually what you think of, when talking about a 40-year-old tradition.

But, organizers wanted to create something special for guests to enjoy post-pandemic.

"People loved the walkthrough, we got people that said they loved the drive-thru even more," Minsky said. "So, we're just really excited to offer both this year."

The Christmas magic will return to Plaza de Cesar Chavez and Lake Cunningham Park in San Jose this Thanksgiving.

To learn about Christmas in the Park's key fundraiser, "Christmas in July", click here to visit their website.