SF tree lighting ceremony set for evening of fun, State Capitol has remote event due to protests

ByLena Howland KGO logo
Wednesday, December 6, 2023
SF tree lighting ceremony set for evening of fun at Civic Center
San Francisco's tree lighting ceremony is set to be an evening of fun activities. Planned protests have forced the event to go remotely in Sacramento.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The annual tree lighting in San Francisco kicks off Wednesday evening in Civic Center Plaza, and it's all happening across from an illuminated City Hall -- a wonderful backdrop for a photo.

The fun, free, family-friendly event will kick off with the lighting of Civic Center's 50-foot noble fir by Mayor London Breed.

The event also features a number of festive performances, from dancers, singers and even a magician -- not to mention a special appearance from the man of the hour: Santa!

Festive snacks along with a full bar will be available for purchase. Folks can also expect to see some "snow" flurries, a toy giveaway for kids with Another Planet Entertainment, plus free activities for everyone.

MORE: LIST: 2023 holiday events in the Bay Area

Wednesday night was also expected to be the tree lighting at the State Capitol in Sacramento. However, that is now happening remotely because of protests against the war in Gaza.

Newsom says he made the decision to scrap the live event to protect participants and their guests.

A spokesman for Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement to the San Francisco Chronicle:

"As we continue to see protests across the country impacting the safety of events of all scales - and for the safety and security of all participating members and guests including children and families - the ceremony this year will be virtual."

San Francisco does not currently have any threats to the night's event and is still expected to continue as planned from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The tree is expected to be lit by around 5:30 p.m.

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