Christmas tree lighting is a ‘tree-mendous’ success


Adri ten Cate

The Christmas tree is lit up in a colorful display of lights.

Belmont citizens gathered at the Carlmont Shopping Center to listen to the performers and watch as the Christmas tree lit up.

Belmont does not have a downtown area like other neighboring towns. Because of this, there are few places for local events to take place.

To make the shopping center a better gathering place for pedestrians, a large part of the parking lot was closed to cars. The closing of the parking lot allowed attendees to enjoy music and shop in safety.

“It’s always a good thing when people come together because it brings everyone closer,” said Warren Lieberman, a Belmont city council member.

Dozens came to the shopping center to rejoice in the coming holiday season. While the crowd included many families with young children, longtime residents of Belmont also came out to greet their friends and neighbors.

“The holiday season is a time for us to celebrate the blessings that we have in a festive way,” said Belmont Mayor Davina Hurt.

According to Mary Morrissey Parden, president of the Belmont Chamber of Commerce, the holiday boutique and tree lighting have been an annual tradition for over 30 years.

The original tree was located in the current Waterdog Tavern beer garden, then changed to another pine closer to Alameda de Las Pulgas, planted by the original owners of the shopping center. When those trees were no longer sustainable, the tall tree near Jamba Juice became the highlight of the event.

Throughout the event, attendees could purchase handmade holiday-themed items sold by local artisans, watch several singers and musicians, and visit Santa for a photo. Children were allowed to explore the Belmont fire truck parked in the lot and chat with firefighters.

However, most people stayed to watch the Christmas tree light up at the end of the event.

“The lighting of the tree is a great place to see friends and to watch the kids sing,” said Tom McCune, a Belmont city council member.

After the last group performed, the crowd shifted to the tree and joined in on the countdown. Cheers erupted as the tree lit up in a bright display of colors.

After the crowd started to disperse, the rain that had held off throughout the event resumed. It was perfect timing for those who came to enjoy the tradition.

“It’s a great start to the holiday season,” said Samuel Leinbach, a Belmont resident.