Although it is still a couple of days before Thanksgiving, it is never too early for Christmas at the Hillsdale Shopping Center.
Santa Claus decided to come a little early for Christmas this year to start the holiday season.
Hundreds of people came to see Santa Claus as he made his first appearance of the year at Hillsdale mall on Friday, Nov. 16. The event took place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and families from around the Bay Area came to watch and enjoy the various festivities, such as holiday crafts for children and live carol singers.
“I think it [the event] is really fun. Although there are so many families, everybody gets to see Santa for the first time, and it is very exciting,” said Veronica Levy, who came to the mall with her two daughters.
Every year, many individuals and organizations come together to make this holiday an exciting experience for all. Year after year, the event stirs up large crowds and many come with their families to have fun and enjoy the activities and music.
One of the organizations that helped run this event is the Great Dickens Christmas Fair from Cow Palace, San Francisco.
“The Dickens Fair runs for 6 weekends starting tomorrow in Cow Palace, and basically you get to walk into an 1860 London [setting]. We have over 750 costumed actors, we have games and food, Charles Dickens will be there, and all of his characters come to life from his books,” said Mae Matos, one of the costumed actors who was at Hillsdale with Santa.
In addition to Santa’s appearance, the big Christmas tree in the middle of the mall was also lit up for the first time this year.
Hillsdale was full of excitement leading up to the tree lighting and Santa’s entrance. While hundreds of kids were singing along to numerous Christmas carols, dressed elves walked around handing out jingle bell bracelets.
Moments after Santa made his grand entrance through the snow-covered trees, the lights in the main plaza shut off, and the countdown began for the lighting of the Christmas tree.
“This is my third year [going to the event], and it seems like it is going very smoothly. It is not too crazy, and everyone’s having fun,” Levy said.
As the Christmas tree lights lit up the shopping center with vibrant Christmas spirit, kids gathered up in line to sit on Santa’s lap and read off to him their extensive Christmas lists.
Through this event, hundreds of people were able to come together to welcome the holiday season and spread Christmas spirit.
Levy said: “The whole thing seems a lot more festive than previous years. There are a lot of new decorations and many more people who came to the event.”