OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - Thousands gathered in Jack London Square Friday night for the annual tree lighting ceremony.
Guests were treated to live music, dancing Christmas trees, a visit from Santa and live reindeer. Yes, live reindeer.
The two reindeer came all the way from Tehachapi and were a crowd hit. Some lucky kids even got to feed the reindeer graham crackers, their favorite snack according to handlers.
The crowd was also entertained by the Oakland School for the Arts Vocal Rush, Chamber Choir and Guitar Jazz Ensemble.
The Tap Dancing Christmas Trees from Alameda were also a huge hit.
This year the holiday event embraces the spirit of giving with a couple of different donation drives, including a collection of perishable foods for the Alameda County Community Food Bank and an unwrapped toy drive hosted by Oakland Fire Department.
Along with live music and reindeers, the kids enjoyed decorating holiday cookies and making ornaments. Some even waited in the long line to see Santa, who was taking pictures in an Airstream Trailer.
KTVU’s Gasia Mikaelian was the event’s emcee and KTVU is a proud sponsor.
The 55 foot tall tree came from the Shasta Mountains and is covered with more than 600 ornaments and 5,000 lights.