Rain puts a damper on Santa Clara tree lighting ceremony
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - It's something they've done for 108 years in Santa Clara, but this year they had make a change due to the weather.
The annual tree lighting ceremony was scaled back.
People gathered at Santa Clara's Central Park to soak in the holiday spirit.
Organizers say they have been watching the skies to ensure mother nature would cooperate with theiir holiday event.
But on Monday when it appeared the forecast wasn't what they hoped for, they made some adjustments.
Rather than setting up a big tent that can be unwieldy in the wind and rain, they used several smaller ones.
As of 5:30 p.m. there was no real rain to speak of, and attendees were hoping it stayed that way.
"It's going to stay dry and it's going to stay cheerful and we're going to have a Chistmas tree lighting without any rain drops," said Linda Grey.
The band played on, and the skaters circled the rink, essentially under dry skies.
But to ensure the kids stayed warm, many outside activities were brought indoors.
"I went outside first and I couldn't find any activities and then I found, oh, it's here," said Janet Tai.
Santa also came inside, but the kids didn't seem to care, because he arrived bearing gifts.
"Teddy bear. And what do you think of that Teddy Bear?" said Santa. "That he's cute," said a little girl in attendance.
Organizers also cancelled the fireworks show and decided to close an hour early.
And they say the forecast dropped the crowd size by about 50%.
It was less than a capacity crowd at Levi's Stadium for championship college football.
Many in the crowd came prepared to get drenched.
The rain fell slightly, but it was Utah that fell hard, losing to the Oregon Ducks.
"We are ducks. We can go through the puddles, the rain and the wind and the storm. Go Ducks!" said Karen Sheehei.
Into the night the rain picked up slightly in intensity. It is expected to increase substantially more through the weekend.