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VIDEO: Union Square tree lighting marks start of holiday season

By Steven Luo November 27, 2010 No Comments Print Share

Santa Claus turns on the lights on the Christmas tree at Union Square in San Francisco. (Steven Luo / CALIFORNIA BEAT)

Thousands braved freezing temperatures and packed San Francisco’s Union Square Friday evening for the traditional tree-lighting ceremony marking the start of the holiday season.

The ceremony, which started at 6 p.m., featured an appearance from San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Barry Zito and musical performances from American Idol winner Katharine McPhee, Glide Memorial Church’s Glide Ensemble, the San Francisco Boys Chorus, and UC Berkeley’s Men’s Octet.

The tree, an 80-foot Shasta white fir dressed with lights and ornaments from top to bottom, was switched on by Santa Claus shortly after 6:45 p.m. to cheers from the assembled crowd — some of whom had been up shopping for “Black Friday” bargains since the wee hours of the morning.

Contact Steven Luo at sluo@californiabeat.org.

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