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City Hall Tree Lit With Little Fanfare

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Wednesday, December 09, 2009, at 10:16PM
santa claus los angeles Ed Fuentes

Santa stands next to the City's official Christmas tree, on the Spring street side on City Hall.

Times are hard, even for Santa.

As the night hit Downtown, City Hall's Christmas Tree was lit. There were fewer people watching than there were the last few years, and the public ceremony and reception led by a small choir of children singing and a bell ensemble was moved from the steps and into the small courtyard facing Spring street.

Past Christmas Tree Lighting ceremonies have had the flipping of a giant switch to light the tree -- sometimes live on television -- with groups of childrens' choirs and a guest appearance or two. The public was openly invited, even if sometimes it was bit difficult to confirm an RSVP.

In 2009 there was little notice at all, reflecting a time shared by many in the city. With civic workers on mandated furloughs, competition from extravaganzas on private malls citywide and donations down for non-profits like Project Restore, the sponsor for the City Hall tree ceremony, there wasn't as much pomp to be found.

Even in the Old Bank District, the Holiday block party held last year went on its own furlough.

Even so, not all is lost. It was good to see that the lights across 4th, between Main and Spring are up once again. The City Hall Christmas tree itself is as impressive in the day as it is at night. It certainly was not skimped on.

Another important Christmas tradition lives on. Earlier in the day, Councilmembers Jan Perry and Tom LaBonge held a press conference at the City's main post office. They wanted to thank the volunteers who will be answering Santa's mail, addressed for the North Pole by children.

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