Golden Gate Park

Press Release: Tree Lighting Ceremony in Golden Gate Park Dec. 2, 2021

From the SF Recreation and Park Department:

Holiday Tree Lighting Kicks Off Winter Lights in Golden Gate Park

With the help of youth from the City’s Peace Parks program, Mayor London Breed led the countdown to lighting of the iconic Monterey cypress tree on Dec. 2 in Golden Gate Park’s east end – a San Francisco holiday tradition that began in 1929.

The annual tree lighting celebration, held by the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, was back following a year off due to the health emergency.  The night featured snow, live performances, rides, food trucks and interactive light installations.

The tree lighting kicked off the park’s Winter Lights, an illuminated experience for all ages presented by the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, the San Francisco Parks Alliance, Illuminate, the Conservatory of Flowers, and the National AIDS Memorial Grove. 

Throughout the holiday season, park visitors can journey through an immersive outdoor wonderland of light, nature and art as illuminated paths, interactive exhibits, and live performances brighten nearly a mile of car-free JFK Drive and the park’s Music Concourse.

Known as Uncle John’s Tree in honor of Golden Gate Park’s designer and first park superintendent John McLaren, the giant cypress was first illuminated with 800 bulbs on McLaren’s 84th birthday.

Uncle John’s Tree” with holiday at the tree lighting ceremony, Dec. 2, 2021. Photo courtesy of SF Rec. and Park.
Mrs. Clause joins Santa at the 2018 tree lighting ceremony at McLaren Lodge in in Golden Gate Park. Photo by Michael Durand.

1 reply »

  1. We should not have religious symbols nor ceremonies in our park.

    And our parks need to have night; it is essential to the ecosystem.

    How about bringing back this religious practice in McClaren’s version?

    Or just doing away with Chri$tian ceremonies on public land?


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