It started to look a lot like the Christmas in downtown San Jose. The organizers of Park Christmas began preparing the Plaza de Cesar Chavez for the shortest season of Christmas.
The long tradition has entered its 39th year. Christmas in the park is usually open to the public on the second day after Thanksgiving and ends on January 1. This season, the opening day will remain the same, but the celebration will end on Christmas Eve.
“This is what San Jose lives. We like to enjoy things,” said San Jose resident Victor Mantila.
“It makes you feel like Christmas,” said Mark Ramsbey of Sunnyvale.
“We don’t want to miss it!” Mai Nguyen exclaimed.
Good news, if you visit before Christmas Eve, you won’t.
Christmas in the park is launching its usual January 1 end date to make room for the University Rugby Championship.
“This will transform into a college campus atmosphere,” said Park Executive Director Jason Minsky’s Christmas. “So they need to activate the park.”
Although the game will be held at the Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, a few miles away, the square will become a venue for football fans, team officials and the media.
“This may be the city that can benefit from it,” said San Jose resident Victor Mantilla. “Levi’s is there, it’s still quite new.”
Recalling Christmas in the park, Mantila told ABC7 News, “This has history, so it is bittersweet.”
The vast green lawn on the square prepares the new turf, and once the Christmas is closed in the park, the turf will be put in place.
Minsky Executive Director said that this Christmas season will have more bells and whistles in the park season.
Southwest Airlines signed last year as a show sponsor and will provide an upgraded Southwest Lounge for visitors. New features will allow visitors to charge their phones and leave room for kids to write to Santa.
Minsky said the 50-foot tree will be equipped with programmable lights for a continuous Christmas light show.
As usual, companies, groups and organizations will be able to decorate trees. However, the trees will come from Lowe’s instead of Orchard Supply Hardware, which is shutting down.
“We just need to remember to come early,” Mark Rambe said. “Because I know that many people do come between Christmas and New Year, just like tradition.”