Christmas lights shine on Oakland's Temple Hill

OAKLAND, Calif. — More than 500,000 Christmas lights decorating Oakland's Temple Hill were spectacularly lluminated on Nov. 28, when City Councilman Dick Spees flipped the switch in front of some 4,000 cheering spectators.

The Temple Hill lighting ceremony has become a family tradition for many Northern California residents during the last 32 years. This year's lights cover the entire garden area alongside the fountains (including the walkways, palm trees and shrubs) and the Oakland Temple Visitors Center. A 30-foot star on the upper wall of the Interstake Center and a life-size Nativity scene in the central garden are also part of the display. The lights are visible from many points throughout the Bay Area.

The lighting ceremony signals the start of the Days of Christmas entertainment programs, which this year include more than 100 performances of holiday choruses, theater presentations, organ recitals, movies and instrumental concerts through Dec. 25.

An estimated 180,000 to 200,000 people are expected to visit Temple Hill this holiday season to enjoy the lights and entertainment. The lights will remain in place until Jan. 1.

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