A longtime tradition characterizing the holiday season in Danville is set to return to a landmark of the historic downtown area, with this year's Lighting of the Old Oak Tree set for Nov. 25.
The event is set to proceed rain or shine, starting with performances from the Danville Girls Chorus, San Ramon Valley High School choir and Monte Vista chamber singers, remarks from Danville Mayor Newell Arnerich and Danville Area Chamber of Commerce CEO Judy Lloyd.
Two distinctive local holiday characters, Father Christmas and the Snow Angel, will join the festivities for a countdown to the tree lighting, with attendees encouraged to explore and shop at downtown Danville's locally owned businesses, as an alternative to more typical Black Friday experiences. Choir performances will resume until later in the evening as a live soundtrack for attendees and shoppers.
The event is co-hosted by the town government and chamber, whose joint efforts to encourage and support local businesses -- particularly brick-and-mortar shopping and dining experiences in the historic downtown area -- have redoubled in the wake of economic blows brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The tree lighting is part of their collaborative "Shop Local" campaign aimed at celebrating the businesses that make up the downtown area amid the pandemic and other challenges to brick-and-mortar businesses in the present era.
The town's landmark oak tree has long served as one of the area's most distinctive features since before Danville's inception, estimated to be at least 350 years old.
Choir performances start at 5:15 p.m. at the oak tree on Diablo Road on Black Friday (Nov. 25), followed by the arrival of Father Christmas and the Snow Angel and the tree lighting at 6:30 p.m. Performances will continue through 8 p.m.
Street closures are scheduled throughout the day between 1:30-9 p.m. on Hartz Avenue between Railroad Avenue and Linda Mesa Avenue, as well as portions of Linda Mesa and Prospect avenues and West El Pintado Road.