The special Christmas feeling welcomed San Diegans into the Balboa Park masses lit up by the colorful landscape shelters set up for Friday's December Nights annual tradition. Stand in singing elves helped Mayor Todd Gloria show faith in volunteer work done in the park, setting the stage tempo, at the ready for the 6:15 pm tree lighting ceremony the mayor motioned to its peak by pulling a fantasy candy cane lever.
Local contributions counted on to move ahead on the park's progress were in hand. The 2015 centennial celebration put the seal on the mayor's encouraing words.
The Balboa Park Conservatory joined dignitaries on the Organ Pavillion stage, during the lighting ceremony, inspired by the weekend night's work. Five pm singing performed by the La JOlla Renaissance Singers in the atrium at the Museum of Art, open for free during the nght, gave volunteers a place to stand set to make a good face for the museum walk ins in a long line that went past the east Plaza de Panama line.
Plaza life went up, leaps and bounds. The colored lights canopies SDG&E hung filled the plaza with light sent from above. No corner spared. Early evening men and women about town crowded the passages. While families enjoyed the voices of children in the choruses on stage at the Organ Pavillion.
On the drive, a nobody had turned on Rudolph's red nose.
Repeat holiday works sometimes get better. This year, the first crowd arrivals at Balboa Park, in the early afternoon, relieved to find holiday food tiding wished for taste around the east fountain, counted the minutes the workshop workers boxed up the stands and layed wares on the hangers, in the open air. And put sausage smoke and popcorn butter on the breeze.
Music was soon expected to turn on at the Palisades Stage on the grass in front of the botanical garden. In the tent line, two elves unpacked the boxes packed with friendly showpiece collections.
Occasion to celebrate, at Balboa Park, brings volunteers and town travelers together.
5:15 pm. At the Casa del Prado. San Diego Civic Youth Ballet did the fashionable work. Dressed in thin modern phenomenon customes, the young dancers appeared from behind the curtain drapes, out onto the stage under the stage lights, wearing worldy , bright or earthy colors, and rejoiced in long arm steps during their first celebration session. Dance works went on, at 15 minutes past the hour on the hour. A last dance in the line up at 9:15 pm.
The December night began at five gave the walkers on foot, along the El Prado, time to follow through on event entrances under the lights, together, til 11 pm. Hours after the candles in the Santa Lucia Procession on the Plaza de California, just past the archway three stars hang above, flickered, and passed away.
December Nights light shelters go on again Saturday night. Long after the day set up to start at noon, the 11 pm close suspends the light scene. Until next year.