Saturday, December 9, 2017

Balboa Park December Nights

Each year, December Nights is the heart of the holidays for San Diego families and friends. Featuring dazzling lights; dancers, choirs, and bands; incredible food; and amazing attractions, December Nights is a treasured tradition that kicks off the holiday season for young and old alike. Held the first Friday and Saturday of December, the event was founded 40 years ago when ten Balboa Park cultural organizations hosted the first celebration. That year, 3,000 San Diegans gathered… it has been a treasured event ever since. Today, December Nights is San Diego’s largest free festival with more than 350,000 guests.

This was a 4oth anniversary celebration Mel and I didn’t want to miss, so we headed over to Balboa Park and joined in on the holiday tradition.

Garden clubs, plant societies, schools and other organizations annually dazzle December Nights visitors with creative decorations at the Festival of Trees, San Diego Floral Association’s (SDFA) holiday gift to the community. The organization’s home in the Casa del Prado is filled with sparkling holiday lights and fragrant fresh evergreen trees, all decorated to a single theme. This year, each tree was decorated in red because “ruby” is the color and gem for 40th anniversaries. The Flower Arrangers Guild provided distinctive floral arrangements and SDFA continued its traditional sales of gingerbread cookies and protea… fresh from our fields!

After December Nights many of these trees are donated to hospitals, children’s homes and retirement centers. In the spirit of cooperation, the decorations from some SDFA trees will reappear in early December at the San Diego History Center.

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