Friday Night Lights in West Sacramento:
City celebrates the season with annual tree lighting

By Bia Riaz
bia@news-ledger.com

Mayor Christopher Cabaldon was beaming as he walked through the bustling crowds on Friday night with his smart phone held high, filming the excitement and festivities on Periscope.tv for the world to see. This is how the city of West Sacramento kicks off the holiday season. “The lights, the music, and Santa’s arrival is all wonderful, but the best part is seeing all the people of West Sacramento gathering here to celebrate. From Broderick to Southport, they all come here to common ground. It becomes the living room of West Sacramento,” Cabaldon said.

The Christmas Tree lighting event kicked off at 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 4 and was free for all to attend. The River City High School Combined Choir had the crowd dancing and singing to everyone’s favorite holiday songs. Several booths, sponsored by local businesses and community service agencies, were there serving free hot cocoa, popcorn, and cookies for the crowds to enjoy.

Karen Zebron and Alan Lange from the Yolo Family Service agency were passing out chocolate chip cookies and talking to people about the counseling and family support services available for people in West Sacramento.

“We want to get the word out that we are not just a building in Woodland. We are here in West Sacramento and available to support and help families in need,” Alan said. “With dedicated professional counselors, we provide accessible counseling and mental health services to promote healthy communities for families and individuals,” Karen added.

Amidst cheers and flashing lights, Santa arrived riding aboard Fire Engine 45. The West Sacramento Police Department Bike Patrol led the procession, escorting Santa in his iconic red velvet suit up to the stage.

Councilmember Chris Ledesma welcomed Santa and presented him with a large glittering Golden Key to the City we all call home. “This evening is always very exciting. In the 10 years that we have been holding this event, the crowds have gotten bigger and people love coming out to share and celebrate the season.”

“I think the tree has gotten bigger, too!” Ledesma said.
Eager children happily munching on candy canes lined up quickly by the stage to get their complimentary photos with Santa. Everyone’s favorite mascot, Dinger from the River Cats, was there to oblige, as well.
Inside West Sacramento City Hall, in the Civic Center Gallery, the Holly Jolly Holidays after party was kicking off with several free activities and food; face painting, cookie decorating, and a photo booth. The Yolo County Children’s Alliance was also collecting toys and giving away raffle tickets for every toy donation. While enjoying the activities and goodies, the crowd was grooving and moving to the sweet trans-global rhythms of local band, Yolo Mambo.

It was a wonderful evening and it makes residents smile to be living in a city that loves to celebrate the season with a huge party.

Leave a Reply