Art Students Compete at Ghirardelli Square for Best Christmas Tree Design

Sixteen Christmas trees decorated by students from the Academy of Art University will be judged for best design on Friday afternoon at Ghirardelli Square.

The trees are part of the Ghirardelli Square's Academy of Art Christmas Tree Stroll and will be on display through Dec. 30. Students from nine different academic departments at the university submitted concepts, and 16 finalists were selected to complete their creative take on the classic holiday tradition, organizers said.

Trees will be judged on several criteria, including department representation, selection, and application of materials and the overall design.

"We wanted to bring people some bit of joy," said Dr. Elisa Stephens, president of the Academy of Art University, in a news release. "If we can elicit a smile, a chuckle, or a happy thought from everybody that looks at the sixteen wonderful trees our students created, then I think that we would have accomplished a lot."

The tree judging will take place at 2 p.m., with the winner to be announced at the Ghirardelli Square Fountain Plaza. The installation, paired with the nightly lighting of the square, allows visitors to celebrate the season safely. Each tree places QR codes and placards to offer a self-guided tour experience.

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