Christmas in the Park: Holiday Tradition Transformed

NBC Universal, Inc.

A Bay Area tradition will go on this year, despite the pandemic.

Downtown San Jose is usually filled with Christmas decorations for Christmas in the Park. This year, they moved and changed the entire layout.

“It’s pretty awesome, we were quite impressed,” said a visitor.

The event moved from downtown to History Park so people could stay safe in their cars for a drive through experience. 

The Garcia’s took their grandkids, who’ve been waiting to get out and do something normal. 

“It’s safe, it’s fun,” said the grandmother. “The kids are having a good time, the lights are amazing.”

There are old traditions like booths, and trees and new ones like a ballerina from The Nutcracker, and multiple light tunnels. 

“It’s pretty special since we’ve been cooped up all year. So it’s nice to get out and be with the community,” said a visitor.

All of it took about six weeks to set up, and they’ve added 160,000 new lights just this year.

“Seeing people’s faces light up when they start to go through the drive-thru is incredible,” said Jason Minsky, executive director of Christmas in the Park.

He had to oversee the major transformation from the traditional setting like last year, to this one. 

“We’ve been doing Plaza de Cesar Chavez for 40 years,” said Minsky. “We celebrated our 40th last year. So this gives us something new to focus on.”

It goes from 4-9:30 every night, until Jan. 3. The cost is $10 to $20 per car. 

“Plenty of tickets available just not for tonight or tomorrow night,” said Minsky. 

You have to buy those tickets for a certain timeslot online.  Walk ups are not allowed. 

Most families say for all that’s changed in 2020, this one is lifting their spirits. 

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