San Jose

San Jose's Christmas In the Park Comes Back With Both Drive, Walk-Thru Exhibits

NBC Universal, Inc.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas -- before the pandemic hit.

Christmas In the Park is back in San Jose with both the drive-thru and walk-thru exhibits.

Masks won’t be required at either event, but you will see extra staff working to keep everyone safe. 

“I was excited because I got to decorate the tree,” said 10-year-old Alfonoso Rios. 

Christmas In the Park had to be re-imagined last year because of COVID-19.  

Crowds of people walking turned into thousands of cars driving thru a display with millions of lights at Lake Cunningham Park.

That exhibit is now there to stay.

But this year, families are also getting back the in-person experience.

“Every year we do something different so I am really happy it is here back in the park,” said visitors.

Organizers are expecting pre-pandemic crowds.

To keep everyone safe, they’ll provide hand sanitizing stations, signage listing COVID precautions, and Santa will stay socially distant.

“This is where people will actually visit with Santa Claus this year, it's a new outdoor setting, something we’ve never done before,” said Jason Minsky, executive director for Christmas In the Park.  

Both events will have extra volunteers, and a police presence at all times.

Also new is what organizers call the world's biggest bounce house. That will serve as a bar, so it won’t have an actual bounce floor.

“Because that would be bad with people drinking beer and wine,” said Minsky. 

And, of course, there will be a tree, reaching 65 feet.

This year the tree has a tunnel you can go inside of during a light show that will go off on the 50 minute mark of every hour.

“It's wonderful because it feels like we're back to normal,” said Tania Rios of San Jose. 

Bringing back the magic to this community.

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