The Main Street Holiday Party begins with a tree lighting at the Heritage Lawn.

Tony McGinn

SMDP Intern

The holiday season kicks into gear this December with two public tree lighting ceremonies downtown.

Third Street Promenade will be kicking off its Winterlit Market with a tree lighting ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 5 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Featuring a visit from Santa, live music, crafts for kids, and an artificial snowfall, the Winterlit Market brings a festive feel to Third Street. The tree sits prominently on the Third Street Promenade between Arizona Ave and Wilshire Blvd.

Along the Promenade, pedestrians can also enjoy thousands of festive fairy and neon lights, with some coordinated light shows. Holiday music, seasonal decorations, and falling “snow” add to the festive feel. The Third Street Promenade Tree Lighting Ceremony and Winterlit Market is hosted by Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.

On Saturday, Dec. 7, Santa Monica’s Main Street Holiday Party begins with a tree lighting at the Heritage Lawn. Santa Claus will attend the festivities, leading carolers and merry-makers from Heritage Lawn to the Shopping Cart tree at Edgemar, where the famous Shopping Cart Tree stands.

Designed by local artist Anthony Schmitt, the Shopping Cart Tree, also called the “Belonging” Tree, is more than 20 years old and over 30 feet tall. Made up of over 80 carts held together with over 4,000 zip ties, each year, this tree is decorated with a different light theme, with thousands of bulbs reflecting off of the metal surface.

Both tree lighting ceremonies are free and open to the public.

Menorah Lightings are also hosted at the Third Street Promenade, between Arizona Ave and Santa Monica Blvd, one block away from the tree.

Lightings begin on Dec. 22 at sundown and continue through Dec. 29, with several local synagogues and community groups participating as follows:

Dec. 22 Mishkon Tephilo

Dec. 23 Gan Israel Preschool

Dec. 24 Nashuva

Dec. 25 Chabad

Dec. 26 Kehillat Israel

Dec. 27 Beth Shir Shalom

Dec. 28 Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust

Dec. 29 Adat Shalom

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