Fireworks and tree

Fireworks fly above the Terrace Theater on Tuesday night at the lighting of the city Christmas Tree.

Long Beach's Christmas season will reach full speed Wednesday, Dec. 4, when Mayor Robert Garcia flips the switch to light the city's official tree.

The 50-foot-tall tree sits on the Terrace Plaza, in front of the Convention and Entertainment Center. It will be surrounded by glowing seasonal decorations, giant lighted reindeer and, at least for the lighting ceremony, two giant ornaments perfect for selfie pictures.

This is the fifth year for the tree-lighting tradition. The tree is the tallest in the city, and boasts more than 35,000 LED lights.

A giant holiday red ribbon bow on the roof of the Terrace Theater will further enhance the holiday spirit. With the thousands of lights on the bow, there will be more than 110,000 lights on the Terrace Plaza this year.

The party starts at 5 p.m. and will run until 8 p.m., with the tree lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. That ceremony culminates in a fireworks show from the roof of the entertainment center.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand for pictures. A brass band will play, and choirs will perform during the ceremony. Complimentary holiday treats will be available, and a Kids' Train will be taking youngsters on short trips throughout the evening.

Parking will be free in the Convention Center garages. Food trucks will be on hand with snacks and dinners for sale. And the Dancing Water Fountains will be programmed with a holiday theme.

The Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center/ASM Global, and the Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau sponsor the party. For more information, go to www.longbeachcvb.org.

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

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