The neighborhood is transformed into a festive street scene with the 23rd annual tree lighting

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SAN DIEGO – A well-known tree is also the focus this Christmas season.

The Piazza della Famiglia in Little Italy has turned into a winter wonderland, marked by the 23rd annual tree lighting on Saturday.

“It’s a great way to start the holiday season,” said Ify Aniefuna, a La Jolla resident.

The 7 meter high tree attracted thousands of people, many of whom wore their best Santa hats and festive outfits.

“It brings us a sense of pride and joy, but also that warm and cozy feeling we all need during the holiday season,” said Chris Gomez, district manager of the Little Italy Association. “Little Italy has always focused on preserving something that is an icon throughout the season and year.

Under twinkling lights, children could write letters to Santa Claus while their families enjoyed live performances.

India Street between W. Cedar and W. Grape Streets has been closed to traffic so people could explore the Christmas village with local vendors.

“We love San Diego and we like to get out, so Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone,” said Patty Billingsley, a Santee resident.

The tree will be lit until January 2nd, but there is also a 7-meter-tall Venetian-glass-inspired tree in the neighborhood, designed by Californian artist Joshua Hubert in the center of Piazza Basilone.


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