Rocklin, Calif. – Rocklin Kiwanis and the City of Rocklin will kick off Rocklin’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony on Saturday, December 5, at 4 pm in Heritage Park at the corner of Front Street and Rocklin Road, near the Old Saint Mary’s Chapel in historic Downtown Rocklin.
Festivities start with a parade and Santa’s arrival via a Rocklin Fire Department fire engine. This year’s event is the sixth annual renewal of an early twentieth event that went into a seventy-year hiatus with World War II.
Lifetime Rocklin resident and retired Rocklin School Teacher Gay Morgan remembers Rocklin’s pre-war tree lightings. Her dad was the chief of Rocklin’s all-volunteer fire department and spearheaded tree lighting preparations. Morgan remembers helping the firemen make tree ornaments one year at the Rocklin Hose Company Number One firehouse on Front Street when she was seven-or-eight-years-old.
“My dad and the other volunteers made tree ornaments by flattening tin cans and cutting them into shapes like stars and bells and moons. They painted them with bright colors and I got to sprinkle them with sparkly stuff. Then a couple of weeks before Christmas the firemen brought a big tree down from the mountains. It was the biggest tree I had ever seen. They put it up on the corner of Rocklin Road and Pacific Street. They strung it with lights, the big bulb kind, and then they used a fire truck ladder to hang those homemade ornaments. They held the Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony on the following night and kids from the Rocklin School sang carols. One of the firemen played Santa but he was skinny. He passed out red and white striped candy canes to everyone. It was a magical evening with the night so clear and cold, and the sparkle of the colored lights. The tree stayed lit every night until New Year’s Eve. We lived on Pacific Street and I could see it from our front porch. It was especially beautiful on foggy nights when the lights seemed to have halos around them,”
This year’s tree lighting will feature do-it-yourself photos with Santa while Rocklin magician Julio the Magnificent, brings on The Frozen Princess during a magical snowstorm.
Several school bands with be marching and the Parker Whitney Choir and the LDS singers with be caroling. Everything at the event is free, all of the food, the bounce houses, the horse drawn wagons, everything – all provided by Rocklin’s service clubs and local businesses.
Arrive early. Rocklin Road and Front Street will be blocked near Heritage Park.