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Napa's Christmastime kickoff returns to downtown with tree lighting at Veterans Park

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An audience of hundreds cheered the illumination of the downtown tree during Napa's annual celebration at Veterans Memorial Park on Wednesday.

Napa’s symbol of holiday cheer has emerged from a season in the dark.

Counting down from 10 seconds, hundreds of spectators cheered on the illumination of a 29-foot-tall fir at Veterans Memorial Park at the culmination of the annual tree lighting ceremony Wednesday evening. The display of gaily hued nighttime lights is adorning downtown Napa for the first time since late 2019, after nearly all of last year’s holiday ceremonies were canceled due to shelter-at-home restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.

Organized by the Downtown Napa Association, the tree lighting capped a celebration that starred an array of dance troupes, including members of the Tap Dancing Christmas Trees and the local Napa Valley Dance House, Pepperettes baton group, and Ballet Folklorico Quetzalli of Vallejo.

Napa’s tree ceremony opens a Thanksgiving weekend devoted to ringing in the holiday season for downtown visitors. Festivities will continue Saturday with the Kiwanis Club of Napa’s Christmas Parade, which will showcase more than 80 floats on Second, Brown and Third streets from 5 to about 6:30 p.m. Afterward, families can bring their children to meet Santa Claus in the lobby of the Archer hotel at 1230 First St.

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You can reach Howard Yune at 530-763-2266 or

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Public Safety Reporter

Howard Yune covers public safety for the Napa Valley Register. He has been a reporter and photographer for the Register since 2011, and previously wrote for the Marysville Appeal-Democrat, Anaheim Bulletin and Coos Bay (Oregon) World.

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