SAN JOSE -- It's officially that time of year again and what better way to kick off the holiday season than taking in Christmas in the Park in San Jose?
For Samantha Knapp, Christmas in the Park at Plaza de Cesar Chavez is more than just a fun holiday festival, it's a family tradition.
"They have snow that tastes like cinnamon. It's like foam and that's like the thing I remember the most since my childhood," Knapp said.
She says her dad, Doug, was obsessed with Christmas and made sure the entire family attended the festival every year.
"We came out here and ice-skated every year and my dad would bring a whole bunch of his friends and everyone in our family would come by just as a big group," Knapp said.
Because of that, Christmas in the Park has always held a special place in Knapp's heart but, this year, it holds an even greater meaning after her father's death.
To honor him she decorated a memorial tree, one of more than 500 at the festival that make up its Enchanted Forest. Groups are allowed to decorate and display a Christmas tree at the event all month long.
"Just being able to bring him back into my life in different ways throughout the year has been really nice. To be able to incorporate him in my everyday life. I wear rings to remind myself of him but being able to see it with the public also being able to view it is really nice," said Knapp.
Knapp said it has been different coming to Christmas in the Park without her dad but she's thankful to be able to honor him at the event he cherished so much.
She's now taking the torch from him, continuing that legacy of bringing together family and friends for nights of holiday joy.
If you want to see Samantha's tree and all the others displayed throughout the festival you can -- they will be up the entirety of the festival which goes through Jan. 1.
for more features.