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San Francisco Lights Up GG Park Christmas Tree After Darkest Year of Pandemic

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) -- The city of San Francisco kicked off a holiday tradition with its "Winter Lights" tree-lighting ceremony in Golden Gate Park Thursday night.

Shouts of joy could be heard coming from parents and children. The warm glow of holiday lights is here.

COVID forced the cancellation of the event last year.

"I was super bummed last year. This is one of the things I look forward to the most each year," said Allison Serkes.

"Last year there was a lot of pressure and stress for everyone but this year -- look at this snow! Snow in San Francisco!" said Aaron Holmes.

Holmes helped build this winter wonderland full of sleds and free rides for kids and adults.

Uncle John's tree at Golden Gate Park is 125 years old.

This is the 91st time the city has lit up the tree for the holidays.

"It looks like a crown. It's gorgeous!" said Nancy Butera.

"I don't think I've ever seen this many people at a tree-lighting ceremony and it makes me so happy because last year we couldn't come together in the same way," said San Francisco mayor London Breed.

One of the displays spelled out "Shine on San Francisco" with a shimmering display of messages of what people love about the city.

A section of the park with light displays will be open from sunset until 10 p.m. until February. It's a new tradition run by San Francisco Recreation and Parks this holiday season.

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