A drive-thru Christmas in the Park comes to San Jose

Another Christmas tradition is being killed, due to government mandate.  Instead of the San Jose “Christmas in the Park”, they will have a drive thru Christmas, like you are ordering a burger or a coffee.  So festive?  Watch as government closes down Christmas like ti closed down Thanksgiving, Labor Day, the 4th of July and Easter.  A couple of years like this and we will be finished with all American traditions.  The new tradition?  Isolation, fear, ignorance and a media that acts like Pravda—reporting nothing the government does not want known.  For instance the open corruption of the Biden family bought by the Chinese, Ukrainians and Russians.  Not even hiding it.

“In the name of safety, Christmas in the Park — an annual outdoor pop-up featuring crowds, food and decorative displays — has been reimagined as a festive drive-thru light show around San Jose’s History Park. The event kicks off Nov. 27 and runs through Jan. 3.

“We’ve added a lot of singing characters and candy canes and other lighted sculptures to the event to really create this magical experience,” said Jason Minsky, executive director of the Christmas in the Park nonprofit. “People are going to be expecting a drive-thru version of our normal event — and it’s just so much more.”

Residents can drive under 300-foot light arches, see a 125-foot light tower shaped like a Christmas tree and cruise past decorated historic buildings.”

How sick is that?  For Halloween many churches ran drive through candy give away.  Another tradition gone.  Any left?  Remember, on January 1 there will be no Rose Parade.  In a matter of months America in 2020 is looking like the Soviet Union in 1985.

A drive-thru Christmas in the Park comes to San Jose

Photo courtesy of duluoz cats, flickr

by Carly Wipf, San Jose Spotlight,  11/27/20  

Not even a pandemic, a statewide curfew or a ban on mass outdoor gatherings is stopping San Jose’s decades-old Christmas tradition from fostering the holiday spirit.

The parade of vehicles will start in an underground parking lot to minimize street traffic. Here spectators will pass by kitschy holiday-themed stages traditionally seen at Christmas in the Park, including a reindeer barn, Nutcracker display and Christmas in the Caribbean stage. All sets and lights will be synchronized to Christmas music on FM 93.1.

Each year, Christmas in the Park has a $1 million budget to bring its winter wonderland to life. This year the event, which has been free to the public for decades, has to charge admission — $10 to $20  —  to make up for lost revenue from in-person food sales and donations.

“We’ve had generations of families that celebrate the holidays at Christmas in the Park at no charge,” Minsky said. “We wanted to keep in mind those people that still might not be able to afford a $10 or $20 ticket.”

Christmas in the Park received a $10,000 grant from Google to sponsor free attendance. The organization worked with SOMOS Mayfair and Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County to distribute tickets.

Residents who buy tickets also have the option of purchasing an extra ticket to donate to another family. Approximately 8% of sales have gone toward donated tickets, Minsky said.

“We’re grateful for the opportunity to invite all families to celebrate safely this holiday season and give some love to a great San Jose asset,” said Chelsey Prewitt with SOMOS Mayfair.

Prewitt said the organization, which strives to eliminate inequities in San Jose, received 500 tickets to distribute to East San Jose families. Jimmy Shoven with Catholic Charities said his organization gave 250 tickets to programs that help with food distribution, an after-school program and a refugee foster care youth program.

Christmas with a curfew

Ticket prices are based on time slots. The cheapest hour is 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. because the sky isn’t completely dark.

The 9:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. time slot was eliminated after Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew starting Nov. 21.  Anyone who purchased tickets for that period has the option to select a different time.

“Our ticket sales have been pretty solid so far and every night they increase. So we know it’s popular right now,” Minsky said. “Especially with the curfew, people are going to be looking for something to do — they need to get out of the house.”

A cure for holiday blues 

San Jose resident Braxton Alsip has attended Christmas in the Park since 2006, when he moved to San Jose, and has made it a tradition to grab a hot chocolate and enjoy the sights.

“One year off as a precaution is not a bad thing. I think a drive-thru one definitely offers safety,” Alsip said, adding he’d consider going this year even if he had to pay.

“It’s definitely a special event,” Alsip said. “You’ll find trees down there that are dedicated to a person who has passed on. It’s surprisingly touching.”

Virginia Lively, a San Jose native, was just a toddler when she attended her first Christmas in the Park and has participated every year since. She always grabs a churro and a Mexican hot chocolate before walking around the animated stages and looking at Christmas trees. But seeing all the people milling around and having a great time is what really makes the event special, Lively said.

“That’s like the best possible way to get in a Christmas mood. It always cures my Christmas blues,” Lively said.

She said she hates to see the event lose its interactive touch but would rather see a drive-thru than no event at all. “I’m actually quite happy that they’ve found a way around it where people can be safe,” she said.

Minsky said even though Christmas in the Park has been hosted in downtown in recent years, it dates back to the 1950s when Christmas-themed displays were peppered throughout San Jose.

“Multiple generations are used to this event,” Minsky said. “So for us, we couldn’t not do it. We had to try and figure out a way.”

To get tickets, visit the Christmas in the Park website.

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.


  1. Wonder Woman says

    Holiday on ice won out over Christmas in the Park.

    Many years ago, the nativity scene was banned from Christmas in the Park, was rehomed to a section of property at St. Joseph’s Cathedral. As our then mayor remarked, Rudolph is allowed in by not the manger scene.

    What part of the word Christmas do the power to be not understand?

    C’est la vie in San Jose, CA!

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