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Lights Up! Kicking off the Holiday Season in Piedmont, CA


December 23, 2021

Piedmont GC Helps Decorate Eighty-foot Redwood Tree

For the last fifty-seven years, Piedmont Garden Club (PGC) members have used 1,500 multi-colored tree lights strung on 16-gauge wire to kick off the holiday season. 2021 was no exception.

On a bright November morning, PGC members gathered for the annual “Lights Up” event to unravel the strands of tree lights on the floor of Piedmont’s community center for inspection.

Once tested and approved, the lights were rolled into manageable coils and ferried out to an eighty-foot, living redwood tree in the city’s central park. Public maintenance crews used a cherry-picker to hoist them to the top before draping them over the tree.

While they worked, PGC members happily shared details of their Thanksgiving gatherings and recalled earlier “Lights Up” travails. The old glass filament bulbs often broke when they were handled and every year members would spend hours replacing them before the tree could be decorated. In 2013, sturdier LED bulbs were introduced, reducing the workload and increasing energy efficiency.

This year’s festive work party facilitated the December 1st tree-lighting ceremony sponsored by PGC’s sister organization, the Piedmont Beautification Foundation. At the ceremony, eleven-year-old Maika Ting flipped the switch to light the tree. Ting has been diagnosed with aplastic anemia and has been working with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to inspire others facing life-threatening illnesses. She recently designed a large civic mural in nearby Oakland, California that reads “It doesn’t get easier, you just get stronger.”

PGC was delighted to help shine more light on Maika’s message and journey at this annual community-building event. 


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