Lenore Griffin estimates this year's Carlmont Shopping Center tree lighting to be the fortieth-something-annual, but somewhere along the way she's lost count. However, over four decades-plus of organizing an event does give you a special touch, and for Lenore, and the other members of the Carlmont Merchants Association, that touch is what helps them pull off one of the most well-attended holiday tree lightings on the Peninsula.
The annual Christmas tree lighting, sponsored by the Carlmont Merchants Association, was a family affair, bringing kids of all ages and their parents to the center on a moonlit night wedged somewhere between homework and bedtime.
The highlight of Monday's event was the carolling provided by choruses from six schools: Tri-School (Mercy, Notre Dame and Serra), Notre Immaculate Heart of Mary, and Central Elementary School.
In addition to the music, a visit by Santa, and refreshments, crafts vendors set up tables along the shopping center's sidewalk selling everything from Giants ornaments to homebaked cookies.
Of course, the evening wrapped up with the flip of a switch turning on thousands of colored lights upon one giant tree that transformed an otherwise ordinary Monday night into a festive occasion at the Carlmont Shopping Center.