Two cities, Hayward and San Leandro, celebrate the community lighting of their holiday trees this week.
In Hayward, the "Light Up the Season" ceremony will take place Thursday, and San Leandro will hold "It's a Wonderful Night" on Friday.
Hayward's celebration, from 5 to 8:30 p.m., will include dancers, bands, choirs, an ice-skating rink, children's rides and photos with Santa Claus.
The tree will be lighted in the rotunda at City Hall, 777 B St.
Besides gazing at the bright holiday tree, children attending the Hayward event can get free flu shots, courtesy of St. Rose Hospital, and Salvation Army workers will serve coffee and cocoa from its new emergency services food truck. In addition, merchants throughout downtown Hayward will be open and offering discounts and refreshments.
San Leandro will light its holiday tree at 5:30 p.m. at the Civic Center, 835 E. 14th St.
The celebration then shifts to Joaquin Plaza, between Washington Avenue and East 14th. Song and dance performances are planned, and the celebration will include photos with Santa and horse-drawn carriage rides.
For details on Hayward's celebration, go to www.hayward.org or call 510-537-2424.
For more information about the festivities in San Leandro, go to www.sanleandrodowntownassociation.org or call 510-577-3391.
Contact Rebecca Parr at 510-293-2474, or follow her at Twitter.com/rdparr1.