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The fifth annual Tree-Lighting Celebration brought thousands of South County residents to the Outlets at San Clemente on Saturday, Nov. 16, to see the “World’s Tallest Tree by the Sea” light up.

More than 18,000 twinkling, multi-colored lights now adorn the fresh-cut, 115-foot white fir from Mr. Shasta. During the event, hosted by Santa and his reindeer, guests were able to participate in a live reindeer meet-and-greet and see a special appearance by the Snow Fairy, as well as a special “snowfall” over San Clemente. 

The event featured live music from roaming Christmas carolers, musician Michael Dean and local performers from the Orange County School of the Arts. There were also family-friendly activities that included face painting, inflatables, reindeer antlers and activity books.

Food trucks were also available to guests courtesy of Rockwell’s Bakery, Café & Bar, which served festive pastries, cookies, hot cocoa and coffee, and Ruby’s Diner, which served burgers, fries and more.

The tree lighting is the first of many Outlets at San Clemente’s holiday events, including free photos with Santa; a Santa Paws for pets, benefiting the local animal shelter; a sensory-sensitive Santa Cares experience; and a Menorah Lighting with the local Chabad. 

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