The annual live public Christmas tree lighting that was scheduled for Tuesday in California was canceled. According to Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom, the event was canceled because of protests that have been going on across the country.
— Daily Wire News (@DailyWireNews) December 6, 2023
“As we continue to see protests across the country impacting the safety of events of all scales – and for the safety and security of all participating members and guests including children and families – the ceremony this year will be virtual,” a spokesperson for the governor said on Tuesday afternoon.
The event was changed to a remote one, with the governor’s office to provide recording and stream on Wednesday.
“The program is unchanged and viewers can tune in Wednesday evening to watch this year’s festivities,” the spokesperson added.
According to a KCRA 3 source, the event was meant to feature a market with small business and musical performances. However, the Midtown Business Association revealed on Nov. 29 that the event would be virtual.
“As we continue to see protests across the country impacting the safety of events of all scales, we have decided not to continue with the holiday market as planned on Tuesday, Dec. 5. We will provide updates on our holiday plans and family-friendly festivities at a future date,” the post read.
As of Monday, barriers were placed over the area where the tree stands on the building’s west side lawn. “KEEP OUT, NO TRESPASSING” signs and other warnings were placed in the area.
The decision comes amid pro-Palestinian protests nationwide, some of which disrupted annual Christmas tree lightings in Michigan and at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan. It also comes ahead of a planned demonstration by the Sacramento Regional Coalition for Palestinian Rights on Tuesday.
The pro-Palestinian group reportedly planned to march to the state Capitol that night in order to “out Gov. Gavin Newsom for hiding from the public because he doesn’t want to face their anger at his shameful stance in regard to the genocide in Gaza.”
Newsom’s office, however, did not directly say which protests led to the cancellation of the live tree-lighting event.