Oceanside and Pendleton unite for annual tree lighting
By Lance Cpl. Trevon S. Peracca
| Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | December 03, 2012
OCEANSIDE, Calif. --
A 35-foot, fully ornamented, pine tree towered gallantly over the palm trees that lined the streets of Oceanside.
More than 4,000 people gathered at the Regal Cinemas Courtyard for the 6th Annual Holiday Tree Lighting ceremony here Nov. 30. Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton Commanding General Brig. Gen. Vincent A. Coglianese and Santa Claus simultaneously pressed buttons to light the tree.
“Camp Pendleton celebrated its 70th anniversary this year, and Marines have shared this community since the beginning of the base,” Coglianese said. “Coming to these events during the holidays really brings together our Marines, sailors and families with our neighbors in Oceanside.”
This holiday gathering included live music from 11-year-old musician Arianne R. Mendoza, a trackless train ride, an inflatable playhouse and prize-winning games.
“The partnership between the city of Oceanside and Camp Pendleton has grown more positive throughout the years, and we feel blessed to have our neighbors to the North here with us tonight,” Eileen Turk, the parks and recreation division manager. “To me this is about making memories for families. I’ve talk to several people that said they now use this as a tradition to kick off their holiday season.”
After the ceremonial tree-lighting, attendees gathered for a meet and greet and photographs with Santa Claus.
“The City of Oceanside is so welcoming to us. No matter where a Marine comes from, an event like this helps makes them feel at home,” Coglianese said.