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South Coast Plaza celebrates the season with annual tree lighting

‘Twas mere weeks before Christmas, on a chilly fall night, that a crowd gathered to see South Coast Plaza’s tree glow with light.

This year’s holiday tree — a white fir that towers more than 90 feet and is festooned with more than 94,000 lights — was officially illuminated for the first time this season during a ceremony Thursday night in Costa Mesa.

The lighting of the tree at Town Center Park, across Bristol Street from the mall, was the centerpiece of an evening of seasonal celebration, including a holiday production from the Orange County School of the Arts, complimentary treats and drinks, a band and carolers and, of course, the arrival of Santa Claus.

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While the big man in red was undoubtedly the showstopper, the ceremony also featured a guest appearance from Matthew Morrison, a School of the Arts alumnus and Broadway and television star known for his roles in “Glee” and onstage in “Hairspray.”

Town Center Park is next to the Westin South Coast Plaza hotel at 686 Anton Blvd.

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