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Balboa Bay Resort lights up the night with tree-lighting ceremony and performance

Performers from the Orange County School of Arts.
Performers from the Orange County School of Arts dressed as mini nutcracker characters dance along to Christmas carol classics during the Balboa Bay Resort’s Christmas tree-lighting ceremony Thursday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)
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‘Tis the season for Christmas tree lightings.

The Balboa Bay Resort welcomed the holidays this Thursday with its annual tree-lighting ceremony, one of several festivities planned at the resort for the month leading into the new year.

The 20-foot tree will be lit up now through Jan. 1. Thursday’s tree lighting included a performance from the Orange County School of Arts that embodied holiday icons like Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph.

A 20-foot high Christmas tree is lit at the entrance to the Balboa Bay Resort.
A 20-foot high Christmas tree is lit at the entrance at the Balboa Bay Resort’s Christmas tree-lighting ceremony on Thursday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

“It was a really great family-oriented evening, and it’s our gift to the community, so to speak,” said director of marketing Francine Slosser.

“This year, we had all new decor throughout the resort and club, and that in it of itself was stunning. The show itself was stunning. It’s so professionally done. There were complementary hot cocoa stations and cookies and treats,” Slosser said. “[The tree lighting’s] a great way to bring together club members, resort guests and the community all in one space and celebrate the beginning of the holiday season.”

Slosser said this year’s decorations were more traditional in color — red, green, gold — compared to last year’s blue and silver. She noted that the event was a joint collaboration between the resort and the Balboa Bay Club.

Performers from the Orange County School of Arts sing Christmas carol.
Performers from the Orange County School of Arts sing Christmas carol standards to a full audience during the Balboa Bay Resort’s tree-lighting ceremony on Thursday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

The tree lighting is one in a number of many throughout Newport Beach scheduled for December, including one Saturday evening at Crystal Cove State Park.

As part of the ceremony, the resort held a toy drive for “Toys for Tots,” which will continue throughout the month of December. There will be a drop-off station in the lobby.

“For over two [and a half] decades, we have continued to support Toys for Tots by collecting toys at many of our member events and our annual tree-lighting event in hopes of bringing Christmas joy to those less fortunate,” said director of member relations Aaron Trent.

Santa arrives and says hello to the audience during the Balboa Bay Resort's tree lighting.
Santa arrives and says hello to the audience during the Balboa Bay Resort’s Christmas tree-lighting ceremony.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

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