Atwater Tree Lighting Back On
Despite previous concerns it would be cancelled, the annual Atwater Village Tree Lighting Festival will resume this year, albeit in a new location and on a different day, Sunday, December 10th.
The event, which has been held in the parking lot of the Atwater branch of Wells Fargo for the last 25 years, was imperiled in August when the bank announced a policy change and rescinded the use of the lot.
But despite a push to change the bank’s mind, including a petition with nearly 1,000 signatures, dozens of hand-written pleas from local children and a November 9th protest outside of the bank’s Atwater branch, Wells Fargo remained firm in their decision, and without a viable replacement location, volunteers feared the tree lighting would have to be cancelled.
Those fears were put to rest when local restaurant All’acqua stepped in and offered to host the event in their parking lot, next door to the Wells Fargo lot it had traditionally been held in.
According to Morris, event organizers chose not to ask the restaurant to host when seeking a new location for the event, so as not to put them in a difficult position where they would feel obligated to say yes to the request.
“We didn’t approach them on purpose,” said Morris, but “They approached us amidst the [November 9th] protest and offered up the lot, which was incredible.”
Although in previous years, the tree lighting was held on the first Thursday in December, it was moved to a Sunday this year so as to accommodate All’acqua’s peak business hours.
The official event will take place December 10th from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., though several local businesses will host related events on the street both before and after the lighting.