The Grove Christmas Tree Lighting by Steven

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We are all still recovering from Thanksgiving so please excuse us for the lack of updates. Earlier this month, I managed to attend the Christmas Tree Lighting at the Grove for the first time. Unfortunately the experience was anything but smooth due to the sheer amount of people attending.

The Grove Christmas Tree Lighting was definitely not suitable for people who’re claustrophobic. In fact, it was the most crowded event I’ve participated in since I’ve moved to Los Angeles, and I’ve been to the 626 Asian Night Market!!! I was constantly being pushed around and squished to the point where I was physically incompatible of moving my arms. When you hear children in the crowd cry like it’s the end of the world, you know there’s something wrong with the planning of the event. To make matters worse, I was unable to see the tree due to the size of the crowd, and the tree is over 110 feet tall!!! In addition, people in wheelchairs were mixed in with everyone else instead of being moved to the front. As a result, they were unable to see anything over the crowd. They were being pushed around as well by people around them. There was a VIP section in the very front, but that area was restricted to sponsors, city officials, celebrities, and the like. The main cause for the turmoil seemed to be the presence of the Backstreet Boys, who were the main act this year. If the Backstreet Boys performed in the beginning, a good portion of the crowd might have left, which would allow me to enjoy other performers like Far East Movement. However, seeing the amazing sight of fake snow falling and fireworks erupting to Christmas music is quite a sight even though mid-November is a bit too early to celebrate Christmas.

While the event itself was disappointing, there are still many things to see at the Grove during the holidays. I recommend that everyone read my previous post, “Christmas in the Grove.” I’ve also found some interesting new stores in the Farmer’s Market next to the Grove. There’s “Light My Fire,” a store that specializes in hot sauces, particularly those made with habanero chili for the adventurous types. Those who are interested in vintage memorabilia from the 1910s to the 1950s might want to check out “Shine Gallery.” They sell colorful statues, banners, decals, toys, and other novelties from fairs and more. While some are expensive collectables, they also sell random little trinkets that cost as little as $1!! Speaking of collectables, the Grove currently houses an outdoor exhibit behind their Christmas tree that showcases props from “The Hobbit” (i.e. The One Ring, Elrond’s headdress, etc.) to build up anticipate for the movie so make sure to check that out before it’s gone! Before leaving, I also stopped by to see a display of antique pumps from the Gilmore Gas Station, a gas station located there that eventually paved way to the construction of the Grove and the Farmer’s Market. The bright colors and curves of the pumps are very retro and remind me of drive-in diners from the 1970s.

While I do enjoy going to the Grove during Christmas time, I’ll rather avoid the actual night of the Christmas Tree Lighting. If you do wish to attend next year, I advise you to show up early in the morning to avoid the crowd. You can also get a good aerial view from the balcony of The Cheesecake Factory, but once again, you need to go there before the crowd appears. For parking, I avoided their parking lot because while it costs only $3 for 3 hours, it costs $1 each 15 minutes afterwards. Furthermore, parking inside is not appealing after you realize just how many drivers attend the Christmas Tree Lighting. I parked outside on W 1st St pass S Crescent Heights Blvd instead. It’s free although you need to pay attention to signs. You can also take buses 16, 316, 217, and 218. The Grove is located on 189 The Grove Drive. For more photos, be sure to check out our Facebook page. Please follow us on Twitter @SurvivingLA for information on future events. Stay tune next time as we attend the Pancakes and Booze Art Show!

So who ended up going to the Grove Christmas Tree Lighting? Please tell us about your experience in our comment section.

Until next time,

Steven

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