The live, fully-lit redwood tree located in front of our Moorpark School (3030 Moorpark Avenue in San Jose, CA) was measured by a specialized arborist to be 164 feet tall (2013), making it the largest lit Christmas tree in the world. The arborist, who has assisted each year in placing lights at the top of the tree (a truly daunting task), has measured the sequoia each year since 2009 to estimate its height and approximate growth. He has also confirmed the age of the tree – a seedling in the time when Sarah Winchester lived in her mansion throughout the 1800s – making it over 100 years old. Sarah Winchester’s famous mansion (now dubbed The Winchester Mystery House) is open to the public. Individuals can attend mysterious nightly tours, host birthday parties, and enjoy (terrifying) Halloween fun. During Sarah’s time, the surrounding area was home to several orchards. Our arborist has indeed proved that the seedling grew at the end of a large apricot orchard for many years before the land gave way to urban development. Our famous tree has witnessed the turn of two centuries, and can be viewed as a beacon for the surrounding neighborhoods – even visible from freeway 280!
To honor our wonderful tree and to celebrate the holiday season, Action Day Primary Plus has put on a large Tree Lighting event each winter since it was first measured in 2009. The event serves as a major local collaboration, attracting vendors and families both part of the organization and, well, soon-to-be. Attendance of the Tree Lighting has also doubled – or tripled – in the last five years. It has been hosted by several local favorites and others who have come to perform on our outdoor stage. Most notable are the U.S. Marine Corps Color Guard, the Saber Kittens, 49er Gold Rush Cheerleaders, the Raiderettes, Councilmember Pierluigi Oliverio of the San Jose City Council District 6, and beloved radio station Mix 106.5 Host Marla Davies. Performances and appearances by our company’s very own Primary Plus Elementary School, West Valley Middle School, Jr. Kindergarten Program, and award-winning dance teams are also present each year. In 2013, we were featured on the ABC and NBC news for our outdoor holiday cheer despite the cold weather passing through!
Perhaps the most important aspect of our annual Tree Lighting is the fact that it benefits a wonderful organization, Toys for Tots. Local restaurants from all over the Bay Area come to support the cause and donate a portion of their proceeds directly to the organization. In addition, we host a special Silent Auction of items donated from a variety of people and sources such as professional athletes, local businesses, and the parents of ADPP. All of the proceeds from our Silent Auction go directly to the Toys for Tots foundation. It is our great wish that our famous lighted Christmas tree represents the terrific holiday spirit of San Jose, CA!