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Posted on: November 18, 2021

Winter Lights to Brighten Holiday Season in Golden Gate Park


SAN FRANCISCO, CA– Starting in  December, visitors to Golden Gate Park will journey through an immersive wonderland of light, nature and art as illuminated paths, interactive exhibits, and live performances brighten nearly a mile of car-free JFK Drive and the park’s Music Concourse, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and the San Francisco Parks Alliance announced today. 

Winter Lights, an illuminated outdoor experience for all ages, is presented by the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, the San Francisco Parks Alliance, Illuminate, Conservatory of Flowers, and the National AIDS Memorial Grove.

“Golden Gate Park during the holidays is a magical place, alive with families and kids coming together to enjoy the season’s spirit,” said Mayor London N. Breed. “I am so excited to be hosting San Francisco’s annual tree lighting in Golden Gate Park, and I can’t wait to kick off new traditions that will live on for years to come.”

Special events include: 

Dec. 1: The National AIDS Memorial Grove will be illuminated for the public on World AIDS Day beginning at 4:30 p.m. to stroll amid the redwoods and experience a candlelight reflection  and an evening of lights and artistic performances. A moving ceremonial reading of names lost to AIDS begins at 5 p.m.  

Dec. 1: Illuminate, SF Poet Laureate Tongo Eisen-Martin, and Monumental Reckoning sculptor Dana King will hold a ceremony and performances starting at 5 p.m. at the Golden Gate Bandshell to kick off the Music Concourse’s transformation into The Alterverse, a celebration of poetry and light. The evening includes the debut of the words LIFT EVERY VOICE atop the newly revived Golden Gate Bandshell, and a giant wall of lighted, scrolling poetry along the facade of the de Young Museum. 

Dec. 2: The annual lighting of Uncle John’s tree, with Mayor Breed, will be held in front of McLaren Lodge at 6 p.m, followed by performances and a light show at the Golden Gate Bandshell at 6:30 p.m., and culminating with Entwined’s first lighting of the year at 7 p.m.  The evening will also include carnival rides, food trucks and snow. 

Ongoing events (Dec. 2 through holiday season)

Beginning Dec. 2, visitors will enjoy illuminated festivities each night of the holiday season from sundown to 10 p.m.  After admiring the lights of Uncle John’s tree at McLaren Lodge, visitors can stroll to Entwined, a returning art installation by Charles Gadeken. The popular exhibit will again transform Peacock meadow into an enchanted forest of otherworldly shapes and ever-changing light that allows visitors to explore twisting paths, sit under colorful trees, and admire nature-inspired sculptures that flower with light. This year, Entwined will return bigger and more interactive, allowing viewers to manipulate the sequences of changing lights and peer through portals. 

After exploring Entwined, a light show beckons on the iconic Victorian facade of the Conservatory of Flowers. Visitors will find more dazzling illuminations at the 8th Avenue gateway to the Music Concourse. At the Music Concourse, enjoy the lights on the towering SkyStar observation wheel and catch free performances at the Golden Gate Bandshell on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays throughout the holiday season. See the full schedule at 

For more information about Winter Lights, go to

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