In-Person Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony Cancelled After Threat Of Protests

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom won’t host an in-person Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the state Capitol this year because of concerns that protesters calling for a cease-fire in Gaza would disrupt the annual event. Instead, the Democratic governor and his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, will host the event in a pre-recorded ceremony that will Was released Wednesday. The tree lighting ceremony, which Newsom’s office said dates back to the 1930s, appears to have originally been scheduled for Tuesday, according to a permit posted online by the California Highway Patrol. Barriers went up around the tree this week in front of the west steps of the state Capitol. The Sacramento Regional Coalition for Palestinian Rights scheduled a “tree lighting protest” for the same day. Protesters have targeted California Democrats since the war between Israel and Hamas started in October. Last month, the California Democratic Party canceled some events during its endorsement convention in Sacramento after protesters forced their way inside the convention hall. The Christmas tree — a 60 foot red fir — was installed last month after being cut down from the LaTour Demonstration Forest near Whitmore.