It’s the most wonderful time of the year – and one of the busiest! Let’s go behind the scenes of what it takes to make these Orange County shopping centers come to life for the holidays.
Fashion Island is known for oversized bows placed on the entry signs, giant ornaments hanging in Atrium Court, and, of course, a beautiful white fir tree that can be seen twinkling from a distance.
Here’s the inside scoop on what it takes to bring this giant tree to life:
Fashion Island woke up early November 1 as the tree finalized its 650-mile journey and arrived in Newport Beach during pre-dawn hours in preparation for one of OC’s most beloved holiday traditions: Fashion Island’s Tree Lighting Ceremony. The tree not only represents Fashion Island’s dedication to providing shoppers with the best of holiday traditions, but it also represents their dedication to taking tremendous care in preserving the environment.
With the help from Victor’s Custom Christmas Trees, the tree was removed from a designated timber area near Mount Shasta in Northern California and its harvesting had no detrimental impact on the environment. In fact, selecting older and taller trees – like the one you’ll see at Fashion Island this season – allows for smaller trees to survive. Then, for every single tree harvested from this designated timber area, 12 trees are replanted in its place. Once the holiday festivities conclude, the tree will be recycled and can turn into products like boards for lumberyards and new homes, to paper and pencils.
After the tree’s arrival, there’s no rest for the tree or the crew. It takes approximately three hours for a crew to hoist the tree into place with a crane and secure it in place. Then it takes a few more days for the crew to plug additional branches into the tree to fill out any sparseness and spray the tree with fire retardant. Finally, the tree gets adorned in 20,000 LED lights and ornaments, starting from top to bottom.
IRVINE SPECTRUM CENTER
For 14 years now, Giant Wheel Court at Irvine Spectrum Center has transformed into a winter wonderland as an outdoor ice rink takes center stage. Maintained by the world’s smallest custom Zamboni, the ice rink has become a special holiday tradition for families and friends alike. In fact, three couples have gotten engaged on the rink!
In order to make this popular tradition happen each year, the Irvine Spectrum Center team pulls all hands on deck for 12 days of intense prep. Most important task: get that ice frozen amidst the warm Irvine temperatures! The rink is 47 ft. wide by 72 ft. long and weighs nearly 52,000 lbs. Fun fact: the ice is painted white-ish with a special ice paint so it’s not see-through.
Throughout the shopping center, guests should take note of the new holiday decor this year: garland on light poles and the Carousel; snowflake projections on the ground; more than 22,500 ornaments; and 225,000 mini-lights wrapped around palm and olive trees. A winter wonderland, indeed!
Also new to Irvine Spectrum Center this year is an LED color-changing 50-foot holiday tree in Edwards Courtyard. Beautifully decorated during the day, beginning Black Friday the tree will come to life at night, dazzling guests every half hour between 5pm and 11pm with a choreographed light show set to holiday music. We can’t wait to see the show and share videos!
THE MARKET PLACE
The Market Place in Tustin and Irvine is looking extra spiffy this holiday season! Normally adorned in flat yellow stars, the iconic purple signs along Jamboree Rd. are instead wrapped in beautiful silver glitter bows this year. We like big bows and we cannot lie.
Watch this ABC 7 news clip about these decorations and more from Dekra-Lite.
Then, this shopping center is decked out with not one but three holiday trees! As part of the shopping center’s DUCK the Halls events, the trees are Anaheim Ducks-themed and each one features a different aspect of the program: the players, the fans, and Wild Wing.
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