Photo Gallery: Christmas Tree lighting at Glendale City Hall

Students from Cerritos Elementary School sing Christmas songs at the lighting of the Christmas tree at Parcher Plaza at Glendale City Hall on Wednesday, December 4, 2013. (Tim Berger/Staff Photographer) (Tim Berger / Staff Photographer / December 4, 2013)

For the first time in three years, the city of Glendale hosted a Christmas tree-lighting event in Parcher Plaza at City Hall.

While the city still erected a tree and decorated it in the past, tight budgeting prompted officials to nix the roughly $2,000 lighting ceremony beginning in 2010.

PHOTOS: Christmas tree lighting at Glendale City Hall

This year's event held on Wednesday included students caroling and a visit from Santa Claus.

The 28-foot tree from Oregon has 7,500 lights and 500 ornaments. The cost of the tree wasn't immediately available and the ornaments and lights are reused every year.

“Due to the economy and the need to tighten our belts a few years ago, it just wasn't appropriate to have such an event,” city spokesman Tom Lorenz said, adding that Councilman Zareh Sinanyan's suggestion to bring back the event got the ball rolling.

The city had to severely cut back positions in recent years due to the protracted recession and the end of redevelopment, a program that used property tax funds to develop projects such as the Americana at Brand and pay for some city salaries.

However, Lorenz said the economic forecast is improving.

“With the bright outlook for the city and its residents, it is the right time for the community to join again and celebrate in a ceremony celebrating the holiday season,” Lorenz said.

While the city doesn't plan to host a celebration for other holidays, including Hanukkah, which ends on Thursday and Kwanzaa, which begins the day after Christmas, Lorenz said the tree is meant to represent several holidays, not just Christmas.

“Everyone will celebrate the season in their own way and it means something to them in their own individual way,” Lorenz said.

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Follow Brittany Levine on Google+ and on Twitter: @brittanylevine.

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