Bear Witness

San Jose, bright and merry

Bianca Medina, Photo Editor

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Downtown San Jose’s annual Christmas in the Park broke a record this year. With 600 Christmas trees turned on, it set a Guinness World Record for most illuminated trees in one area (the previous record was 559).

Christmas in the Park, located at Plaza de Cesar Chavez, draws more than 600,000 visitors each year, and also return visits from Branham students.

Senior Johnny Altwal said that he enjoys the inclusive atmosphere, especially for historical events as the tree lighting.

“I like to go every year because I enjoy how it allows for everyone of all ages to celebrate the holiday season as a community of San Jose, especially in such politically divided times,” Altwal said. “I was especially excited to go this year to see the record-breaking amount of trees and being proud of the community for being able to accomplish that.”

Nonprofit organizations, such as daycares, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, middle schools and high schools (Branham included) take part in donating the 600 trees. Their trees help raise awareness for their group or social cause.

Senior Sofia Vartanian is part of a group called Homenetmen Ani Chapter, a Pan-Armenian diaspora association that focuses on sports and scouting. Her group decorated a tree at Christmas in the Park, and she hopes to educate park visitors about her culture.

“As a leader, I carry out the Armenian traditions, educate next generations of scouts and spread awareness of our past, such as awareness of the Armenian Genocide,” Vartanian said. “The tree we donated to Christmas in the Park is not only to get people to learn who we are, but also to explore other cultures overall.”

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The Student News Site of Branham High School
San Jose, bright and merry