Want to see a December Nights main event without the crowds of hundreds of thousands of people jockeying for parking or space in Balboa Park?
Each year since 1986, Del Cerro Baptist Church of La Mesa has performed the Christmas Story Tree for December Nights crowds in the Organ Pavilion Friday and Saturday, but show up at 5 p.m. Sunday and you can see the same show without the overwhelming crowds.
The church typically holds an unannounced show for friends, family and whoever else happens to show up. People can even catch a shuttle bus to the performance at 4 p.m. Sunday. $12 a seat. Space is limited. Call the church to reserve a spot.
“We put so much effort into this that you want to let as many people to see it as you can,” said Kathy Wakefield, who has attended the church for 15 years. “We’re only a church of 300 but we put this whole thing on just because we appreciate that the city of San Diego lets us tell the story of Jesus.”
Members of the church begin weekly rehearsals for the Christmas Tree Story in September. Del Cerro Baptist Church supply their own custom made tree, decorations and bleachers for the choir.
The performance includes a 90-member choir (men in tuxedos, women in dresses), live orchestra and tree that opens up and moves during the show. The tree usually surprises people, Wakefield said.
“When the tree first opens up you can hear all the ooohs and aaahs and cameras snapping,” she said.
Some people who plan ahead typically show up early to take family Christmas photos in front of the 30-foot-tall tree made especially for the performance.