Blogging Bayport Alameda

February 28, 2023

Celebration costs

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:11 am

Look, I don’t know if someone put in a PRA to the City regarding the Mayor holiday events in order to prove that it wasn’t as expensive as the multi denominational display but we have a PRA nonetheless.

Here’s how much the tree lighting costs:

To compare with the other event which is more inclusive:

the Menorah display was $1700 from

Installation of lights was $12,000.

The holiday anchor was $2700

And the peace sign was $2200.

So you’re pretty close to the same costs with the tree lighting ceremony and the anchor, menorah, and peace sign can be reused. I’m not sure if the holiday tree was traditionally a real one or fake one so it’s unclear about the reuse factor. The tree lighting event, as you may remember, happens like for one day and I don’t know how many folks traditionally come out to see the ceremony. I mean, I don’t care strongly one way or the other but that someone did probably means that someone is trying to help out Trish Spencer to prove that only recognizing the winter holiday for one religious group is way more cost effective and, therefore, we should ditch efforts to be more inclusive during the holidays.


  1. Every year the war on Christmas starts earlier and runs later. Maybe Alameda can be the town that fights the war on Christmas all year long!

    Comment by Rod — February 28, 2023 @ 6:27 am

    • Please explain. What exactly is this war on Christmas?

      Comment by Wol — February 28, 2023 @ 7:38 am

      • It’s something those on the right invented, popularized by Fox News, to make it seem like they’re being victimized by things like people saying “Happy Holidays” or Starbucks Cups that are non-specifically festive, or a city not doing a whole big expensive non-inclusive public to-do this year.

        Comment by Rod — February 28, 2023 @ 10:26 am

    • When unsure, I ask myself, “what would Jesus do?” In this case, I suspect he would recommend better uses of this $16,000 to celebrate a holiday in his name, perhaps something like, “feed the poor.” Seriously, as a Christian, what do you think Jesus would want?

      Also, how do you think Jesus would react to your comment? Do you think he would thank you, like, “Good shot Rod. Put them in their place in my name.”

      Comment by an inadequate Christian — February 28, 2023 @ 8:51 am

      • I’m pretty sure Jesus would have recognized sarcasm when he saw it! Or perhaps he would have demanded a specific font to use to make it more obvious.

        Comment by Rod — February 28, 2023 @ 10:30 am

  2. Between private parties at homes and businesses, numerous sales & displays at retailers, movies and holiday episodes on TV, celebrations of religious institutions, lights and other outdoor displays, and all the other ways Alamedans mark the December holidays, there is no need for the city to spend a nickel on any of this, regardless of style or format.

    Comment by dave — February 28, 2023 @ 8:24 am

    • Hey Dave, good point I’m with you.

      Comment by John P. — February 28, 2023 @ 9:44 am

      • Hey Dave- using your logic we could get rid of the Mayor’s 4th of July parade, Gay Pride celebrations, and Black History Month. So no. Civic celebrations bring us together. Plenty of other ways to save money.

        Comment by Not Dave — February 28, 2023 @ 10:26 am

        • our Government doesn’t need to promote or finance religion, we should be able to do that on our own.

          Comment by John P. — February 28, 2023 @ 11:11 am

  3. The comparison is a case of apples & oranges. The the tree-lighting total entails: (1) the cost for a celebration of approx. $6,900, (2) the tree installation of $3,500, and (3) staff costs of $6,000. In contrast, the new lights & decorations totaling $18,600 are devoid of costs of the celebration & staff time. Presumably, the costs of a fun celebration and staff time to organize the lighting event would continue annually. So the real comparison is between the annual tree costs of $3,500 versus the annual costs of the lights & decorations of $3,000 (assuming a life of between 5-10 years). Cost-wise, it’s a push.

    Comment by Neal_J — February 28, 2023 @ 1:11 pm

  4. The dancing trees deserve at least 5x what they are paid. Rough guess from my butt is that 20% of attendees show up primarily for them.

    Comment by bjsvec — February 28, 2023 @ 1:44 pm

  5. Christmas isn’t celebrating any religion. A tree with ornaments and lights is just a tree with ornaments and lights. Maybe we should not have Christmas break for schools. Maybe December 25th should be a normal workday, In my opinion, people are getting their panties in a bunch for no reason. We have to have our own pronouns now, you can’t say mankind you what to say, people. You can’t say ‘you guys’ it is you all, They are in trouble in Spanish-speaking countries because the structure of many words is based on male/female. Gay is now LGBTQIA+++. “Too much ado about nothing” really. What is important is we are a community of people not a bunch of individuals, If you try to make it about each individual you will leave someone out and then you invite trouble. Many words have come from Christian origins, should we change them all? Christmas is what you make it, a tree isn’t religious unless you worship trees.

    Comment by Gage — February 28, 2023 @ 1:45 pm

    • Maybe humor gone over my head? Christmas isn’t celebrating any religion?? We have to have our own pronouns?? A community of people is different than a bunch of individuals? lol.

      Comment by bjsvec — February 28, 2023 @ 1:51 pm

      • You can laugh, I said it was my opinion, I didn’t say you had to agree.

        Comment by Gage — February 28, 2023 @ 2:11 pm

        • Gage. You’re a free thinker. Ancient people worshipped trees. Germanic people brought them into their houses and decorated them. It was the Christian’s that co-opted them.

          Post more often.

          Comment by Not Dave — February 28, 2023 @ 7:07 pm

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