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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | EAST COUNTY / THOUSAND OAKS

Shopping Center Sets Up Holiday Tree

November 11, 1998|CHRIS G. DENINA

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Promenade at Westlake, as the popular shopping center erected its holiday evergreen Tuesday.

Using a 100-foot crane, workers raised the 63-foot-tall, 7,000-pound white fir over a 6-foot-deep hole and slowly lowered it into the ground about 5:30 a.m., according to Shirlee J. Bradley, general manager of the center.

Last year, 5,000 people attended the open-air center's tree-lighting ceremony. Bradley said she expects just as many when the switch is flipped on this tree Nov. 20.

"We were just absolutely swamped," said Jonathan Williman, general manager of the California Pizza Kitchen restaurant. "You've got 5,000 people standing around in the parking lot. Obviously, we get a lot of business, because it's right outside our front door."

The center, at Thousand Oaks and Westlake boulevards, will hold its tree-lighting ceremony at 7 p.m. The event will feature costumed holiday characters, the Santa Susanna High School choir and the Thousand Oaks High School marching band. A Santa Claus will turn the tree's lights on while fireworks explode in the sky, Bradley said.

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