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    Happy Holidays from Castro Merchants

    By Daniel Bergerac

    Businesses in the Castro and Upper Market neighborhoods of San Francisco are ready for one of their brightest, most exciting and best year-end holiday seasons in years. Lots of holiday decorations sponsored by Castro Merchants are appearing, including the 28’ brightly decorated and lit Holiday Tree at Castro and 18th Streets, gold and silver ribbons on Upper Market Street median palm trees between Church Street and Octavia Blvd. and, again this year, warm white lights glowing every evening on street trees along Upper Market from Church to Castro Streets.

    Castro Merchants also will welcome everyone from the neighborhood and beyond at its Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony on Monday, November 30, starting at 6:00 pm at the Tree (Castro & 18th Streets). Emceed by everyone’s beloved Queen of the Castro, Empress Donna Sachet, the lighting will include holiday music from many traditions by the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band, Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco, and the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. Expect audience sing-alongs too!

    There will be greetings from local and City officials and an invitation to “Shop, Drink and Dine” later that evening throughout the Upper Market/Castro area. All will be topped by the arrival “Code 3” (courtesy of the S.F. Police Department’s Mission Station) of Santa and his elves. They will then flip the magic switch to light up the tree that will glow through New Years Day.

    The Castro offers gift ideas and shopping from high fashion to funky, with fun and practical in between. Don’t forget to have some warm holiday get-togethers with friends and loved ones at our great restaurants and watering holes. There is no need to travel to crowded shopping areas and malls; we’ve got it all right here, for you.

    Please come and join us this holiday season. Shop and Dine in local businesses!

    Daniel Bergerac is the President of Castro Merchants.