OC's Tallest Christmas Tree Is Set to Sparkle in San Clemente

The sky-reaching specimen, a giant fir from the Mt. Shasta area, rolled into the Outlets at San Clemente on October's final Tuesday.

Courtesy of The Outlets at San Clemente

What to Know

  • The huge tree arrived at the Outlets at San Clemente on Oct. 26
  • Over 1,000 branches, removed for the trip from Mt. Shasta, will be re-added in the coming weeks, along with 18,000 lights and 10,000 bows
  • The official lighting is on Saturday, Nov. 20

Christmas tales are rife with magical moments, but one dramatic staple you can depend on is that the arrival of Santa, his elves, an enchanted train, a perfect present, or a festive party will be preceded by a major meteorological flourish.

That might be a swirl of snow before Santa Claus sets his sleigh down on a roof, or an icy blast of air before a snowman enters the scene. Whatever the weather-related detail is, you know that something special, and especially Christmassy, is coming right up.

And so it was on Monday, Oct. 25, when a cold and rainy storm drenched Southern California, tossing fall leaves and Halloween decorations in equal measure.

Believers in holiday magic surely felt something major was about to show, fir real, and they were more than right.

For the tallest tree in Orange County rolled in the Outlets at San Clemente near dawn on Oct. 26, bringing with it the promise of pretty lights, cheerful nights, and thousands of sweet family photographs.

Outlets at San Clemente
A look back at a previous year's fully decorated tree.

This tree, like California's Tallest Christmas Tree, which arrived at the Citadel Outlets in Los Angeles on Friday, Oct. 22, hails from Mt. Shasta in Northern California.

Before it made its tree-tacular trek south, a team removed over 1,000 branches from the trunk to ease the fir's journey. The branches will all be reattached in the coming weeks, and some 18,000 lights, and 10,000 bows, will be added.

And if you're curious just how giant this giant is, break out the tape measures, or several of them: It stands at 100 feet, making it a glittery and gargantuan backdrop for all of the adorable yuletide snapshots soon to come.

Because who walks by such a sizable superstar and doesn't stop for a speedy snapshot?

Viewing the tree will be free throughout the holiday season, but if you'd like to be there for its initial illumination, fa-la-look up Nov. 20 in your calendar now, and circle it in red and green ink.

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