Light Up The Season

Light Up the Season, the annual downtown Hayward winter-time celebration and lighting ceremony, is returning to the City Hall rotunda and plaza the afternoon and evening of Saturday, Dec. 3, and local organizations, businesses, associations and school groups are welcome to participate.
Illustration of a spark with text that says Light Up the Season on a dark blue background

After two-years of virtual and scaled-back Light Up the Season programs due to COVID-19, the City of Hayward is reintroducing the event with the goal of creating a time and place for Hayward residents to come together in a spirit of inclusion, and to share and celebrate winter-time traditions of our diverse communities. How do you celebrate Twin Luminaries, Mawlid al-Nabi, Chalica, Bodhi Day, Las Posadas, Hannukkah, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Lohri, Pongal, or other occasions that have the common theme of remembering that there is light even during the season of long nights?

With the 2022 edition of Light Up the Season, the City seeks to partner with community organizations, local businesses and associations, and school groups to recognize and to honor the sense of pride, togetherness and belonging shared by Hayward residents and interrupted by the pandemic.  We invite you to present music and dance from these various winter traditions and to decorate homes and businesses in ways that recognize and embrace our commonalities as well as our wealth of cultures and traditions.

The City of Hayward, Hayward Area Recreation and Park District, Hayward Chamber of Commerce and Eden Area Interfaith Council are teaming with Hayward public schools and local performers to present a special version of the annual Light Up the Season event from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at City Hall Plaza.  

During the event:

  • A lighting of a tree and other decorations just after sundown at approximately 5 p.m.
  • Displays of fire engines and other apparatus
  • Police officer- and firefighter-led seasonal toy and donation drive
  • An appearance by Curbie, the Hayward Public Library bookmobile
  • other offerings to be announced soon

Song, dance and musical performances by school and other groups and seasonal displays provided by the City of Hayward, Chamber of Commerce and Interfaith Council will celebrate the winter-time traditions of our diverse Hayward communities. 

There will be family fun, games and activities presented by Hayward Area Recreation and Park District (HARD), a backpack giveaway by Raising Leaders, appearances by Curbie, the Hayward Public Library bookmobile, an antique Hayward fire engine and other apparatus, and much more. 
A toy drive will be led by the Hayward Police and Fire Departments.  Attendees who donate an unwrapped new toy will receive one raffle ticket for each toy donated for chances to win Together for Hayward e-gift cards, which can be used at participating Hayward restaurants, shops and other local businesses. 
Capping off the festivities will be a tree and decoration lighting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. on City Hall Plaza and inside the City Hall Rotunda—followed by opportunities for photo-taking to capture and share the displays and memories for years to come.

Coloring pages available:

Download our special Hope & Unity coloring pages that you can print and post. Use the hashtag #HaywardHolidayHope to share your pictures on social media or you can submit them below for the City of Hayward to share on your behalf. 

* Please note by submitting a photo, you are agreeing that the City can use your photo in future publications and on our website or social media.

Submit your artwork

Local organizations, businesses, associations, school and other groups interested in participating through performances, the sharing of winter-time traditions and other cultural practices, and in other ways are encouraged to contact Community Programs Specialist Zach Ebadi, of the Hayward City Manager’s Office, at (510) 583-3911 or by email at