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Staff report

Featured photo: Holiday decorations will be up again at Mission San Juan Capistrano in December for the return of the Capistrano Lights event. Photo: Collin Breaux

An annual holiday tradition is returning to a famous South Orange County historical site at the end of the year.

Capistrano Lights, which features seasonal decorations and other fun activities, will be happening at Mission San Juan Capistrano on select dates in December starting on Dec. 4. The events will start at 4 p.m. on the select dates, which run through Dec. 30.

“As Orange County’s very first Christmas was most likely celebrated here, we take great pride in delivering a meaningful tradition for those looking to experience the religious, spiritual and emotional value of the season with loved ones,” Mission San Juan Capistrano Executive Director Mechelle Lawrence Adams said in a prepared statement.

Tickets will be available starting on Nov. 2 for Mission Preservation Society members and on Nov. 9 for the general public, and they can be purchased at capistranolights.com. Planned festivities will include holiday carolers, a nightly tree lighting, photo opportunities with Santa, and children’s craft activities.

The Serra Chapel will also be open during evening hours, and prayer candles will be available to remember loved ones.

Last year’s Capistrano Lights program was cut short due to a stay-at-home order issued throughout California due to high COVID-19 cases.

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