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The City of Paramount in California kickstarted the holiday season at the end of November with the 25th installment of its annual Tree Lighting Celebration. Lit by a variety of ADJ luminaires, the free event was attended by thousands of locals and featured live musical and dance performances. The evening culminated when Santa Claus arrived on the scene surrounded by a flurry of synthetic snowflakes created by six of ADJ’s powerful Entour Snow machines. He then joined city officials on stage to throw a large lever shaped like a candy cane which turned on the downtown Christmas lights.

A holiday traditional which started a quarter of a century ago, the City of Paramount’s annual Tree Lighting Celebration has become one of the biggest events of the local community calendar. It regularly attracts crowds of 8,000 to 10,000, however this year’s 25th Anniversary edition smashed all attendance records by welcoming an estimated crowd of 15,000. The event saw the roads in downtown Paramount closed, to allow a stage to be erected at the intersection between Paramount Blvd. and Jackson St., close to City Hall. Attendees were treated to complimentary hot chocolate and cookies, as well as dance and musical performances by Latina Art Foundation, Kimberly’s Dance Studio, Mariachi Las Catrinas, and the Disneyland Carolers. Following the appearance by Santa and the official lights switch-on, the event closed with a set by Vilma Diaz, the former lead singer of world-famous Cumbia band La Sonora Dinamita, which prompted dancing in the street to end a truly memorable celebration.

For the second year running, technical production for the event was provided by Ambient Pro, LLC, with the principal, Victor Nava, serving as Production Manager. The company was responsible for building the stage as well as providing all audio, lighting, video, and special effects equipment for the celebration. Due to the landmark anniversary, the whole production was dialed up from the previous year, with Ambient Pro providing a bigger stage as well as more lighting and effects equipment. However, because of the need for road closures, the entire build-up for the event had to take place on the day of, meaning that Victor and his team had to work extremely hard to have everything ready for the 6pm start time.

The 32’ by 28’ stage was illuminated by ADJ’s LED-powered Encore Profile Pro WW ellipsoidal fixtures, which were rigged to horizontal bars mounted to truss totems positioned at the FOH position. Additional fixtures were also used to light a photo wall and large balloon sculpture of a train, which were located to one side of the stage. Offering the same functionality and versatile output as a conventional ellipsoidal but combined with the power saving, heat reducing and long lamp life benefits of LED technology, these professional stage lighting fixtures offer a warm white output with a color temperature of 3200K and a high CRI of >97.

At total of eight Focus Spot 6Z automated luminaires were rigged to both the upstage and downstage trusses as well as positioned directly on the back of the stage. Each featuring a powerful 300-watt LED engine, paired with precision-engineered optics and an extensive collection of beam-shaping tools, these versatile fixtures were utilized to create GOBO texture projections on the stage as well as aerial beam effects to enhance the musical performances. “The Focus Spot 6Z is a really versatile fixture,” enthuses Victor, “it has a great zoom range which allowed us to use it to create some nice tight beam looks as well as wide GOBO projections which hit the stage and the street as well as the buildings on either side.”

An additional eight Focus Wash 400 moving head fixtures were also split across the upstage and downstage trusses. Powered by a 400-watt RGBACL color mixing LED engine positioned behind a 6” Fresnel lens with a motorized zoom function offering a variable beam angle of between 10 and 41-degrees, this versatile wash fixture is ideal for stage use. For the Paramount Tree Lighting event, the fixtures were primarily utilized to illuminate the simulated snow but were also used to add color and movement on stage during the performances. “I really like the brightness and the color mixing of the Focus Wash 400,” comments Victor, “those fixtures really did a great job of making the snow really pop!”

The six Entour Snow machines that were used to fill downtown Paramount with a flurry of synthetic snow were mounted in pairs, with one set hanging from the front of the stage and two further sets attached to truss totems located further back in the crowd. Each capable of projecting artificial snow over a distance of up to 12 meters, this configuration of multiple machines allowed the whole crowd to be immersed in the effect. “The snow looked fantastic – as you can see from the photos and video our team captured,” confirms Victor. “We had the machines running for a good thirty minutes and they produced a huge amount of snow, so I was a little worried they’d run out of juice. But, when we checked them at the end of the night, we found we hadn’t even used half of the tanks!”

Ten 18P Hex IP LED par fixtures were mounted to a pair of vertical pipes positioned at the back of stage to provide backlight for the performances while compact 7PZ IP zooming LED pars served as truss warmers for the stage structure. Finally, 30 of the WiFLY Par QA5 battery-powered wireless par fixtures were used to illuminate the nearby trees and also mounted to the truss totems to light the rear sections of crowd. Although these older fixtures have now been discontinued, they continue to serve Ambient Pro reliably, which is testimony to the longevity of an investment in ADJ products. WiFLY wireless DMX technology was used to send control signals to these fixtures as well as the other lighting on both the totems and the main stage using a series of WiFly Transceiver devices.

To accentuate the beams and effects created by the lighting, two of ADJ’s road ready Entourage haze machines were positioned at the rear of the stage, one on either side. Featuring 1400W heating elements and built into durable road cases, these potent machines use regular water-based fog fluid to create a colossal output of up to 15,000 cubic ft. per minute. “We were only running them at around 20-25% and that was more than enough to fill the stage,” enthuses Victor.

Finally, Ambient Pro also supplied a pair of ADJ’s Bubbletron XL high output portable bubble machines, which were saved for the performance by Vilma Diaz y La Sonora. Each featuring high velocity fans and twin bubble wands, these machines are designed for use on large stages and at outdoor events. “Just those two machines were more than enough to cover the whole dance area in front of the stage,” confirms Victor, “which looked really good and added to the excitement of the band’s performance.”

Despite a tight build schedule, Victor and the Ambient Pro team had everything ready for the start of the event and delivered a first-class service supporting the performers on stage and delivering an unforgettable experience for the thousands of people who were in attendance. The ADJ lighting ensured everyone could be clearly seen on stage and created a party atmosphere during the musical performances, however it was the Entour Snow machines that created undeniable holiday magic when they caused it to snow in a Southern California!


25th Anniversary Paramount Tree Lighting Celebration


Vilma Diaz y La Sonora, Latinas Art Foundation, Kimberly’s Dance Studio, Mariachi Las Catrinas & The Disneyland Carolers

Production Manager

Victor Nava

Production Company

Ambient Pro, LLC

Balloons and Decorations

Make It Pop Party Decor

ADJ Gear List

8 x Focus Spot 6Z

8 x Focus Wash 400

8 x Encore Profile Pro WW

12 x 18P Hex IP

12 x 7PZ IP

30 x WiFly Par QA5

16 x WiFly Transceivers

6 x Entour Snow

2 x Bubbletron XL

2 x Entourage

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