Sign In  |  Register  |  About Danville  |  Contact Us

Danville, CA 69℉
March 29, 2017 5:42pm
7-Day Forecast | Traffic
Sponsor: Eyes on Hartz
  • Search Hotels in Danville

  • CHECK-IN:
  • CHECK-OUT:
  • ROOMS:
  • Compare Our Rates To

Click For More

Danvilles Famous Old Oak Tree

The town’s official symbol is 65-feet tall and estimated to be 350-years-old

Submit A Story
Share |

Standing gracefully in the middle of Diablo Road is the town’s most iconic and beloved landmark, the Danville Old Oak Tree. The town’s official symbol is 65-feet tall and estimated to be 350-years-old.

Probably the most cherished event all year is the Lighting of the Old Oak Tree, held every November the Friday evening after Thanksgiving by the Town of Danville and the Danville Chamber of Commerce. An estimated 7,500 people gather around the tree to see Father Christmas and Snow Angel flip the switch on thousands of twinkling lights, to many “oohs” and “ahhs” from the crowd. There’s entertainment, refreshments, and holiday shopping amidst a decorated downtown. It’s been called a magical evening, and one of the best examples of community life in Danville.

The tree lighting event dates back to the 1970s, and according to historical records, actually started as a campaign to save the tree from being destroyed.  Artist and then Danville merchant Carmen De Vivi, alarmed by piles of debris around the base of the tree during a road-widening project, discovered that the root system had been severely compromised. He approached officials suggesting a community-wide effort to preserve the tree, recommending they draw attention to the cause by lighting the tree with as many lights as possible. The idea was unanimously approved, and soon it was decided to light the tree every holiday season. De Vivi himself played Father Christmas for 15 years.

De Vivi wasn’t the only one to voice concern over the tree’s health. In the late 80s, after being told the tree was nearing the end of its life, the town planted a replacement oak just to the west nicknamed “Son of Oak”. A decade later an investigation found the tree’s root structure was rotting and the tree itself was in danger of toppling. In 2001 the town constructed a sturdy steel support structure around the tree.

Over the years the valley oak has served as an important communications hub. Banners announcing birthdays or anniversaries have appeared around the trunk, along with flyers for events around town.

Recent Stories
» It’s a Scream: First Monte Vista Haunted School House Fundraiser
» Down Syndrome Connection Named Keller Williams Realty RED DAY 2015 Recipient
» Danville Realtor Joins Chamber of Commerce
» Man Pleads Not Guilty To Stabbing, Killing Man Over Cigarette
» Organization Needs 3,000 Turkeys For Thanksgiving Dinners
» Vehicle Pursuit Leads To Discovery Of Drugs For Sale Thursday
» Man Shot In Leg In Apartment
» Firefighters Respond To 1-Alarm Structure Fire This Morning
» Police Investigating Home Burglary
» Friday Morning News Roundup
If you're a local business, organization, restaurant, or event planner in Danville, then you'll want to be to be featured on Danville.com, and get the exposure to the Danville community you need to thrive. With traffic from thousands of locals each and every day, if you are trying to reach Danville residents, there is no better way. Danville.com brings together the resources and knowledge that the community utilizes daily to make decisions on planning their weekend activities, finding the right local business for the job, organizing special events, and everything in between. If you're located in Danville and have something to share with the community, then contact us today about becoming featured on Danville.com!