By Carlos Correa

STOCKTON (CBS13) — Homeless camps surrounding the Trash and hyacinth in the Stockton marina has made the city’s crown jewel into an eyesore. Now community leaders are trying to clean things up.

The official start to the holiday season in Stockton is just days away. A number of events are taking place downtown which means organizers want to make the marina into a safe, family-friendly place.

“We have enough, law officers, firemen. We have enough visibility and everyone seems to enjoy it and we want to keep it that way,” said Kathleen Gapusan, who lives in Stockton.

Organizers expect thousands of people to attend the holiday tree lighting ceremony, the lighted boat parade, and the Bright Night festival.

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The planned activities are forcing dozens of homeless men and women to move.

“This is as ready as we’re going to be. Honestly, I already know they will do one clean sweep and make sure there’s not any wayward tenters, or visible,” she said.

Two weeks ago the marina was filled with Hyacinth, but it’s all been removed thanks to the work of state and Stockton city crews.

“Public works, with the City of Stockton, was out here this past week cleaning the water, getting out the trash and just getting it ready so, that its ready to shine,” said Kendra Clark, general manager at SMG Stockton.

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People will be able to view the lighted boat parade from anywhere on the downtown waterfront. The Bright Night festival on the same night includes live music and games for the family, while the tree lighting ceremony features caroling and horse carriage rides.

“If you’re looking for something to get your family into the holiday spirit, what better way, we have the water, we have Christmas lights, free entertainment,” said Clark.

Downtown businesses will also be open during the events, which all take place starting at 4 p.m. on December 1st.

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