Valley has many festive events
WRITTEN BY Karen Maeshiro
Celebrating the holiday season in the Antelope Valley is made easy by the abundance of parades, holiday entertainment, and places where Santa makes an appearance.
The city of Lancaster hosts its A Magical BLVD Christmas festival from 5 to 9 pm on Friday, Dec. 6, and there’s a variety of holiday-themed shows at the Lancaster Performing Arts Center, Palmdale Playhouse and Tehachapi Community Theatre.
Here’s a list of some of the other events that will help you get into the spirit of the holidays.
The town of Wrightwood, Southern California’s winter wonderland, kicks off the parade season with its 13th annual Parade of Lights, which begins at 6 pm Saturday, Nov. 30.
The parade route starts out along the top of Apple Avenue, then goes down Park Drive and through the Community Center parking lot, then up Pine Street and across Evergreen Road to Cedar Street.
Parade committee volunteers beckon potential participants to get involved.
The Wrightwood Chamber of Commerce website says, “Join the parade. Decorate your car, truck, tractor, bicycle, buggy, golf cart, wagon, horse or dog.
“Anything that moves can be in the parade.”
Next up is the Lancaster Christmas/Holiday Parade, hosted by Lancaster Chamber of Commerce. The parade starts at 10 am Saturday, Dec. 7. The route starts at Lancaster Boulevard and 10th Street West, then heads east along Lancaster Boulevard and continues toward Division Street, ending at Antelope Valley High School.
Lancaster has been ushering in the holiday with a parade for more than three decades, chamber officials said.
High school and middle school bands from Southern and Northern California participate as well as drill teams, car clubs and equestrian groups. The parade typically gets between 150 and 175 entries.
Lights will also be all aglow at the Greater Tehachapi Chamber of Commerce’s 13th annual Christmas Parade, which gets going at 5:30 pm Saturday, Dec. 7, according to Claudia White, chairwoman of the chamber’s executive board.
This year’s theme is “A Storybook Christmas.” It starts in the Kmart parking lot and goes down F Street, White said.
Following the parade will be a tree lighting in front of the railroad depot at the corner of Green Street and Tehachapi Boulevard.
Also on Dec. 7 is Rosamond’s 18th annual Parade of Lights, put on this year by the Rosamond Old Town Merchants group and the Rosamond Chamber of Commerce.
It starts at 6 pm Saturday, Dec. 7, at the intersection of Orange and Diamond streets, then proceeds up Diamond to Locust Street, where it turns and heads west on Locust, officials said.
This year Palmdale Chamber of Commerce parade organizers decided on the theme “Miracle on 47th Street,” paying homage to the Christmas classic film “Miracle on 34th Street.”
The William J. “Pete” Knight Christmas Parade begins at 10 am Saturday, Dec. 14, taking off at Avenue R and 47th Street East, then moving along 47th Street East and ending at Avenue S.
Generally the Palmdale chamber receives more than 100 entries.
Here comes Santa
Santa Claus makes a number of appearances in the Antelope Valley this holiday season, not only in Christmas parades but at various venues around town.
Jolly Old St. Nick is at his winter home at the Antelope Valley Mall’s Center Court through Dec. 24. Children can visit with him, receive a free gift, and pose for Christmas photos.
Paws & Claus, where pets — dogs and cats only — can have their photos taken with Santa, will be held from 5 to 8 pm Mondays, Dec. 2, 9 and 16. All pets must be leashed or carried at all times, and owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets.
Tasty Tuesday Holiday Bingo will be from 6 to 7:30 pm Tuesdays, Dec. 3, 10 and 17, in the food court. Games for adults, 18 and over, start at 6 pm, and games for children follow at around 7 pm. The games are free.
Bring five or more canned food items for Grace Resource Center and get a raffle ticket. Prizes include $50 gift cards to Claim Jumper, Red Robin and Yard House restaurants, all eateries located at the mall.
Visit Santa and get a free cookie from 5 to 8 pm Thursdays, Dec. 5, 12, and 19, while supplies last; one cookie per person, and no purchase is necessary.
Join in more holiday spirit at the mall’s fourth annual Frosty’s Fun Fest from 4 to 8 pm Friday, Dec. 6. The event will feature special shopping discounts at participating stores, bounce house, face painting, crafts, and Frosty the Snowman, mall officials said.
The mall is at 1233 West Ave. P in Palmdale. For details, call the mall at 661/266-9150 or go to www.av-mall.com.
Santa will be at the Palmdale Playhouse this holiday season, too.
The Palmdale Playhouse will host its annual Holiday Open House with Santa on Wednesdays, 6 to 9 pm Dec. 4 and 11, and 11 to 4 pm and 6 to 9 pm Dec. 18.
Experience the sights and sounds of the holiday season at the playhouse, which will be filled with seasonal decorations.
Santa will be on hand to hear holiday wishes from young and old. Children can have their picture taken with Santa for $5. The event also includes complimentary refreshments.
For details, call 661/267-5684 or visit www.cityofpalmdale.org/playhouse.
The city of Lancaster will play host to the man clad in the bright red suit with its annual Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Stanley Kleiner activity center at Lancaster City Park, 43011 10th St. West.
Join Santa and Mrs. Claus for a warm pancake breakfast, holiday music and cheer, fun arts and crafts activities for children, and the opportunity to take pictures with the Claus couple, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, and elves.
The four breakfast seating times are at 8, 9, 10 and 11 am. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children, ages 12 and under. Tickets will be available through Friday, Dec. 13, or until they sell out.
They can be purchased at the city Parks, Recreation & Arts Department counter, 44933 Fern Ave.
For details, call the department at 661/723-6077 or look in the city’s Outlook brochure.
A centerpiece of the holiday season in the Antelope Valley is the annual Christmas Crèche Art and Music Festival, which is celebrating its 20th year in 2013.
The four-day festival offers visitors a chance to view 1,000 scenes of the Nativity from around the world and listen to more than 50 musical performances.
The free festival will be from 11:30 am to 9 pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 6, 7 and 8, and from 11:30 am to 6 pm Monday, Dec. 9. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Lancaster East Stake Center, 44330 27th St. East.
The event annually draws huge crowds. Last year, an estimated 5,000 people attended. For more information, go to avcreche.info or call (661) 946-2425.
Jingle Bell Jog
The annual Jingle Bell Jog will take place at 9 am Saturday, Dec. 21, at Marie Kerr Park, 30th Street West and Rancho Vista Boulevard. Registration for the 5K Run/Walk and 1K Elf Run will be from 7:45 to 8:45 am.
Organized by High Desert Runners, Jingle Bell Jog is a fund-raising event that benefits Grace Resource Center and the Antelope Valley Search and Rescue.
Many of the participants get into the holiday spirit and tackle the course while dressed up in festive costumes.
This year, High Desert Runners is bringing in a professional timing company to assist with counting runners and walkers and keeping track of finish times.
Runners will have a chip attached to one of their shoes, and a special mat at the finish line will read the chip and record who the runners are and their times.
For more information, go to www.highdesertrunners.org.