Holiday Village

California City’s fifth annual Holiday Village returns Friday, this year with a theme of “Candy Cane Lane.” The logo was designed by contest winner Donny Vasquez.

CALIFORNIA CITY — The holiday season officially kicks off in California City on Friday, with the start of the fifth annual Holiday Village in Central Park.

The family-friendly event will feature a craft fair with more than 20 area vendors, as well as plenty of entertainment and holiday fun, as it runs through Sunday.

Amusements include live music, an outdoor fire pit with s’mores and homemade hot chocolate, children’s games, face painting and even snow.

Of course, Santa will be on hand and available for photos.

“It’s just a nice community event to get in the spirit of the season,” Parks Manager Brenda Daverin said.

On Saturday, the merriment continues with the annual City Hall tree-lighting ceremony at 4 p.m., on the south lawn of City Hall, 21000 Hacienda Blvd. It will be followed by a parade down California City Boulevard, into Central Park and ending at Holiday Village.

The festival has gone through several iterations since it began and is now organized by the city’s Parks Department and a volunteer team.

Interest in the event has grown each year and vendors secure their spaces as early as September, Daverin said.

The vendor spaces help raise funds that go to support local programs including youth basketball, Lions Club, California City Arts Commission, Desert Rose Garden Club and Little League.

Holiday Village will open from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Admission is $1 for ages 12 and older.

Those who bring a new book to donate will be entered to win a gift basket with items donated by the event vendors. The books will be donated to local classrooms.

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