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Corona del Mar Today: Christmas Walk is a potpourri of fun

The village of Corona del Mar will be all about the holidays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, when the Chamber of Commerce's 36th annual Christmas Walk takes place.

Organizers have planned for 12 bands, a petting zoo, bounce houses, a beer-and-wine garden, a fireman's barbecue, high school performances and Santa Claus. The annual event takes place throughout town, with the hub of activities in the parking lots at Marguerite Avenue and East Coast Highway.

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Merchants throughout town will offer special promotions, restaurant tastings and parties, and a vendor fair will be located in the Bandera parking lot, organizers said.

An opportunity drawing with offer more than $15,000 worth of prizes. There is no entry fee to the Christmas Walk.

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Chamber President Linda Leonhard said one of her favorite parts of the walk is collecting toys for the U.S. Marines Toys for Tots program. Collection bins will be located along the walk, and sergeants typically visit the event to support the toy drive.

"The Christmas Walk is my personal favorite because of the celebration of the entire community and how everyone looks forward to it months in advance," she said. "It's important for folks to know we have a charity we support, and the staff I bring on for the event are so dedicated, working long hours, and we have so many dedicated volunteers — they really do warm my heart."

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Police announce safety campaign

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The Newport Beach Police Department has announced new safety operations for Corona del Mar from Sunday and through Dec. 20, according to a news release.

"Extra officers will be on duty patrolling areas that are frequented by bicyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists, and where recent traffic collisions have occurred, in an effort to reduce injuries," the release said. "Education and enforcement will be targeted at drivers, riders and pedestrians."

The release added that the officers will focus on "specific offenses, including driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, speeding, violating the new bicycle Three Feet for Safety Act, making illegal turns, jaywalking, red light violations and any other dangerous activities."

The crackdown will occur on East Coast Highway east of MacArthur Boulevard. Funding for the operation comes from a grant from the California Office of Traffic and Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and is part of the department's Special Traffic Enforcement and Crash Prevention, or STEP, activities.

This year, the release said, Newport Beach has had a 50% reduction in fatal traffic collisions compared with 2013.

"We encourage motorists to stay alert and watch for bicyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists, especially when turning or changing lanes," the release said. "Our message to anyone on the streets in Newport Beach is: Whether you are on wheels or on foot, it's your responsibility to safely share the road."

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CdM students visit veterans hospital

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A group of Corona del Mar Middle School students visited the veterans hospital in Long Beach on Tuesday, bringing brunch, gifts and entertainment to more than 100 veterans.

Seventh-grade cheerleaders and the Madrigal singers were among the students who provided entertainment. Parents bought ham, turkey, salads, doughnuts, fruit, bagels and more, and the Newport Rib Co. donated barbecue sausages.

Students also collected gift cards that they gave to the veterans.

The trip is an annual middle school event.

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Candle service coming up

Pacific View Memorial Park, 3500 Pacific View Drive, will host its 19th annual All Faiths Celebration of Life with a candle-lighting ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Monday.

Typically, about 250 people participate. The celebration begins with live music and remarks, and then a child is asked to light the main candle. Others then may light their candles, given to them when they enter the chapel, in memory of their loved ones. The event is scheduled to conclude at 7:30 p.m.

A second celebration of life service will take place at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to Pacific View's website.

Corona del Mar Today appears Sundays in the Daily Pilot. Read daily updates at coronadelmartoday.com.

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