The Valley Line: Chamber's mixer celebrates 'Christmas in July'

My goodness we are speeding through summer. It's hard to believe we are almost done with July and on to August. In just weeks the local kids will be back to school.

Last Thursday evening the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce presented its monthly mixer at Olberz Park in the Town Center. This particular mixer was hosted by the city of La Cañada Flintridge and I must say the City Hall staff went all out in presenting the event, which included a small business expo and was given a "Christmas in July" theme.

I'm certain many shoppers and diners at the nearby Town Center businesses were shocked to see that the park had been turned into a Christmas Winter Wonderland. Tables were covered with red cloths and centered with gold foil wrapped pots filled with faux bright poinsettias. A little pastel-colored village of crooked houses was created with reindeer (not real of course) munching on sprigs of grass peeping through the cotton snow.

A quartet of carolers, dressed in Charles Dickens-style garb, sang what seemed to be an endless playlist of Christmas carols.

Kim Beattie, chairman of the chamber's board of directors, quipped to me that being surrounded by the Christmas decor was making her nervous because she felt like she needed to start her shopping immediately.

Just some of the merchants who had set up display tables and information booths at the expo were Nature's Treasures, Massage Envy, Jackie's Hair A Go Go, La Cañada Books & Toys, Wells Fargo, Hair by Karen Grenache Salon, YMCA, LCF Trails Council, Gelson's Market, Joie!, the American Cancer Society, Pam Taylor Dilbecks, Plan Ahead Events, NASA, Taix Extreme Boot Camp, Andea, Le Petit Vendome, Tender Hearts and Rita's Ice.

The mixer was a great place to chat and find out about community news. I was talking with LCF City Councilman Dave Spence and he was giving me news of Jacky Hollingsworth, an active La Cañada Thursday Club and LCF Tournament of Roses Assn. member who is recovering from a serious car accident she was involved in while on vacation on Wisconsin's Washington Island.

Dave said that Jacky is recovering in a convalescent home in Sheboygan (the town where she was born) and should be coming back to La Cañada Flintridge by mid-August. We wish you a quick mend, Jacky!

That jolly old man himself, Santa, made a surprise visit to the mixer. He arrived in a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department patrol car with lights flashing and siren sounding. Shhh, don't tell anyone, but impersonating Santa was Anthony Portantino. He was very jolly indeed. The kids who had come to the mixer quickly gathered around the white bearded guy in the red suit to tell him what they wanted for Christmas and they in turn received little candy canes.

The Christmas celebration carried on with a grand feast prepared by Los Gringos Catering. It was a full-on Christmas dinner with roast turkey, cranberry sauce, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy. Dessert included pumpkin and apple pie with scoops of vanilla ice cream. All of it was delicious!

Anyway, I hope you have your Christmas shopping lists begun and plan to do some of your shopping in La Cañada Flintridge stores and businesses.

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JANE NAPIER NEELY covers the La Cañada social scene. Email her at jnvalleysun@yahoo.com with news of your special event.

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