Laguna is ringing in the holiday season in traditional fashion, with a plethora of holiday palettes, Hospitality Night and a bright pepper tree.
Hospitality Night will be Dec. 7, when downtown businesses and services open for the street party, Santa Claus parade and pepper tree lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. in front of city hall. That evening, Forest Avenue will be closed to traffic and become a pedestrian mall.
Some 18,000 lights were put on the large pepper tree in front of City Hall this year, said Doug Surface, who has been working to get the town in holiday trim.
The wooden palettes, which are created by artists each year for the city, were mounted on poles over the past several days throughout town.
Surface, who has put up the palettes for the past four years, taught first-timer Daniel Walker how to install them earlier this week.
The city Arts Commission selected four artists this year — Suzette Rosenthal, Deborah Ginder, Suzanne Redfearn and Eunice Choi — who created new works on the oversized palettes, which hang throughout the holiday season. Each year’s new set of palettes is hung in front of City Hall.
Palettes created by Laguna Beach children will be on display in City Hall and the Laguna Beach Public Library beginning Monday.
Twelve student artists’ works were selected for exhibition on wooden palettes, while the remainder will be on view at the library in an exhibition organized by Laguna Outreach Community Arts.
Entries were accepted from children aged 5 to 17 years in the fourth-annual competition. More than 150 entries were submitted.
The twelve artists selected for the exhibition are Jade Hamilton, 6; Jocelyn Cho, 7; Blake Crawley, 8; Katie Glavinovich, 8; Halle Redfearn, 10; Jane Wallin, 11; Shannon McQuaid, 12; Ellie Scharf, 12; Laura Kawashiri, 13; Brianna Rubow, 14; Shane Korber, 15; and Cody Deplisea, 16.
Hospitality night events
During Hospitality Night, Dec. 7, Laguna Presbyterian Church is planning activities from 5 to 8 p.m. at the church on the corner of Forest Avenue and Second Street.
In the rose garden, there will be a community singalong while tamales made by La Playa students will be sold to help purchase textbooks for their English as a Second Language classes. Free cookies and cider donated by church members will also be available.
An art show featuring the works of recognized church artists will be in the parlor, the entrance to which is on Forest.
Artists include Mia Moore, who exhibits at the Festival of Arts; Rick Lang, the official Pageant of the Masters photographer; Joe Severson, a recognized commercial artist who has sold at Tuvalu; watercolor scenes by Storm Case and Richard Olshausen; Sarah Shoemaker, of the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena; and Sawdust Art Festival exhibitor Sandra Weir.
The Fellowship Hall on Second St. will feature recorded Christmas music.
Scouts collecting coats
For the fourth year, Laguna Beach Girl Scouts are collecting clean, gently used coats for the homeless and working poor of Laguna Beach.
In the past three years, more than 1,000 coats have been donated to keep someone warm or to serve as a Christmas gift.
The coats will be given to the Laguna Beach Resource Center and South County Outreach.
In addition, Laguna Beach Girl Scout Troop 789 is looking for blankets for the homeless. The troop requests twin or double-sized blankets, which can be used but must be washable; dark colors are preferred.
The drop-off for the coats and blankets will be at the white van on Second Street marked One Warm Coat, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.