Hospitality Night activities move to ease traffic

Santa Claus is coming to town for Hospitality Night, but he won't be lighting the pepper tree in front of City Hall.

The city moved Santa's traditional drop-off spot to the corner of Forest Avenue and Glenneyre Street in order to manage the traffic expected for Friday night's football game, a league semifinal between Laguna Beach and Corona del Mar high schools.

Temporary seating has been added at the high school's athletic field to accommodate the expected crowd.

"We are very excited to have both of these wonderful events in Laguna Beach on Friday, and the city is taking every measure to provide more parking and better circulation," said Community Services Director Susan Cannan.

All Hospitality Night activities traditionally held at City Hall, including the Thurston Middle School Band performance, will be condensed to Forest Avenue this year.

The avenue will be closed to vehicular traffic between South Coast Highway and Glenneyre Street from 3:30 to 9 p.m Friday. The closure will extend to Third Street from 5:45 to 9 p.m.

Beach Street, which feeds into Forest Avenue, will also be closed.

"The biggest thing is we will be opening the Act V parking lot, which gives us 260 more parking spaces, and the trolleys will be running to get people to Hospitality Night and the high school," Cannan said.

Parking and trolleys will be free from 5 to 10 p.m. at the city lot at 1900 Laguna Canyon Road.

Additional free public parking will be available at the Forest/Laguna Canyon, Lumberyard and the Third Street Centers parking lots.

Trolleys will make stops at Forest Avenue across from City Hall and at the high school on the corner of Park Avenue and St. Ann's Drive. Return trips begin at Park and St Ann's, with stops at the Third Street Centers, ending at the Act V lot.

"The public should expect heavy traffic and parking challenges on Friday night," Cannan said. "We encourage arriving early, carpooling and using the trolleys.

"Happy holidays, and go Breakers!"

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