Community commentary: Join us at the 'Snoopy House'

On behalf of the city, I'd like to personally extend an invitation to the community to attend the opening-night celebration of the "Snoopy House" holiday display at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at its new home at Costa Mesa City Hall.

Because of a foreclosure earlier this month on the property that served as the Snoopy House's longtime home, it looked as though the popular Costa Mesa tradition was in jeopardy.

But in less than a week's time, local residents, businesses, council members, city employees and the Jordan family (proprietors of the Snoopy House) have worked together to save our community's 45-year holiday tradition, which attracts an estimated 80,000 visitors annually.

The city, backed by a strong council endorsement, offered the City Hall lawn as an alternative site.

A tow truck company moved the massive display free of charge. A major crew of volunteers put together the Snoopy House over the weekend — something that usually took at least two weeks to do. Donations of time, supplies and money started to pour into City Hall. City staff happily filled in wherever needed.

We want City Hall to be the perfect setting for the Peanuts characters, so we got a lighting company that specializes in rock concerts to use the mid-century modern white beams on the front of City Hall as a canvas and give the community a spectacular light show. The Costa Mesa Conference and Visitor Bureau agreed to pick up the cost.

Through New Year's Eve, the Snoopy House will be on display from 5 to 10 p.m. (the light show will run through Dec. 24). Santa will be here from Dec. 18 to Dec. 23, and visitors can get a free photo with Santa.

This whole weeklong holiday whirlwind has been something of a Christmas miracle, but we still need volunteers and nonprofits to help staff the event and even provide entertainment (Christmas carolers, for instance). And we could use some donations to help underwrite the hard costs, such as gasoline for the generator, associated with the Snoopy House.

Those interested in volunteering or contributing a needed item or money can contact city staff member Sylvia Chalmers at (714) 754-5099.

Again, we would love to have you as our guest as we throw the switch and begin the Snoopy House and City Hall Light Spectacular to life. We'll have a local choir, council members and other civic leaders, hundreds of residents, the Jordan family and, of course, Snoopy and Santa.

Happy holidays!

TOM HATCH is the chief executive officer of the city of Costa Mesa.

Copyright © 2019, Daily Pilot
EDITION: California | U.S. & World