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La Cañada becomes a holiday haven as groups plan fun festivities

 Festival in Lights at Memorial Park
Santa Claus, pictured in 2017, is the main attraction at the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce’s annual Festival in Lights at La Cañada’s Memorial Park. This year’s event takes place Friday, from 4 to 6:30 p.m.
(File photo)

Revelers in search of wintertime fun won’t have to look much further than their own backyards this year, as volunteers and employees from three local organizations make final preparations for events sure to warm hearts and spread holiday cheer.

LCF Chamber’s Festival in Lights, Dec. 6

Live reindeer, snow, Santa and thousands of holiday lights — save yourself a ticket to the North Pole and come down to La Cañada’s Memorial Park this Friday where, from 4 to 6:30 p.m., the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce is hosting the 25th annual Festival in Lights celebration.

This crowd-pleaser, co-sponsored by the city of La Cañada Flintridge, begins with carols sung by chorus members from La Cañada and Paradise Canyon elementary school students, but that’s only the beginning. Be there as the chamber announces its 2020 Miss La Cañada Flintridge Royal Court from among 14 finalists.

 Festival in Lights at Memorial Park
Kids enjoy snow along with live reindeer and songs from the local school choral groups at the 22nd annual Festival in Lights. This year’s event promises 8 tons of snow, according to organizers.
(Raul Roa / Staff Photographer)

Keep warm with hot food available from local vendors or cool off with 8 tons of snow. Watch as Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive on scene via a Fire Department and sheriff’s escort shortly after 5:15 p.m. and flip the switch on all the lights, kick-starting the holiday season.

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“This is really the kickoff of the holiday season, and it’s a time of pure joy for families,” Chamber President and Chief Executive Pat Anderson said Tuesday. “Today, we confirmed the fire department, L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, the mayor, the chamber’s chairman of the board and Santa — so we’re all set.”

La Cañada’s Memorial Park is located at 1301 Foothill Blvd. For more, call the chamber office at (818) 790-4289.

Community Center’s Holiday Ceramics Sale, Dec. 13 through 15

Anyone looking for a wide range of unique holiday gifts will want to make it out to the Community Center of La Cañada Flintridge, which hosts its annual holiday ceramic sale starting Friday, Dec. 13, from 3 to 8 p.m. and continuing throughout the weekend 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The show will feature the works of nearly 50 artists who take classes or teach at the center’s ceramics program and is intended to showcase a diverse range of skills and artistic vision. Ceramics director Ethan Stern reported Tuesday the kilns were firing at full speed and “everyone’s glazing like mad.”

CCLCF’s Holiday Ceramics Sale
The Community Center of La Cañada Flintridge will host its annual holiday ceramics sale, showcasing the work of students and instructors in the center’s Ceramics program, from Dec. 13 through Dec. 15.
(Courtesy of the Community Center of La Cañada Flintridge)

“Some of the artists who’ve been participating for a long time are very prolific and do very well at this show,” Stern said. “We also have newer artists for whom this is their first sale — it’s a wonderful range.”

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Friday’s opening reception offers participants a chance to enjoy refreshments and meet many of the artists. Pieces for sale range from functional pottery to hand-sculpted, one-of-a-kind art pieces.

The Community Center of LCF is located at 4469 Chevy Chase Drive. For more, visit cclcf.org or call (818) 790-4353.

Lanterman Gingerbread House Contest and Holiday Open House, Dec. 15

Take a trip back in time Sunday, Dec. 15, from 1 to 4 p.m. as La Cañada’s historic Lanterman House museum hosts free docent-led tours of the decorated 1915 manse, featuring a ballroom Christmas tree decorated with custom gingerbread-inspired ornaments created by community members.

Participants can also see entries in an inaugural Ginger Bread House Contest, which will be critiqued by a panel of judges, including Mayor Len Pieroni, Valley Sun editor Carol Cormaci and Tom Samaha, owner of Jane’s Cakes and sponsor of the event.

Lanterman Holiday Open House
La Cañada’s historic Lanterman House will offer holiday tours and host a gingerbread house contest Dec. 15 from 1 to 4 p.m.
(Courtesy of Lanterman House)

Visitors may purchase five voting tickets for $1 and cast their vote for which constructed confection should receive the coveted People’s Choice Special Award.

“The contest is a way for the community to participate in a fun and creative holiday activity,” said Executive Director Laura Verlaque. “We’re excited to see what people create.”

The gingerbread theme, which commemorates the German and English heritage of Roy and Emily Lanterman, is the subject of a small exhibit on display in the ballroom. Visitors can also learn from items on display from the museum’s archives how La Cañada’s founding family observed the holiday season.

Lanterman House is located at 4420 Encinas Drive, in La Cañada. For more, visit lantermanhouse.org.

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