Santa to light up LCF today

Snow, reindeer and Santa Claus — all the makings of a perfect holiday party and you don’t have to travel to the North Pole to find it.

The 15th annual Festival in Lights, hosted by the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce, will take place today (Thursday) at Memorial Park. The festivities, which begin at 4 p.m., will include an appearance by Mr. and Mrs. Claus, who will arrive in a classic car escorted by Los Angeles County firefighters and sheriff’s deputies.

The event will also feature live reindeer and snow, Chamber President Pat Anderson said.

“It is just such a lot of fun,” Anderson said. “Especially with the snow. You get kids who have never been in snow and it is really a joy to watch them.”

Local choirs, including the Palm Crest Elementary Melody Makers, and the Paradise Canyon Elementary School and the La Cañada High School Chamber singers, will provide live Christmas music.

Young attendees will have an opportunity to meet with Santa, and watch as he throws the switch for the Christmas lights that lined the medians on Foothill Boulevard.

In addition, the Chamber will introduce the Miss La Cañada Flintridge finalists and announce the Miss La Cañada Flintridge Court. Vendors will be on hand selling hot dogs, tacos and other snacks, but otherwise the event is free. Anderson said she expects the festival will attract as many as 600 children.

“It is a free gift for the families,” Anderson said. “It costs the chamber a lot of money to put this on, but this is one way we provide a community event that is a benefit to the residents as well as the businesses. This is what dues paid to the chamber go for.”

Families are being asked to bring canned food or a new, unwrapped toy to support the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station’s 22nd annual Toy and Food Drive.

Katherine Ritcheson, a senior at LCHS and president of the Youth Chamber, said she will be on hand with other local youth leaders to serve hot chocolate to attendees. The Festival in Lights is an opportunity for all children to come and enjoy the spirit of Christmas, she said.

“For me, the Festival in Lights always represents Christmas,” Ritcheson said. “Ever since I was little, I know Christmas was coming around when I went there. It was monumental on my December calendar. It is a very community oriented event.”

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