It's lights, Santa and snow

While the climate is far from brisk in La Cañada Flintridge, the temperate weather isn’t stopping the Chamber of Commerce from bringing in its own white Christmas to the annual Festival in Lights, which takes place from 4 p.m. to 6:30 on Friday in Memorial Park.

The festival will kick off the holiday season with seven tons of manufactured snow, live music, live reindeer and an appearance from Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus.

Chamber President Pat Anderson said that the festival offers a chance for families to come together without having to buy a ticket or leave town, and to spend some time together.

“It’s a time for the family and the community to come together in a very happy, beautiful setting,” said Anderson.

With any luck, the weather will cooperate and plenty of families will turn out to match last year’s total of around 500 attendees, Anderson said.

As part of the tradition, the La Cañada Junior Women’s Club will announce the five members of this year’s Miss La Cañada Flintridge Court, one of whom will be named Miss La Cañada Flintridge in January. The court is composed of high school juniors who reside in the city.

Nancy Hempstead, president of the La Cañada Juniors, said the club wasn’t looking for just the star athlete or straight-A student, though those qualities surely don’t hurt, but for a girl who can truly represent the city.

“We look for well-rounded young women who can represent themselves in a variety of situations in the community,” she said.

For La Cañada’s younger residents, surely the moment not to miss on Friday is Santa’s arrival at 5 p.m., after which he will throw the switch on the park’s lights, officially kicking off the city’s holiday season.

For those in the giving mood, chamber officials are asking residents to bring canned food or a new, unwrapped toy to donate to the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station Annual Toy and Food Drive.

This festive atmosphere and the spirit of giving are what make the event so special, Hempstead said.

“This community has a really good charitable heart, so a lot of things happen there to just kick off the holiday season,” she said.

In conjunction with Festival in Lights, Foothill Boulevard merchants will hold their third annual Merry Mingle, staying open until 9 p.m. Friday for shoppers.

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