For the 23rd year, the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce gave its community the gift of “good family fun, with something for every age,” as Chamber President Pat Anderson described Friday evening’s Festival in Lights event at Memorial Park.
As families arrived to picnic and pose for photos in front of live reindeer, a semi-truck sprayed eight tons of snow on the grass field to the delight of park-goers. Hello Pizza & Chicken and Los Gringos Locos, two local eateries, set up vendor stalls and began serving food and beverages to the crowd.
Festivities began with a traditional flag ceremony by Boy Scout Troop 507. Following that, holiday classics such as “I See a Star” and “Skatin’ and Sleighin’” were performed by the La Cañada Elementary Lions Pride Chorus and the Paradise Canyon Elementary Choral Club.
Just after sunset, this year’s Miss La Cañada Flintridge Court took to the stage to greet 10 candidates for the 2018 court. Mayor Michael Davitt announced the names of of next year’s court: Julia Powers, Rucha Kadam, Hazel Valentine, Megan Andrews and Courtney Johnson. The coronation of Miss La Cañada Flintridge will be held during the Installation and Awards Dinner in January.
The princesses were awarded bouquets and a photo op began while local band Misplaced Priorities played renditions of “Frosty the Snowman” and “Santa Baby,” among other Christmas hits.
Anderson offered thanks to the event’s many organizers, and the crowd began to stir when sirens sounded on Foothill Boulevard. A procession of fire trucks from Stations 19 and 82 and Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s patrol cars escorted Santa and Mrs. Claus in an convertible 1932 Ford Roadster.
The jolly old elf led the crowd in a countdown and pulled a switch to light up the gazebo and all the trees in the park. A line of excited children and camera-brandishing parents soon formed to acquire a priceless family photo.
As the event closed, parents mingled while children waited for their turn to petition Santa for this year’s hot-ticket items.