November 22, 2006

Downtown Comes Alive for the Holidays

The Third Annual Downtown for the Holidays program kicks off the holiday season with events, decorations, fun and excitement. Beginning November 16 with the opening of the Ice Rink in Horton Square and continuing with events and activities scheduled throughout December, downtown San Diego is a great place to come and enjoy the entire holiday season.

“Like the annual holiday events planned in many great cities around the country, this group of downtown events is becoming an honored holiday tradition for San Diego and a destination for people throughout the area,” said Centre City Development Corporation Downtown Information Center Manager Jacki Taylor, who chairs Downtown for the Holidays. “The months of November and December are packed with fun events for the holiday season and we hope all San Diegans will come and enjoy the activities and the downtown excitement.”

This year, new events include a gingerbread house building contest with judges and participants from local downtown schools and an amazing display of professional “Gingerbread City” Structures from the Epilepsy Foundation’s “Gingerbread City” Gala/Auction 2006 at the Downtown Information Center on Horton Square. Additionally, other traditional popular events will continue, including: a holiday tree lighting ceremony broadcast live on NBC 7/39, ice skating on Horton Square, snow and sledding at the Park at the Park at PETCO Park, lights, decorations, street banners, live entertainment and plenty of appearances by Santa himself.

For more detailed information on each event and links to specific event Websites please visit www.sandiego downtown.org. These details will be updated throughout the holiday season and new events may be added.

November

November 16 Ice Rink opened at Horton Square, 6 p.m. (225 Broadway)

November 24 Santa’s arrival at Horton Plaza and live entertainment throughout the holidays (6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays)

November 29 NBC 7/39 tree lighting, live broadcast 7:30 p.m., 225 Broadway Epilepsy Foundation’s “Gingerbread City” Gala —THE US GRANT

November 30 Display of Epilepsy Foundation’s “Gingerbread City” Structures at the Downtown Information Center (DIC)

December

December 1 Holiday banners on Broadway

December 3 Seaport Village’s San Diego Christmas10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

December 4, Come see the lights and decorations all over downtown.

December 9 8 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Arthritis Foundation Jingle Bell 5k Run/Walk in Balboa Park

9 a.m.- 2 p.m. - Old Town Trolley shuttles-Balboa Park to Horton Plaza

9 a.m. –1 p.m. - Snow at Park at the Park, PETCO Park (Sponsored by a Special Group of Downtown Realtors)

7 a.m.- 2 p.m. - NBC Toys for Tots Drive (kicks off December 8, from 6 a.m.-6 p.m.)

10 a.m. –4 p.m. - Gaslamp Historic Foundation open house at the William Heath Davis Home- Fourth & Island avenues

11a.m.–2:30 p.m. -Children’s Museum/Museo de los Niños San Diego special activities at NBC’s Peacock Plaza

12 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. - Gingerbread House Building Contest- student teams from four downtown schools and judges from San Diego High School’s Art Department at NBC’s Peacock Plaza (Sponsored by Downtown Residential Marketing Alliance)

December 16 Harbor House Seaport Village- Breakfast with Santa

Enjoy Holiday Festival, Tree Lighting, Parade in Chula Vista on Dec. 2

Begin your holiday fun by attending Chula Vista’s annual Holiday Festival, which includes an afternoon of free children’s activities and seasonal musical entertainment. Sponsored by the city’s Recreation Department, the Holiday Festival will be held from 2:30 to 5 p.m. on Dec. 2 in Memorial Park, 360 Third Ave. The tree lighting ceremony, slated for 5:30 p.m., will be followed by the 44th Annual Starlight Parade along Third Avenue.

The Holiday Festival offers a number of entertaining activities for children and their families including pictures with Santa, games, prizes, popcorn, crafts and much more. Live seasonal music and dances, provided by participants from the Recreation Department’s community centers, also will be featured. At 5:30 p.m. Chula Vista Mayor Steve Padilla will light the holiday tree in Memorial Park.

Following the Holiday Festival and tree lighting, the Starlight Parade begins at 6 p.m. on Third Avenue at the corner of H Street and continues to E Street. A number of east/west streets that cross Third Avenue will be closed prior to and during the parade. Those attending either event should watch for traffic signs in the area.

Rancho Guajome Sets The Scene for the Holidays

Historic Adobe Hosts Old-fashioned Rancho Christmas Festivities

Each fall, the staff and docents at Rancho Guajome Adobe begin gathering pinecones and pepper tree branches, and dried fruits and flowers for the annual Rancho Christmas event.

Each of the twenty-eight rooms of the historic adobe is decorated using only natural materials to make wreaths, garlands, centerpieces and other holiday decorations. Children will delight in making candles, caramel apples, cornhusk dolls and more. The whole family will enjoy listening to and watching our Native American storytellers, ballet folklorico dance troupe or other live entertainment. Step onboard a horse-drawn wagon as it travels around the rancho. Then visit our blacksmith as he forges miniature reindeer shoes from steel rods as a souvenir for the kids. All of these activities are free with admission!

Craft vendors and the adobe gift shop will be offering unique and special gifts, perfect for getting a head start on holiday shopping. Authentic Mexican cuisine will be for sale both days. In addition, Saturday will include an expanded evening celebration with the lighting of the luminarias in the courtyard followed by caroling. Hot, mulled cider will be served.

The 10th annual Rancho Christmas event, sponsored by the County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation and the San Diego County Parks Society, is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 25 and 26, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Rancho Guajome Adobe is located at 2210 North Santa Fe in Vista. Tickets are $6 for adults; $3 for children 4 to 12; free for children 3 & under. Parking is free. For more information, call 760-724-4082 or visit www.sdparks.org.

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