November 26, 2008

Holiday Calendar of Events:

December Nights

Annual Event Features New Activities and Traditional Favorites

Balboa Park December Nights, San Diego’s favorite kick-off to the holiday season, will take place for the 31st consecutive year on Friday, December 5, 5:00-10:00 p.m. and Saturday, December 6, noon-10:00 p.m. In the spirit of the holidays, participating Balboa Park museums open their doors free of charge from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. both evenings. The beloved San Diego event features sparkling lights, theatrical and musical entertainment, and food, food and more food throughout the Park. The largest free community festival in San Diego, December Nights is expected to attract more than 300,000 visitors.

New This Year

· Balboa Park December Nights is all about lights this year as the historic Moreton Bay Fig Tree is illuminated with a custom and artistic holiday design provided by The Old Globe. The tree will be awash with merry and colorful lights, and will join the Spreckels Organ Pavilion and the California Tower as Balboa Park December Night’s holiday icons.

· The Palisades Midway is now the ultimate family zone with new kid-friendly experiences and family entertainment. For the first time, families will get to enjoy Ice Skating in the Park on a full-size ice-skating rink –and a new kid-friendly Taste of December Nights is being relocated to the Palisades also enhancing the family atmosphere.

· Beautiful displays will light the gorgeous Spanish Revival architecture in the Plaza de Panama’s expanded entertainment area– where the new Plaza de Panama stage features San Diego’s own Bon Temps Social Club along with some of the best Cajun/Zydeco bands and dancers from across the country.

· The USA Sevens International Rugby Tournament and Fan Festival will be showcasing the world’s contact sport with interactive games and a rugby clinic on Saturday, December 6th from Noon to 5pm at the Hall of Champions. Bring the family out to learn how to play rugby, win prizes and meet colligate rugby players!

Long-time Favorites

Entertainment, wonderful food and holiday cheer are all part of this classic San Diego celebration. The long-standing traditions of Christmas on the Prado—including food from around the globe at the International Christmas Festival at the House of Pacific Relations Cottages; the charming Santa Lucia Procession at the San Diego Museum of Man; unique gift shopping at the museum stores and with the artisans of Spanish Village; and musical and dance presentations from the San Diego Junior Theatre, San Diego Civic Youth Ballet, Del Cerro Baptist’s Christmas Story Tree and more—fill the heart of Balboa Park.

Weekend Book Fair at Barnes & Noble at the Otay Ranch Town Center to Benefit United Through Reading

There will be a book fair on Saturday, December 6 and Sunday, December 7 at the Otay Ranch Town Center in Chula Vista, that benefits United Through Reading, a nonprofit that helps physically separated families stay connected by having family members read a book while being filmed and then sending the DVD home to younger family members.

The event, which runs from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day, will feature a special holiday story time for children at 2 p.m. on Saturday and 3 p.m. on Sunday in English and Spanish. Grandparents and others who will be away from their younger loved ones during the holidays can be filmed reading a book and sending message of love on a complimentary DVD from 11:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day. 

Books and funds donated will benefit the United Through Reading Transitions Program which helps families separated by incarceration, drug treatment or social services stay connected through reading books aloud. This program allows children with incarcerated parents or siblings to see their loved one in a positive light. 

WHAT: Book Fair, Story Time in English & Spanish and Filmed Book Readings

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 6 and Sunday, Dec. 7
§ Book Fair 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
§ Story time 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 6 & 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 7
§ Filmed Book Readings 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday

WHERE: Barnes & Noble, Otay Ranch Town Center, 2015 Birch Road, Chula Vista, CA 91915

American Idol Star Josh Gracin Headlines Holiday Benefit Concert at Barona for Toys for Tots

American Idol favorite and country music chart topper Josh Gracin will perform a special acoustic set on Saturday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. at Barona Valley Ranch Resort & Casino’s convention center. The concert will benefit Toys for Tots, a U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s program that collects new toys for needy children during the holiday season. Gracin’s self-titled debut album featured a number one hit with “Nothin’ to Lose” and two additional top five hits. His current album, We Weren’t Crazy, is also the name of his most recent top 10 hit, and his current single, “Unbelievable,” is climbing the charts now. As a former member of the U.S. Marine Corps, Gracin was previously stationed at Camp Pendleton. Concert tickets are $15, and attendees are encouraged to bring new and unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots. You must be 18 years or older to attend the concert. To purchase concert tickets or for more information about Toys for Tots, please visit www.barona.com.

Chula Vista Civic Center Serves as Showcase for LED Holiday Lights

Energy efficient LED lighting will light up Chula Vista’s Civic Center complex over the holidays at no cost to the City. The display featuring more than 250 light strands on buildings and palm trees is part of an effort to encourage residents and businesses to make the switch to newer and safer energy saving technology.

By exchanging their traditional incandescent holiday lights for LED (Light Emitting Diode) lighting strands, home-owners can reduce energy costs by up to 90%. Also, LEDs last more than 10 times longer than conventional lights, produce a brighter light and have cooler operating temperatures—making them safe to touch and less likely to cause a fire.

LED technology is already used in digital clock displays, traffic lights, exit signs and other everyday products and signage.

Chula Vista’s holiday lights and installation are fully funded through the City.s Local Government Partnership with San Diego Gas & Electric and the California Public Utilities Commission. Home Depot, which also sells LED holiday lights, is sponsoring the extra energy costs of the display, estimated at $55 for the entire holiday season. The Partnership has allowed the City to upgrade its facilities with more energy-efficient lighting, heating and air conditioning and to install solar energy systems on some of its buildings.

Before the annual Starlight Parade December 6, South Bay residents and businesses will be able to exchange up to three incandescent holiday light strands for energy-efficient, multi-colored LED strands.

The exchange will be held at Memorial Park (373 Park Way) from 2:30-5:30 p.m. Shop Chula Vista for your additional LED holiday lights and other energy conservation lighting and appliances at Home Depot and other retailers throughout the City.

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