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Dickens Village/Holiday Open House

Saturday, Nov. 20, 2004


Dickens Village/Holiday Open House Draws People Downtown, Merchants, Residents Enjoy the Day  Saturday, Nov. 20th, the Chamber of Commerce, downtown merchants, and a group of volunteers put on a "Dickens Village" Holiday Open House, complete with snow, a snowman and "sledding", mule wagon rides, downtown carolers and musicians, craftsman and artist displays, the traditional lighting of the Christmas tree in Kersting Court, and 2 visits from Santa Claus himself.  This was the first time that the streets have been closed off for this event, which I am told was a big surprise to the merchants, who had not been informed by either the Chamber or the City that they would be losing the street parking.  However, by the end of the day, all the merchants I spoke with were quite pleased with the way the event turned out, and the grumbling had pretty much stopped.  Merchants opened their doors and offered refreshments and holiday bargains.  Residents took advantage of the opportunity to stroll downtown, enjoy refreshments for sale by local non-profits and others, and do a little shopping and meeting with friends and neighbors.  The drive-thru ramp beside Bank of the West was covered with ground ice, simulating snow, and children and grown-ups alike enjoyed riding on disks down the converted "snow covered hill."  The mule wagon stayed full most of the evening, though the lines weren't as long as last year.  And Santa gave a hug and a candy cane to hundreds of kids, who described their Christmas wishes to him.  We spoke with several merchants who said that business was brisk, and deemed the event a terrific success.  Congratulations to Mike Puliatch, Karma Bell and the crew of volunteers, and to the Chamber of Commerce for an evening that seemed to be enjoyed by all.  Click on a photo below to see it larger.



With a mountain backdrop, the "horse" and buggy rides began at 2pm

A closer shot of the mules....I mean horses

A happy crowd of buggyriders

This year, the streets were closed off

Hotel Shirley towers behind craft booths

Local artist Ruth Richardson's booth at left, and toasted nuts, too

Sierra Madre Honor Chorus performed


A good sized crowd appreciated their efforts

Chorus again


Why so many chorus shots?  My son's in the front row

Kids enjoy the snowman


Bank of the West "snow" sledding ramp


Kids frolic in the snow

More frolicking

Is there a k in frolicking?

Snowman and friend

SM Woman's Club sold baked goods

Historical Society sold apple cider

Mary's Market had a table with crafts, etc.

Another kid's singing group

Santa arrives

and waves to the crowd

Santa with three of the four SM Rose Princesses

There was a big crowd for Santa

Kid singers wave goodbye to their audience

Carolers in period costume perform on Baldwin Ave.


and again and again


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