Temple City citizens gather one chilly night in order to attend the collection of festivities known as “Lights on TC.” The event begins from three o’clock in the afternoon and ends at eight. Although the event was to mainly attract small children, a number of Temple City’s devoted citizens appeared as well.
School and city organizations manage the many booths littering the park. The Parks and Recreation team establish “Toyland” near the library where they teach children how to make reindeer out of cookies and candy. Fliers for the “Royalty Contest” auditions are given out to first-graders who show potential for acting. An area near the driveway to the park is covered in fake snow and young children are allowed to engage in recreation there.
Temple City High School’s Brighter Side Singers dressed in dazzling green occupy the gazebo in the park. There they sing Christmas carols and joyful tunes including “Dancing to the 60’s.”
The Temple City Key Club has its members maintain the “Bounce House” and numerous other tents in the park. Key Club volunteers to help City Hall as an act of service to the community. “I’m happy if I see them happy” says Club President Jennifer Ma, “I like little kids okay.”
The First Lutheran School sells Apple Towers and “Shape Up Temple City” dispenses healthful muffins and brownies in the lunch shelters. Boy scouts offer to sell popcorn to citizens.
The park is visited by children’s heroes including Frosty the Snowman, Strawberry Shortcake, and Spiderman. Nevertheless, nearly all young children and their parents were expectant of the parade featuring jolly St. Nick. Santa is anticipated to arrive through the driveway of Temple City Park; gleeful little children wait along the railing with eager eyes.
A marvelous parade erupts on the street of Las Tunas as the Temple City High School Marching Band precedes the introduction of Santa Claus. The football and cheer teams of local elementary schools follow after the band; they are trialed by the Superstar cheer squad. Santa Claus arrives among the cheer squad in a green locomotive, saying his famous catchphrase, “Ho ho ho ho ho!”
The Temple City Marching Band advances towards the gazebo where Brighter Side singers have left. They begin to play Christmas melodies as Santa Claus walks up to the mayor of Temple City. Santa and Mayor Judy Wong are expected to pull the main electric switch that would light the many Christmas lights adorning the street of Las Tunas. “Even though it is a cold night, they still do it anyways and it is great,” says Temple city High School senior Jeff Lee,” It brings a small community together.”
City residents give their cheer as they see Temple City Park begin to glow with Christmas colors. With the lighting of the spectacular pine tree centered in the Temple City Park, the night eventually drew to a close and citizens gradually returned to their cozy homes.
This article was written by Martin Mao. It was published in the Temple City Voice on January 9, 2008.