The annual Lights on Temple City festivities open up the holiday season for Temple City residents.
Written by KRISTY HSI / Published December 14, 2012
As 5:00 p.m. hits at the Temple City Park on December 6, children happily race towards the now open play areas and booths surrounding the grounds while their parents quickly follow behind. The annual Lights on Temple City festival has just begun.
The snow play areas at the event include a sled ride and a snow fort station. A free face painting booth stands next to the many arts and crafts tables, and the Holiday Express train toots its horn on the streets. On the opposite side of the lawn, visits with Santa fill the kids with happiness and anticipation as fake snow falls from the entrance while a bright light shines on the area. Red and white balloons adorn the entrance, and the entire waiting area is filled with mini Christmas trees wrapped in bright lights, a large blowup snow globe with Mickey, Minnie, and snowmen on the inside, and a Santa’s workshop blow-up balloon model.
Cousins Blanca and Athena are two of the many people waiting in the long line for the Holiday Express train.
“We’ve been coming to this event for a long time, and the train has been here for as long as we know. We always ride it,” said Bianca.
Vicky and her 6 year old daughter, May, await their turn at the sled ride area.
“We come to this festival every time, and whenever there is a festival, we’re here. May loves the sled ride and arts and crafts booths. Personally, I love the free cookies and coffee.” said Vicky.
Feeding these hungry people and giving them warmth are volunteers from the high school, different clubs, and organizations who sell hot chocolate, tacos, and popcorn while others give out free cookies and coffee to anyone who passes by.
At 5:30, the carolers dressed in old-fashioned wear begin to stroll around the park and sing Christmas carols for all to hear. The balloon artists also begin their work as a long line winds around the grass for the artists to make them balloon hats, swords, and dogs.
At 6:00 p.m., the Brighter Side Singers, dressed in sparkly pink dresses and black suits, from Temple City High School perform a series of Christmas carols for all to hear.
At 7:00, the holiday parade with the TCHS band comes marching in and under the veranda with Santa, who helps light the 100 foot tall redwood tree in the center of the park. It is the moment that everyone has been waiting for, and a countdown is started for the lighting. At zero, the many blue, green, orange, yellow, and red lights on the tree spring to life.
Visits with Santa and Holiday Express train rides start again at 7:30 and everyone continues to play until 9:00 p.m. when the event ends.
As the event comes to a close around 9:00 p.m., people begin to gather their belongings and head on home, but the lights around the park continue to shine on for all to see, heading the anticipation for Christmas.