Santa Claus is coming to town!

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The Canyon Lake POA will kick off the holiday season this Sunday, Dec. 2. The lodge will come alive and turn into a winter wonderland with a ceremonial tree lighting, a special visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus and a variety of free holiday entertainment and activities.

It takes the efforts of many to bring the magic of the season together for the community. The POA and the Jr. Women’s Club are teaming up again this year to present the 37th annual Tree Lighting Festival.

This free family-friendly event kicks off in front of the lodge at 4 p.m. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be escorted by fire truck to the lodge where they will make a grand appearance in front of hundreds of children who await them. The jolly duo is expected to arrive at 5:30 p.m.

With Mrs. Claus by his side, Santa will flip the switch to light up the massive lodge tree decorated with thousands of lights.

After the tree lighting, Santa and Mrs. Claus will take a seat by the Christmas tree in the Holiday Bay Room. Children are welcome to visit and take photos with them. Parents are encouraged to bring their cameras.

The highlight for the children is Santa Claus himself but there also will be a number of fun holiday-themed activities happening on the lodge grounds. There will be a performance by the JDI dancers at 4 p.m. At 4:15 p.m., the community will be treated to musical performances by Canyon Lake resident Makayla Phillips, who won the “Golden Buzzer” on the television show America’s Got Talent, and Kodi Lee, a prodigious savant who possesses extraordinary musical abilities.

Other activities include rides, bounce houses, food and merchandise vendors, face painting and a holiday photo booth.  All entertainment and activities are free except for the vendor and food booths.

Food and beverage vendors include Juanita’s Sweets and Tacos, Big Mama’s Hot Dogs, iVibe Beverages. The Lighthouse Restaurant & Bar will be selling pizza by the slice.

The Jr. Women’s Club will be collecting new unwrapped toys at their booth for Toys for Tots. Everyone who donates a toy will receive a ticket for the raffle.

Organizers of the event would like to remind residents to dress warmly for this event as most of the activities will be outdoors.

Animals, with the exception of service animals, are not permitted at the lodge. The Lighthouse Restaurant and Bar will be open during this event. One Guy and a Chick will be performing at 6 p.m. in the lodge lounge.

For more information, contact the POA at 951-244-6841 or visit the POA website at canyonlakepoa.com.

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Donna Ritchie