Santa shows up for breakfast and tree-lightings


Santa Claus was busy last weekend, arriving by boat Saturday morning for the Ski Club’s Breakfast with Santa; then catching a ride in a fire engine for the Towne Center Winter Carnival on Saturday and the Lodge Tree-Lighting Festival on Sunday.

Winter Carnival

In the Towne Center, Santa assisted outgoing Mayor Jordan Ehrenkranz with the lighting of the tree in front of City Hall. The Family Matters Club went all out to provide free activities for families. These included rides on a colorful train and mini horse and carriage; a petting zoo with llama, turkey, bunnies, goat and other farm animals; a craft zone for making ornaments, mini gingerbread houses and letters to Santa; and a face-painting station and carnival games where children could earn tickets for the prize table.

So many people were on hand to enjoy the cocoa provided by Pepe’s, a second run had to be made to buy more at Stater Bros, while a variety of cookies were happily gobbled by young and old.

Vendors joined in the Christmas spirit by decorating their booths with twinkling lights and decorations. They offered items for sale, and also donated an item for the drawing. One of the special items in the drawing was a Hoverboard.

On hand for singing and dance performances were the Choraleers, the Twirlers, Canyon Lake Middle School, the Royal Court, Limitless Dance Studio, and voice students of Aprile DeAnne, owner of Just For Gifts in the Towne Center. A “blizzard” briefly blew through, giving children a taste of “White Christmas.”

Tree Lighting Festival

On Sunday, families had another treat in store at the Lodge Tree-Lighting Festival. The Jr. Women’s Club arranged for Santa and Mrs. Claus to arrive by fire engine and take pictures with families. They also sponsored two bouncers and a free tattoo booth.

The Canyon Lake Property Owners Association sponsored two balloon artists, an ornament-making booth, the airplane ride, six employees, two food vendors and free cocoa and cookies. The POA also sponsored Mike Shroyer of Good Time Entertainment, who organized the talent and provide special lighting and “snow.” The POA also paid for the City and Health Department fees to hold the event.

The JWC collected cans and coats for HOPE, with the Girl Scouts collected donations for Animal Friends of the Valleys and Operation Christmas Child. Here are scenes from these two events. More photos can be found in the B-Section and at


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Donna Ritchie