By Richard Brown, The American Reporter
The magic of Christmas brought joy to children (and adults, as well) last Friday at The City of Covina’s Tree Lighting Ceremony and Festival held in downtown Covina. In its 32nd year, the festival drew more than a thousand residents to the streets.
According to Lisa Evans, Director of Parks & Recreation and Library Services, this is a must-attend event for locals.
“The Christmas Tree Lighting Festival signifies the beginning of the holiday season in our community. It is a hometown tradition that our residents look forward to each year. Thousands come out to enjoy the festivities, which are highlighted by Santa Claus lighting up the tree! We have Christmas music, Santa Letter writing, pictures with Santa, crafts for kids, horse-drawn wagon rides, train rides, food and merchandise vendors, and more. It is a heartwarming evening filled with holiday spirit!”
Individuals of all ages and ethnicities, representing the diversity of Covina and the surrounding areas, came out to sing holiday carols, shop for hand-crafted presents, eat tasty food, and enjoy an overall festive evening with their loved ones and neighbors.
Santa kicked off the evening’s merriment by lighting the Christmas tree, which contained 1,500 multicolored lights, while onlookers cheered. After the lighting, Santa took photos with the children and accepted letters they’d written to him.
Many of the favorite activities designed for the children’s entertainment were provided free of charge by the H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III Cultural and Art Museum. The trackless train ride; tree decorating arts and craft; and the snowfall experience, which mimicked a wintery scene most southern California children have never experienced, were all sponsored by the center.
Covina’s mayor, Patricia Cortez thanked the center and other sponsors for their dedication to the community.
“We’re very appreciative of all of our sponsors that helped us bring this great event together, especially the H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III Cultural and Art Museum here in Covina. We’ve had A1 Rental, the Covina Kiwanis Club—because it takes a big community to put this together, so we’re so appreciative that we’ve got some great community members that can put together such a beautiful event for our residents.”
In addition to the sponsors, the event was made possible by local volunteers and park staff who spent days decorating the live tree.
The event was sponsored by The City of Covina and the Covina Christmas Parade Committee, along with Downtown Merchants Association and the H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III Cultural and Art Museum.
Residents who didn’t make the tree lighting ceremony can enjoy visiting the tree in downtown Covina through December 31st.
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