Santa Claus leads Claremont Village in holiday tree lighting

Jayleen De La Cruz
Staff Writer

The city of Claremont and the Claremont Village Marketing Group collaborated to host the annual Holiday Promenade and Tree Lighting Ceremony on Dec. 1.

Celebrations occurred from Claremont City Hall to the Claremont Depot and had around 1,000 people in attendance.

As friends and family neared the celebrations at the Village, they were met with Christmas lights along the street lamps but were also delayed by the number of people walking the streets and the security guards patrolling.

“They did a really good job with putting protection around this event,” Ontario resident Ramiro Hernandez said. “You can really feel the safety that they provide.”

During the event, people had many activities to choose from. From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., everyone had the opportunity to visit and take pictures with Santa Claus and enjoy the caroling and entertainment. At 6 p.m. people also had the opportunity to enjoy the tree lighting. 

When people first arrived at the event, many of them decided to visit with Santa Claus and his reindeer.

Santa was located at the entrance of Claremont City Hall, where the line to meet him and take a picture wrapped around the building. The walkway and lawn to meet Santa were decorated with Christmas lights, inflatables and arches. 

Live reindeer were also located close by, and people had the opportunity to meet, pet and take pictures with them.

“The live reindeer was the best part,” Claremont resident Mason Prophet said. “My kids got super excited about it.”

After finishing a visit with Santa and the reindeer, most people seemed to transition to the Depot, where people waited for the tree lighting to occur.

The Christmas tree is unique to the city of Claremont as they grow their tree year-round to decorate for the holidays.

The tree was decorated with jumbo-sized ornaments and had a sleigh and presents beside it so people could take pictures. 

Frosty the Snowman was also in attendance taking pictures with families and children.

Before the lighting of the tree, Claremont Mayor Ed Reece welcomed and thanked everyone for attending and for being a part of the celebration.

“We hope that this event helps us encourage people to get to know the small businesses, enjoy their hometown and have fun with the community,” Raymond Garcia, program coordinator for the city of Claremont, said.

At 6 p.m., Santa arrived at the Depot to light the Christmas tree. 

“City of Claremont, what a great holiday spirit you guys have,” Santa Claus said. “Thank you for inviting me to be a part of your tree lighting today.”

Santa then chose one child from the audience to help him turn on the tree. A countdown ensued, letting both the kid and Santa know when to turn the tree on.

The tree was lit with multicolored jumbo lights. 

After the tree lighting, people had the opportunity to take pictures and listen to carolers sing holiday music at the front of the Depot and throughout the Village.

Throughout the event, people also had the opportunity to visit businesses in the Village.

Many of the businesses partnered with the city of Claremont and had the opportunity to pass out goodies and candy to people who passed by.

A special opportunity was also given to children as they were given a stamp card in which their task was to collect stamps from different businesses and at the end, they would take their card to city hall and receive a small prize.

“Having the town come out to be a community and gather around to be happy is always the best part of the event,” Candace Garner, wife of Hendricks Pharmacy owner Brian Garner, said. “The love of the holiday season brings out the spirit of people.”

For more information on future events visit ci.claremont.ca.us.

Jayleen De La Cruz can be reached at jayleen.delacruz@laverne.edu.

Jayleen De La Cruz is a sophomore communication major with a concentration in public relations and a staff writer at the Campus Times for Fall 2023.

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