The holiday season officially came to Santee on Friday, November 20, when the annual Holiday Lighting Celebration took place at Santee Trolley Square. Put on by the City of Santee and sponsored by Waste Management, Santee Trolley Square, Daphne’s Greek Cafe, and Fireworks America, the event brought a jolt of spirit to help start the season. Other participants this year included Target, Lowe’s, and the Santana High School cheerleaders. Also on hand were Miss Santee and Miss Teen Santee with their court, and Santa and Mrs. Claus.
I noticed that this year, whether because of the economy or other reasons, the Celebration was smaller than the previous year’s. There was still the music, the lighting of the tree, the iceless skating rink, and the carriage rides, but little more. Gone were the booths that filled the parking lot in front of the amphitheater last year. And the musical entertainment was also toned down, though still festive.
Singing Solo, a local program that provides kids age 6-18 the opportunity to sing in public, provided the pre-lighting music as well as covering for the main music group during their breaks. The Singing Solo artists ranged from six-year-old Emily singing “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” to seventeen-year-old Kelsie doing a rocking version of “Santa on the Rooftop.” Also on the ticket for the evening was the U.S. Navy Band Southwest Brass Quintet with a selection of holiday music.
The highlight of the evening, of course, is always the lighting of the tree on the amphitheater stage. This year host and tree lighting duties were handled by Vice Mayor Brian Jones and his family, with help from the Clauses. Also on hand for the lighting were representatives from the City, Waste Management, Trolley Square, and the Miss Santee court.
The evening was fun, even though lower key than last year. But I do hope that this won’t be a trend for the future and that next year will have the community and business involvement missing this year.
(L-R) Santee Princesses Madison and Michelle, Miss Santee – Sierra Billock, Miss Teen Santee – Nicole Ehlke, Miss Congeniality – Maria Maes, Miss Teen Santee First Runner-Up – Taylor Shelton, Miss Teen Santee Third Runner-Up – Rebecca Hudson, Santee Princess Miranda
Lighting the Tree
Santana Cheerleaders at the Cookie Decorating Station
Santee Chamber of Commerce’s Own Reindeer (?) Greets the Clauses