Tag Archives: Holiday Lighting Celebration

2009, A Santee Review – Part 4

We have gone back over 2009 in chunks: first January through April, then May and June, and last July through September. And now, at long last, we reach the final months of the year.

The first event I covered in October was the monthly Chamber of Commerce After-5 Mixer, this time at Pinnacle Peak Steak House. This restaurant has been in Santee for many years, and has built a reputation on their food – which is quite delicious. For the Mixer they set out some of their pork ribs and signature baked beans, along with other goodies. It was one of the best-attended Mixers I’ve seen.

The main event for the month was the annual Chamber Awards Night, this year held at Barona Resort and Casino. This is an opportunity to recognize the people and businesses that help make Santee a special place to live. Among the recipients in 2009 were Ronn Hall Insurance as Small Business of the Year, GTM General Discount Store as Medium Business of the Year, and Barona Resort and Casino as Large Business of the Year. There was also special recognition for Santee’s two adopted USMC units: 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines from Camp Pendleton and Heavy Helicopter Squadron 462 from Miramar MCAS.

Other posts for October included previews and promotions for the CYT East production of Bridge to Terebithia, a Chamber Business Partnership presentation, Grossmont Center’s Shop for a Cure to support the Sharp Grossmont Hospital Breast Health Navigator Program, and the Auction Stampede 2009 fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Clubs of East County.

November featured two grand openings. The first was Aloha Pet Grooming, located on the west side of Santee; the second opening was Nutrition Zone in the Vons Center. Both are on Mission Gorge Road. Both of these were very well attended, and showed the feeling of community and support Santee has for new businesses. A very special event, although I didn’t get a post up until December, was a fundraiser held at Philippi’s Pizza for a young Santee girl severely injured in an auto accident.

Also in November was the annual Santee Pancake Breakfast to support Santee Santas. This event is held at Fire Station 4 and is hosted by the Santee Firefighters and the San Diego Sheriff’s Department. The Firefighters cook, the Deputies serve, and the community gets involved both as donors and sponsors and as hungry guests. All proceeds go toward helping struggling families in Santee.

December kicked off with a preview of the annual Taste of Santee Mixer, then went back to cover two important November events. The first of these was the fundraiser at Philippi’s Pizza Grotto to help the family of Jordyn Niemiec, who was severely inured in an auto accident in October. The event was coordinated by a wonderful group of family and friends who call themselves Team Jordyn, Philippi’s donated a room and a percentage of proceeds, and host duties were shared by local radio personality Clint August and businessman/DJ Thomas Hootman. People came literally from all over East County to help this little girl and her family, donating a total of nearly $8,000.

The other big November event I wrote about in December was the annual Holiday Lighting Celebration at Santee Trolley Square. The Celebration always includes music, community booths, carriage rides, and the lighting of the tree on the amphitheater stage. This year’s entertainment featured Singing Solo and the U.S. Navy Band Southwest Brass Quintet. Even though the overall event was a bit lower-key than the previous year’s, everyone seemed to have a lot of fun.

December’s big event was the annual Taste of Santee Mixer, which raises funds, food, and toys for Santee Santas. Union Bank in the CVS/Best Buy Center hosts this evening, which brings together restaurants and other food businesses with Chamber members and other community members. Among the dignitaries attending were Mayor Randy Voepel, Councilmember John Minto, Chamber CEO Warren Savage, and incoming Chamber President John Olsen.

Just before the holiday school break, the Lakeside Middle School Show Choir performed a selection of holiday songs at the Trolley Square Amphitheater. The Lakeside Farms Elementary School choir joined the older kids in sharing the musical fun. Other stories I covered in December were a DUI checkpoint conducted by the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, the planned closure of SR-67 for construction, and the demolition of the old Edgemoor Hospital facilities. Finally, I started off a new Business Spotlight with a post on Prestige Beauty Supply.

This brings us to the end of 2009 – a year with its share of bad news, but still a lot of positives for Santee. January 2010 will bring us new challenges as well as new opportunities to show just what it is that makes this city special. The first event of the year will be the annual Chamber of Commerce Installation Dinner for the new officers. I also plan to continue On Food Patrol and Business Spotlight, and I plan to kick off a Meet Your Neighbor series to introduce you to some of the people who make Santee special.

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Santee Kicks Off the Holiday Season

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

Carriage Ride

Real Horsepower

Carolers

Santana Cheerleaders at the Cookie Decorating Station

Santee Chamber of Commerce’s Own Reindeer (?) Greets the Clauses

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Holiday Season Has Arrived

Holiday Lighting Celebration

Yes, the Holiday Season has officially arrived in Santee.  Friday night (November 21) was the Holiday Lighting Celebration at Santee Trolley Square, complete with Santa Claus, Princesses, music, food, and lots of fun.  A very large crowd took part in the festivities, a welcome reminder that not all is gloom and doom as the news media seems to show these days.

Business and Community BoothsThe activities centered around the amphitheater, where Santa Claus and Mayor Randy Voepel were joined by the Miss Santee and Miss Santee Teen princesses for the actual lighting.  On the Target side were various community and business booths, including Camp Bow Wow, Waste Management, the Park and Recreation Department, Verizon, and KSON.  Several of the booths had prize wheels to spin along with a variety of goodies and trinkets to win.  This year the celebration included an iceless skating rink made of waxed plastic resin panels.  I didn’t try it out – not with my back – but the people who were out there seemed to be doing just fine and having a good time.

 

Iceless Skating

On the other side of the center were several craft and activity booths staffed by Lowe’s, Target, and the Santana Cheerleaders.  There were also carriage rides, which were very popular.  And of course, after his tree lighting duties Santa made time to meet the children who had come down.

Entertainment in the amphitheater was provided by the country band Southbound Jonny and the West Hills High School Choir.  Unfortunately the amplification wasn’t set up well for the choir, so it was difficult to hear this talented group of teens.  But Southbound Jonny was definitely a big hit, and had people dancing and singing along.

Thanks to all of the businesses and groups that donated time, talent, money, and more to make this a successful celebration.

Mayor Randy Voepel fires the shot that lights the tree

"The Shot"

 

Lighting the Tree

Fireworks – Always a nice touch

Fireworks

Mayor Randy Voepel – the Hardest Working Man in Santee – with
Miss Santee, Heather DePriest, and Miss Santee Teen, Lizzie Lingasin

Mayor, Miss Santee, Miss Santee Teen

KUSI Interviews Mayor Voepel

KUSI Interviews Mayor Voepel

Dancing to Southbound Jonny

Dancing to Southbound Jonny

The Lovely Runners Up

Runners Up

 

L-R: Sierra Billock, Miss Congeniality; Heather DePriest, Miss Santee, Kimberly Swank, Miss Santee First Runner Up; Maria Maes, Miss Santee Teen Fourth Runner Up; Lizzie Lingasin, Miss Santee Teen; Melissa Green, Miss Santee Second Runner Up; Cara Henson, Miss Santee Teen Third Runner Up; Michelle Green, Miss Santee Teen Second Runner Up; Emily Zobel, Miss Santee Teen First Runner Up

Miss Santee Princesses

West Hills High School Choir Entertains

West Hills High School Choir

The Popular Carriage Rides

Carriage Rides

Southbound Jonny Is…

Jon Watson – Lead Vocals and Acoustic Guitar

Jon Watson

Glen Wolff – Lead Guitar and Vocals

Glen Wolff

Dave Largent – Drums and Vocals

Dave Largent

Dave Edelman – Fiddle and Madolin

Dave Edelman

Giorgio Tupanjanin – Bass

Giorgio Tupanjanin

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