Town celebrates holidays in a big combined event

Cameron Tate, 2, slides down the snow hill on his grandmother's lap. His family came up from Riverside to visit.

YUCCA VALLEY — Children played in the snow and shared their wishes with Santa Claus at the Holiday Celebration hosted by the town and Hi-Desert Nature Museum at the community center Saturday. The event attracted over 1,000 people.

The event included a snow play day, holiday games and activities in the community center courtyard, the Holiday Craft Faire in the Yucca Room and Santa Claus inside the museum.

The huge pile of snow filled about a quarter of the Town Hall parking lot. It was divided into a play area and a tobogganing area where kids were able to slide down a slope on discs.

“We had 20 tons of snow due to the generosity of the snow sponsors, the Morongo Basin Healthcare District, Burrtec and the Senior Club. We couldn’t have done it without them,” said Sue Earnest, community services manager.

“An Indio company, Arctic Glacier, brought up blocks of ice and they shaved it into snow right in front of us.”

Kids waited in a fairly short line to sit on Santa’s lap and whisper their secret desires into his ears.

One little girl, Brooklyn King, 5, said, “All I want for Christmas is my grandma,” who is currently on home hospice.

“We used to have a huge line for Santa. We got parent feedback and made appointment cards in 15-minute increments. It helped the crafters because people were able to spend the time shopping, or the kids could play in the snow,” said Earnest.

The Yucca Room of the community center was filled with 52 vendors selling their holiday wares and handmade gift selections. The show is so popular, there was even a vendor waiting list. One of the main criteria to be a vendor is the wares must be handmade and sold by either the artist or a close family member.

The holiday spirit will continue at the 21st annual Festival of Light Parade at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 8 along Santa Fe Trail, starting at Bannock Trail and ending at Inca Trail at the Hi-Desert Water District. This year’s parade will be hosted by the Yucca Valley Rotary Club.

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