By Stephanie Yost
Idyllwild Community Center Board President
This year’s annual Tree Lighting Ceremony, which will be held on Saturday, Nov. 30 at IdyPark, promises to be extra special. Rather than lighting only a single tree as has been done in the past — with the financial sponsorship of several local businesses and organizations — the Idyllwild Community Center (ICC) will be lighting all eight trees in the park to celebrate all roads to Idyllwild now being open.
The sponsors for the traditional large and four other large trees are Ferro and Idyllwild Brewpub, Idyllwild Inn, Griner Construction, Idyllwild Realty, and individual board members of ICC and one of its committees.
The sponsors for the three smaller trees are Idyllwild Heating, Restaurant Gastrognome and the Idyllwild Association of Realtors.
Each sponsor will have an engraved wood sign posted near their tree reflecting their sponsorship, which will remain throughout the holiday season. ICC is very grateful to these businesses for their significant support.
Another change for this year is that all of the booths around the park will be hosted by local nonprofit and community organizations. The purpose of featuring these particular groups is two-fold. First, this allows our community to focus attention on many of our important volunteer groups, including the Idyllwild HELP Center, ARF, Idyllwild Actors Theatre, Living Free, War Horse Creek, Forest Folk, the Philanthropy Education Organization, Friends of San Jacinto Mountain County Parks, Mountain Quilters of Idyllwild, Young Idyllwild, Inc., Idyllwild Board of Realtors, and ICC.
Second, focusing booth participation on organizations such as these will hopefully encourage visitors to do their holiday shopping at Idyllwild’s local businesses, which are an important part of our community and have struggled with our recent road closures.
Like last year, the Tree Lighting Ceremony will showcase three entertainment stages with local talent including Woodburn and Gary Evans, as well as off-the-Hill holiday vocal quartet, the Desert Carolers.
And of course, Doug Austin will continue the annual tradition of reading “The Night Before Christmas” to children of all ages. The event will also feature numerous costume characters, a balloon artist, several themed photo environment opportunities, a “Flip the Switch” raffle (four lucky ticket winners will get to “flip the switch” to light a group of trees) and food vendors.
Last, but certainly not least, there will be the very special opportunity for visits with Santa and cookie decorating courtesy of the Soroptimists. This year, ICC will also have a special “paint your own ornament” activity for children, allowing them to create a keepsake of this wonderful traditional family holiday event.
For booth or other information concerning the event, contact Chris Singer Perrault at 951-659-4335 or [email protected].