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Hometown Holidays spreads Christmas joy

In+the+Hometown+Holidays+festival%2C+a+SamTrans+bus+with+Christmas+lights+drives+through+the+parade.+Hometown+Holidays+is+held+annually+on+the+first+Saturday+in+December.
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Hometown Holidays spreads Christmas joy

In the Hometown Holidays festival, a SamTrans bus with Christmas lights drives through the parade. Hometown Holidays is held annually on the first Saturday in December.

In the Hometown Holidays festival, a SamTrans bus with Christmas lights drives through the parade. Hometown Holidays is held annually on the first Saturday in December.

Ailee Lim

In the Hometown Holidays festival, a SamTrans bus with Christmas lights drives through the parade. Hometown Holidays is held annually on the first Saturday in December.

Ailee Lim

Ailee Lim

In the Hometown Holidays festival, a SamTrans bus with Christmas lights drives through the parade. Hometown Holidays is held annually on the first Saturday in December.

Ailee Lim, Staff Writer

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As the seasons change and fall rolls into winter, Christmas celebrations begin.

The annual Hometown Holidays celebration took place on Dec. 1 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Some activities featured were a craft and children’s fair, photos with Santa, fake snow, a parade, a tree lighting, and performances from different teams. Families from all around the Bay Area gathered for the festivities.

“I went with my mom, dad, and brother. We usually go every year,” said Antara Sengupta, a junior.

It began in the morning with performances held in front of the Fox Theater. Some of the performers featured were Sequoia High School’s band and choir, CA Kung Fu and Tai Chi Institute, Woodside High School’s string orchestra, jazz band, jazz combo, and vocal ensemble, along with many other performances throughout the day.

After they performed individually, officers cleared the streets and loads of people gathered on the sidewalks for the beginning of the parade. In total, over 20 groups walked in the parade.

It started off with loud Christmas music playing as police officers dressed as Christmas characters kicked off the parade. Other groups also performed during the parade, like San Carlos Children’s Theater, who sang Mary Poppin’s Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious along with other classic songs.

As the day turned to night, the parade was illuminated by holiday lights. Many of those in the parade either held lights or had a float decorated with them. SamTrans had a bus that was covered in lights and had bright reindeer in the front. The fire station concluded the parade with a fire truck with holiday lights on it.

After the parade, people gathered around two large Christmas trees that were decorated with bright red, green, and white lights.

Near the trees was Kenny the Clown, a children’s entertainer who brought along a bubble machine for children and handed out balloon animals.

“I love what I do, they say if you do what you love you don’t have to work a day in your life. Just spreading joy and happiness and seeing faces light up the best part of my job” said Kenny the Clown.

Along with free balloons, Stanford Children’s Hospital handed out free Starbucks hot chocolates and candy canes along with pamphlets to anyone who wanted one.

“We’re just part of the greater community and we want to make people aware that Stanford Children’s Hospital is here for the health of the women and children of the community,” said Zena Kharsa, an OB-GYN physician.

Live music was also featured throughout the day. The last band to perform was Sons of Jubal, also known as SOJ Big Band. They began playing over 20 years ago and have gone through member changes over the years, but their music has stayed the same, performing Big Band and traditional ballroom dance music. They performed Christmas songs, some instrumental and some featuring the voice of Ramona Snyder, the main vocalist of the band.

“I joined the band because I love Big Band music like Frank Sinatra. We need to show the younger generation this kind of music so it doesn’t die out,” Snyder said.

Snyder also loves performing Christmas music and the holidays in general.

“I love the presence of people. Not presents as in gifts but presence. I love meeting with people for the holidays and spending time with family,” Snyder said.

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About the Contributor
Ailee Lim, Staff Writer

Ailee Lim is a junior at Carlmont High School. She likes animals and enjoys writing about current events.

@aileelim0

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Hometown Holidays spreads Christmas joy