Hometown Holidays celebration provides opportunities for all


Saya Deshpande

Little kids enjoy music played by the Woodside High School orchestra.

The sight of fake snow and the sounds of Christmas music were just two of the main features of the Hometown Holidays celebration.

The annual Hometown Holidays celebration took place in Downtown Redwood City from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m on Dec. 7. Throughout the day, streets were lined with vendor booths, food trucks, fake snow, and games for children. The afternoon was packed with live performances by the youth.

“[It] is important for youth performers, especially on this stage, to have opportunities to showcase their talent,” said Mike Annuzzi, the entertainment chair for Hometown Holidays.

Performers from all around the Bay Area took the stage in the Courthouse Square, admired by spectators and passersby.

Some of the performers featured were Sequoia High School’s band, Peninsula Ballet Theatre, Sergio Calderon, various dance groups, and Woodside High School’s musical groups.

From Sunnyvale, a group of youth dancers kicked off their performance with a jazz routine.

“When the audience smiles at us when we’re dancing, it helps because we are able to know they’re enjoying it, and it makes the performance more worth it for us,” said Jana Gaskin, one of the dancers. 

However, it wasn’t only a special day for performers, as the attendees had an equally exciting day. 

Bryan Ramirez has gone to this event for the past six years. He enjoys spending time with his family, participating in the holiday festivities, and seeing the youth at this event.

Pullquote Photo

[It] is important for youth performers, especially on this stage, to have opportunities to showcase their talent.”

— Mike Annnuzzi

“This event lets people know who they are, what they sell, and creates a positive impact on the youth in general,” Ramirez said.

Additionally, there were police all around the event area, which made the area safer for the children and allowed parents to feel more relaxed about bringing their kids to the event.

“The fact that I can see the police being here is very reassuring,” said Krysty Charles, a second-time attendee. 

Many people also took part in creating booths and promoting their products. Everyone selling at the event did, however, have to go through an application process months prior. 

Paul Asare was one of the vendors who sold crafts such as wooden animals, necklaces, and bracelets handmade by children.  

“Mainly, a group of teenage kids in Africa make these, and we travel around the country to sell their creations and support them,” Asare said.  

Despite some rain during the day, many still enjoyed the celebration and were able to connect with their community. 

Redwood City will continue to host yearly events similar to the Hometown Holidays celebrations. For more events, visit the Redwood City website

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