Santa Visits Lafayette Plaza


Casey Miller, News Editor

Lafayette’s first annual winter festival, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” was attended by over 100 Lamorinda citizens on December 6. The festival ran from 4-7 pm, and offered activities for children and adults. The celebration took place in the Lafayette Plaza.

The headliner of the festival arrived at 4:30pm via Lafayette’s “Old Betsy” fire truck. Four police officers rode in cars and on motorcycles, in front of and behind Old Betsy.

“How often do you get to say that you escorted Santa?” said officer Jim Black.

“Lafayette is my favorite town in the world!” Claus added after spending thirty minutes taking photos with children listening to them tell him what they wanted for Christmas.

The event was presented by the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by Lafayette realtor Dana Green and Branagh Development. The celebration persevered in spite of rain. Just after four o’clock, the light drizzle began. However, with an abundance of pop-up tents and families prepared with rain boots and heavy coats, the event continued.

The festival also featured local students singing carols, including Burton Valley Elementary School third graders and Stanley Middle School choir students.

Three food trucks catered the event, providing warm meals for cold children and their families. The Melt, a popular food truck from San Francisco that specializes in gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, was a hit among the younger children.

Charities and other organizations set up under pop-up tents surrounding the plaza, hoping the holiday spirit would encourage donations. Youth Homes, a Contra Costa County organization that provides foster homes for children ages 11-17, was one of the organizations.

Youth Homes representative Laurel Pendleton said, “One of our homes is located here in Lafayette, so it made sense for us to get some awareness about what is happening in your community and how the neighborhood and the residents here can help kids who are out of their families for the holidays, or for their lives.”

“It’s a season of giving and wanting to give back, and sometimes our kids are in the schools, they are out and about, and sometimes you don’t necessarily realize who a foster kid is,” Pendleton said.

Whole Foods provided gingerbread cookies and special holidays bags with edible goodies for the younger children.

Campo senior Kendall Green, daughter of realtor Dana Green, said, “The kids are writing what they love about Lafayette, and then we’re posting them around on the red Christmas tree paper. My mom is putting it on, and I just wanted to help and give back to the community.”

The event concluded after Santa Claus left and the Lafayette holiday tree was lit..