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Area cities plan activities to mark Christmas season

Area cities are planning a number of programs to usher in the Christmas season, headed by Christmas tree lightings the first week of December.

The Alhambra Chamber of Commerce conducts its annual tree lighting ceremony from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Dec. 4 in the Renaissance Theatre Plaza, Main Street at Garfield Avenue.

There are holiday crafts for children, live entertainment, refreshments and free pictures with Santa Claus.

Information: (626) 282-8481.

Bellflower conducts its annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 4 at Friendship Park, Bellflower Boulevard at Belmont Street. It includes holiday crafts, carolers and refreshments, a visit with Santa Claus and a rink for roller skating or scooters.

The Mayfair High School Vocal Ensemble performs a variety of holiday songs. Refreshments will be served, including complimentary peach cobbler donated by Johnny Rebs’ Restaurant, and coffee and hot cocoa provided by Starbucks.

Information: (562) 804-1424, ext.2261.

The city also sponsors a free Children’s Holiday Party from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 12 at Simms Park, 16614 Clark Ave.

Planned are crafts, holiday activities, refreshments and a visit with Santa.

Information: (562) 866-7510.

Commerce conducts a tree lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. Dec. 7 in front of City Hall, 2353 Commerce Way.

There is caroling, live entertainment, refreshments and a visit from Santa Claus.

Information: (323) 722-4805.

Downey’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony is from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 7 at the Civic Center, 11111 Brookshire Ave.

There is snow play in artificial snow, arts and crafts, live entertainment and a visit from Santa Claus.

Food is sold by the Downey Rose Float Association, a nonprofit group that builds the Downey float for the Jan. 1 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena.

Information: (562) 904-7238.

Huntington Park officials throw the switch to light the Christmas tree in front of City Hall, 6550 Miles Ave., in a program from 4 to 9 p.m. Dec. 2.

There is live entertainment from carolers and performances by youngsters from local schools, refreshments and a visit with Santa Claus.

State Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Long Beach, who has a branch office in the Huntington Park City Hall, is co-sponsor of the event and asks those attending to bring a toy for distribution to deserving children.

Information: (323) 584-6218.

In Lynwood, officials will light a Christmas tree in front of City Hall, 11330 Bullis Road, in a program from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Dec. 3.

There is live entertainment, refreshments, carolers and a visit with Santa Claus.

Information: (310-603-0220, ext. 319 or 429.

Monterey Park gives equal time to The Grinch, who appears with Santa Claus at a Christmas tree lighting from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 4 in Barnes Park, 350 S. McPherrin Ave.

There are game booths, children’s activities and carolers. Refreshments are served.

Information: (626) 307-1388.

Norwalk lights its Christmas tree at 6 p.m. Dec. 5 to conclude its Snow Fest, which begins at noon on the north lawn of City Hall, 12700 Norwalk Blvd.

There is snow sledding and snow play, game booths, face painting, arts and crafts, live entertainment on stage and food booths.

Santa and Mrs. Claus and their helpers are expected to arrive on the Santa Sleigh, operated by a private group, that evening.

In addition, residents may visit the Hargitt House Museum, 12426 Mapledale St., between 1 and 4 p.m. Dec. 19, to view holiday decorations from the turn of the 20th century, entertainment and refreshments.

Information: (562) 929-5700.

Pico Rivera conducts its annual tree lighting ceremony from 3 to 7 p.m. Dec. 6, at City Hall, 6615 Passons Blvd.

There are a variety of holiday activities, including music from the Grammy Award-winning Mariachi Divas as well as other live entertainment.

Other activities include holiday arts and crafts, food and a visit from Santa and his sleigh.

Santa is available to pose for pictures and collect letters from children.

Admission to the holiday festival is free, but there is a nominal fee for food.

Information: (562) 801-4430.

In Santa Fe Springs, the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony takes place from 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 5 in the Soaring Springs Plaza at the Civic Center, 11700 Telegraph Road. Officials pull the tree light switch at 7 p.m.

Entertainment will be offered by the Masters of Harmony, a singing group, along with local students and children from the city’s child care program, a spokesperson said.

There will be holiday crafts and activities. Children ages 3 to 11 may have free photos with Santa’s elves and reindeer and Frosty the Snowman.

Pictures with Santa will cost $2, the spokesperson said.

Information: (562) 868-0511.

South Gate starts its Christmas festivities with a tree lighting ceremony beginning at 4 p.m. Dec. 3 in front of City Hall, 8650 California Ave.

Members of the City Council throw the switch. There is music from the South Gate High School marching band and various community performing groups.

Information: (323) 563-5447.

The Whittier Uptown Association conducts its free Holiday Sonata from 4 to 9 p.m. Dec. 5

The Sonata includes merchant open houses, music and dance performances, carriage rides and vendor booths, plus a Santa’s Village for children in the area of Greenleaf Avenue and Philadelphia Street.

Where sidewalks are wide enough, merchants may set up small tables in front of their stores for giveaways and holiday product displays.

Live entertainment takes place at 6724 Greenleaf Ave., a city-owned grassy lot with food vendors in an adjoining alley.

Santa’s village is on a city-owned parking lot between the Cellar Room and Sage Restaurant, 6511 Greenleaf.

There are five free horse-drawn carriage rides with stops at Santa’s Village, a Greenleaf merchant to be determined, the Whittier Village Cinemas, 7038 Greenleaf Ave.; and the Whittier Uptown Association office at 6717 Bright Ave.

The city of Bell conducts its annual Christmas Fiesta from noon to about 4 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Community Center, 6250 Pine Ave.

There is artificial snow for snow play and sledding, live entertainment, game booths, an obstacle course, refreshments and a visit from Santa Claus. The first 700 children under 12 receive a small gift.

Parents may take pictures of their children with Santa.

Information: (323) 588-6211.

Cudahy  conducts its holiday program from 8 a.m. to noon Dec. 20 at Clara Park, 4835 Clara St.

Santa Claus will be on hand and small toys are distributed.

There are activities and entertainment.

Attendance is free but a pancake breakfast at 8 a.m. costs $5 per family.

Information: (323) 733-5143.