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Lighting and parade kick off festivities

Downtown-area merchants to open their doors and offer up 12 days of events and merriment.

December 01, 2007|By Rachel Kane

Downtown Burbank’s 12 Days of Holiday Cheer will incorporate more this year than the usual procession of a trumpeted parade and tree lighting.

New business openings in the downtown area throughout the year have brought fresh events to the time-honored tradition preceeding December’s major holidays.

“More and more merchants are getting involved,” said Gail Stewart, manager of downtown activities and events.

RA Organic Spa on North San Fernando Boulevard, which opened early this year, will offer free massages, organic hot teas and snacks from noon to 2 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday for their first time participating in the festivities.

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The Residence Inn by Marriott on First Street, which opened in early November, will host a fireside reading of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” with apple cider, hot cocoa, cookies and an appearance by Santa Claus from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10.

They will also be hosting the Burbank Fire Department’s Spark of Love toy drive’s drop-off point for donations that evening.

An old favorite, the Burbank Community YMCA Reindeer Run for children, will return this year from 8 a.m. to noon Sunday after being on a brief hiatus last year.

“Last year our part of 12 Days [of Holiday Cheer] was we did the festival of trees but that was a really big kind of project and we are so busy with all our things that we do here at the YMCA that we thought we would go back to doing things for the children,” said Susan Sebastian, senior marketing and communications director at the Burbank Community YMCA.

Children will be given red noses and jingle bells to wear for a race down North San Fernando Boulevard between Magnolia Boulevard and Orange Grove.

Hot chocolate and treats will await them at the end of the one-block run.

Children are asked to bring two canned food items for the YMCA’s holiday food drive as entrance fee for the race.

“We’re encouraging the children to experience kind of a little bit of charitable giving this time of year,” Sebastian said.

The 12 days of merriment will remain the same.

Mayor Marsha Ramos and Santa Claus will preside over the tree lighting and parade 6 p.m. today kicking off the 12 consecutive days of revelry.

Ramos said she was looking forward to her second mayor’s tree lighting and the parade and Christmas carols that follow.

“I’ll give a Christmas greeting to everyone and it will just be a lot of fun,” Ramos said.

“It’s one of those times where, being an elected official has its ups and downs and this is definitely one of the ups.”

For a more detailed schedule of the events of Downtown Burbank’s 12 Days of Holiday Cheer, visit www.downtown- burbank.org.


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