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A head start on the holiday

Pedestrians flock Magnolia Boulevard to get a taste of a range of festivities offered by local businesses.

November 22, 2008|By Anahid Yahjian

Magnolia Park was transformed Friday as thousands flocked to the row of businesses along Magnolia Boulevard for the Holiday in the Park festivities.

A bright red double-decker London-style bus shuttled back and forth along the street, carrying full loads of warmly dressed people to various stops throughout the event. Children and adults filled with holiday spirit could be seen eating popcorn and candied apples, singing along to holiday songs and even freely jaywalking to get to the shops on the opposite side of the street.

Holiday in the Park was organized by the Magnolia Park Partnership, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the Magnolia Park district. The district includes an established residential community of 3,000 homes and hundreds of neighborhood businesses on Magnolia Boulevard between Buena Vista Street and the city limit, and Hollywood Way between Clark Avenue and Chandler Boulevard.

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Armed with Holiday in the Park passports, families and groups of friends hurried to visit at least 12 businesses offering free gifts and treats — passports with 12 stamps from participating merchants were fair game for a prize raffle at the end of the night.

Fresh from a long wait outside Yummy Cupcakes, Clara Gomez, 10, licked a free sample of chocolate peppermint frosting. She came to this year’s event with her mother after having performed a portion of the “Nutcracker” ballet just down the street exactly a year ago.

“I like it a lot,” Clara said of the Holiday in the Park. “It’s really fun.”

A few blocks from Yummy Cupcakes, a group of carolers could be heard singing a cappella versions of traditional holiday songs like “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and “Jingle Bells.”

The carolers asked members of the audience to show off their holiday fashion, prompting a spur-of-the- moment catwalk of enthusiastic Santa-hat wearers.

The aroma of turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes led droves next door to Handy Market, where the poultry department was handing out free samples of their turkey dinner.

“We usually come to the Holiday in the Park,” Sara R. said as she took her sample from the cheerful servers across the counter. “It’s wonderful.”


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