By Sarah Worley, Kelly Stachowicz and Bob Bowen
The 32nd annual Downtown Holiday Open House took place Thursday, Dec. 5. It takes a tremendous amount of support and many people to produce this event, which is one of Davis’ oldest community traditions.
The activities included the children’s candlelight parade, the holiday tree-lighting on the E Street Plaza, Santa and Mrs. Claus greeting guests, performances by local musical groups, horse-drawn carriage rides and free showings of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” at the Varsity Theatre.
Thank yous go out to all of the following people and community organizations for their assistance in helping to produce this annual holiday event:
* Debbie Davis, Shawn Collins, Wayne Tilcock and The Davis Enterprise for providing excellent pre- and post-event coverage and for creating the event location and activity schedule map;
* Foreman Shawn Guzik and West Coast Arborists for donating their time and equipment to transport and install the 30-foot-tall redwood tree on the E Street Plaza;
* Park maintenance crew supervisor Jim Bailey, arborist Rob Cain and the city of Davis Parks Division for helping obtain and install the tree;
* Whole Foods of Davis for sponsoring new tree ornaments for 2013;
* Randy Nelson and the Sunrise Rotary Club for assisting with tree lights and the tree-topping star;
* Ron Cowden and Watermelon Music for providing and operating the main stage sound system;
* Julie Cross and the Davis Food Co-op for 20-plus years of hosting and supporting the Children’s Parade. The Co-op provided the starting venue, candles, drip cups and glow sticks for parade participants;
* The Davis High School Cheer Team, parent coordinator Lynn Harter-Killmer and all of the cheer parents for assisting with tree and plaza decorations as well as concession sales and costumed mascots at the event;
* The Davis Police Department, including Lt. Paul Doroshov, volunteer coordinator Kellie Vitaich and all of the reserve officers and cadets who assisted with the parade control and street safety;
* Steve Tracy, Davis Bicycles! and all of the volunteer bicyclists who assisted with the parade control and keeping the participants safe as they walked and rode to the E Street Plaza;
* Unitrans general manager Anthony Palmere and Unitrans drivers for providing the red double-decker London bus for the parade and transporting the Cal Aggie Marching Band-uh to and from the parade;
* Dave “DK” Kemp and Christi Skibbins for assisting Santa and Mrs. Claus as they greeted hundreds of good little children;
* Ken Patel and Royal Guest Hotels for providing the former Dimple Records store site at 212 F St. for Santa and Mrs. Claus to meet the kiddies;
* Kimo Bernauer and A Grand Affair Party & Event Rentals for providing the pipe and drapery for decorating Santa’s venue;
* John Brinley Properties for sponsoring free horse-drawn carriage rides around the downtown;
* Sinisa Novakovic, the Varsity Theatre staff and Davis Downtown for sponsoring free showings of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” at the Varsity Theatre;
* Kristen Tantarelli and Whole Foods of Davis for sponsoring children’s activities by Radio Disney on the E Street Plaza after the tree-lighting;
* Whole Foods of Davis for donating holiday refreshments that were sold as a fundraiser for the Davis High Cheer Team;
* Public works transportation program crew supervisor Eric Spann for providing barricades, road delineators and holiday tree fencing for the E Street Plaza and parking lot;
* City theater coordinator Ajay Raj, driver Jeff Rivard and technician Jackson Jordan for setting up and operating the mobile stage trailer on the plaza parking lot for main stage entertainment;
* The Davis High School Madrigal Choir, director Karen Gardias, the Holiday Caroling Workshop participants and the DHS Jazz Choir for entertaining the assembled crowd with beautiful holiday songs;
* The Madrigal Choir parents, along with Mindy Manville, for coordinating, hauling and setting up choir risers for the main entertainment stage;
* The Grace Valley Carolers for performing outside the Varsity Theatre during the evening;
* Zipcar market fleet coordinator Jordan Usner for temporarily relocating the Zipcars in the plaza parking lot to allow for the mobile stage installation;
* Courtney Tilden of the city’s Community Services Department for assisting with the holiday mascot costumes and supervising the mascot dressing room;
* Leah Housman from UC Davis Athletics for coordinating the appearance of Gunrock, the cheer/dance teams and the Aggie Pack Fire Engine;
* The Cal Aggie Marching Band-uh for marching in the parade and providing holiday music and spirited entertainment after the tree-lighting;
* Davis Downtown, downtown merchants and various downtown offices for their support of this annual holiday tradition;
* The Odd Fellows Lodge and Danny Tomasello for producing the free Thursday Live! holiday music show featuring a variety of local musical groups performing holiday music selections; and
* The Davis Chamber of Commerce for hosting a toy drop-off location for the U.S. Marines Toys for Tots program.
Thanks to the Davis community for your ongoing support and participation. Best wishes and happy holidays to all.
— Sarah Worley, Kelly Stachowicz and Bob Bowen are city of Davis employees.