LA MESA – So far the holiday season has been dominated by early sales and school events, but La Mesa is about to shift gears a bit with some of the classic holiday events just starting.
This Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., the Village Merchants’ Association will host what has become one of the city’s iconic annual events – Christmas In the Village. The event description – La Mesa Boulevard is blocked off and the street filled with vendors, food and entertainment – might sound a lot like Oktoberfest, but it is really quite different.
There are vendors, but not nearly the amounts that crowd the Oktoberfest venues. Most deal with Christmas crafts and in the past this has been the perfect “stocking stuffer’’ location. There are more local music events as local schools take turns entertaining at a number of locations through the avenue, which will also feature a number of fire pits that locals often sit around and sip coffee. Carriage rides lend a real Christmas feel to the event as well.
And to make it truly one of the more family friendly events of the year, the Reader’s Inc. book store has invited more than a dozen authors to appear just outside that establishment. Purchasing a Christmas book directly from the author is one of the great ways to engage young minds in the value and fun of reading.
On Sunday this week
, one of the best Christmas caroling experiences is offered in the magical space atop Mt. Helix. The Mount Helix Park Foundation will run the traditional free shuttle buses from the fire station on Vivera Drive.
Guests will be met as they disembark at the mountaintop outdoor theater by the Full Measure Carolers. Santa will be on hand to meet with children and then everyone sits and joins in the group carol sing-a-long lead by “That Music Lady Gina Seashore.’’ Buses for this event start at 5:30 p.m. and the caroling will begin at 6:30.
For those unfamiliar with these top of Helix events, a couple of suggestions: Come early. Dress warmly and bring a blanket and flashlight. The small inconvenience of needing a shuttle to the top is more than overcome by the camaraderie and the beauty of the night lights that surround Helix.