By Mayor Laurene Weste
The decorations are up, there is a chill in the air and citizens throughout Santa Clarita are preparing for the upcoming holidays. It truly can be the most wonderful time of the year!
I am so honored to serve as your mayor and thankful for all Santa Clarita has to offer our residents. During this joyous and festive season, we should all take time out of our days to appreciate the most valuable gifts in life, including our family, our friends and the natural beauty we see around us.
As you make your holiday shopping list, and of course check it twice, I hope you to frequent our local businesses. Supporting local business owners and retailers in our City is an excellent way to give back to our special community and this benefits us all in a number of ways.
Whether you are purchasing for family, friends or coworkers you don’t have to leave Santa Clarita to find the perfect gifts. Our local stores will have everything from toys to home goods and to specialty items. You can also stop into one of the many unique and creative studios throughout our beautiful City, including in Old Town Newhall, to make a handcrafted and thoughtful gift! While you’re there, be sure to stop by some different art galleries and storefronts for lovely, quality pieces you will treasure and enjoy a meal or coffee break at one of the fine restaurants in the area.
Visiting retail locations, such as the mall or big box department stores, is a good idea because your local sales tax dollars go right back into programs and services for all our residents, such as public safety, parks, trails, libraries and our community centers. You can also see some of the best decorations for the holidays inside the Westfield Valencia Town Center, as well as along Main Street in Newhall and in front of the Old Town Newhall Library.
Speaking of decorations, have you decided on which day you want to take the Holiday Light Tour? The annual event put on by Santa Clarita Transit is back for 2017 and will take you on a tour of some of Santa Clarita’s best displays of holiday décor. The Holiday Light Tour takes place Thursday – Saturday, December 21 – 23, and starting at 6 p.m. and it truly is a wonderful experience.
If you are interested in taking the tour, which lasts for approximately 45 minutes, aboard a classic wooden trolley or local Dial-A-Ride vehicles, groups will leave regularly from the McBean Regional Transit Center (24375 Valencia Blvd.) and the last trip will depart at 9 p.m. Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis and tickets for the tour can be purchased for $3 once onboard. Santa Clarita Transit will also offer a free ticket to anyone who donates a canned food item. You can learn more about the Holiday Light Tour and see a list of suggested donations by visiting SantaClaritaTransit.com.
From the bottom of my heart, I want to wish you and your family Happy Holidays and a wonderful and safe New Year.
Mayor Pro Tem Laurene Weste is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at email@example.com.