Holiday cheer at the farm

Laura Bontemps takes a picture of her son Angelo Garcia, 5, in front of Christmas Tree set up at the Gilchrist Farm "Holidays at the Farm" event Saturday. December 14, 2019. Bobby Block / The Signal.

The holiday season officially began at Gilchrist Farm Saturday with its annual, two-day holiday event, the Holiday Hoedown. 

Residents from all over the community traveled to the farm to experience the farm setting, animals and holiday-related activities. 

“This is the event’s fourth annual holiday event,” said Monica Gilchrist, owner of Gilchrist Farm. “We used to do a horse and rider holiday parade so once we started having larger festivals, we incorporated that into the event.” 

Admission into the event was free to the public, but tickets for different activities within the event could be purchased for $5-10. 

Guests could ride horses and ponies, and participate in different crafts like pinecone decorating or doll making at the craft table. Activities like spear-throwing and archery were some options that guests could choose from, which operated on a rotating schedule. 

Local businesses tabled at the event selling unique and home-made items. Tables sold jewelry while others sold hand-made jewelry boxes made with sparkles and other unique materials. 

Gilchrist Farm also offered a caroling wagon ride, which gave guests a tour of the Gilchrist property. 

Throughout the property, there were different photo opportunities to snap a quick memory. Guests could have their pictures taken by the designated farm photographer in the petting zoo or with Santa Claus. Prints of the photos could be purchased for $8 upon departure from the event. 

“The Festive Petting Zoo” was a popular attraction filled with goats and a pig welcoming guests into the pen. One of the goats was dressed in Santa Claus attire as it stood on top of a haystack watching as the guests passed through the zoo.  

“I loved seeing all of the families, and watching the kids get to touch animals,” said Tristan Ellingsworth, a first-time attendee to the Holiday Hoedown. “I’m not from California, I’m from Oregon, and this made me feel like I was back on my grandpa’s farm for an afternoon.”

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