This year is anything but normal, but still, I would say there is not a more magical time of year than the holiday season in Santa Clarita. With a chill in the air and decorations on homes and businesses throughout the city, it is easy to get into the holiday spirit. Even though this year is different, we can celebrate the holidays in Santa Clarita style.
Each year, our community looks forward to attending Light Up Main Street in Old Town Newhall, the annual holiday kickoff event in November that saw an estimated 10,000-plus attendees in 2019. However, due to the continuing coronavirus pandemic restrictions, the formal Light Up Main Street event has been cancelled for 2020.
Residents in Santa Clarita can still follow the tradition of seeing the lights and feeling the holiday spirit. This year, as it has been in the past, when you visit Old Town Newhall in November and December, you will be able to see the thousands of lights twinkling along Main Street as the city’s premier arts and entertainment district illuminates each night in celebration of the season.
A giant Christmas tree will welcome visitors, decked out in sparkling lights and dazzling ornaments from its traditional place outside of the Old Town Newhall Library. It has become a family tradition for many residents to get a family photo in front of the beautifully decorated tree, before seeing the rest of the decorations along Main Street. While you are visiting the tree, be sure to stop to admire the new design featuring more than 3,000 ornaments.
The Old Town Newhall Library itself is also decorated, with snowflakes that shine brightly on the sides of the building. Though this location has been the focus of our annual Light Up Main Street event, it is now just the starting point for those wanting to get into the holiday spirit this year.
As you make your way down Main Street, keep your eyes open for the sparkling lights along street poles, in shrubs and around trees that transform this normally Western-themed business district into a festive wonderland, all designed by Jeanna Crawford of Jeanna Loves Christmas. Admiring the lights is an excellent way to pass the time while you visit the many shops and boutiques on Main Street to find the perfect gift for those on your holiday list.
While you wait for an outdoor table at one of the restaurants in Old Town Newhall — or for your to-go order to be completed — visit the variety of decorative light structures that are there to give you a one-of-a-kind opportunity for Instagram-worthy holiday photos. These include a giant ribbon arch welcoming visitors to the area, as well as a 6-foot-tall selfie frame to get festive social media pictures.
It is important to remember to stay safe when you are viewing all the lights and decorations in Newhall. Please refrain from walking in the street and only cross at designated crosswalks and intersections. As there could be a good amount of people to admire Main Street and take photos, avoid grouping together with those not from your household and wear a mask.
Safety is a necessity for drivers, as well. Expect that there will be a greater number of pedestrians in and around Old Town Newhall in November and December to see the decorations, including along busy streets like Lyons Avenue, Railroad Avenue and Newhall Avenue. It is extremely important to drive carefully and keep an eye out for pedestrians, particularly before going through an intersection or making a turn. Let’s make sure everyone stays safe.
The holiday season is one of the most magical times of year. I encourage every resident to visit Old Town Newhall this winter to experience the Santa Clarita holiday spirit we all know and love!
Marsha McLean is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected]