A Christmas miracle happened in the Santa Clarita Valley – fresh snow.
Children laughed in the snow, slid down on a hill, and the Grinch and Santa Claus made a special appearance. Hundreds of people came out to participate in Real Life Church’s Snowtacular on Wednesday afternoon.
“Our vision was wanting to have something great for our community,” said Kevin Finkbiner, campus pastor at Real Life Church Valencia. “At the end of a long year, we felt like any way we could bless our city of Santa Clarita, we wanted to do that.”
“What better than to bring some snow down to Southern California,” Finkbiner added.
According to Finkbiner, they contracted with a business based in L.A. that specializes in transporting snow. The company came up with a huge truck with blocks of ice, and they blew 25 tons of snow for the event.
Real Life Church Valencia set up a couple of bounce areas, two different snow areas, three food trucks, and photo opportunity areas with the Grinch and Santa Claus.
Gracie Bicol, of River Village in Newhall, came to the Snowtacular event with her two kids and husband. They were on their way to see Santa Claus.
“We love it. It feels normal,” Bicol said. “(Last year) It was horrible and it was quiet. So, it’s nice to have everybody back out here, like its normal (no pandemic) and having fun.”
Justin Losey, of Valenica, took his family to the event and they have been members of Real Life Church for two years. They had just arrived at the event and were eager to start their fun.
“We’re hoping that we can find some snow for our three kids,” Losey said. “We’re hoping to play in some snow and eat some food.”
Finkbiner said the Real Life Church Valencia hosts community events throughout the year.
“We try to do multiple things a year,” Finkbiner added, “Last year with COVID, we did a big drive-thru where we had more than 2,000 people come through. We collected food with Santa Clarita Grocery and we were able to fill homes with food.”
The Snowtacular event was free for the community.
“We just felt like the church really needs to be there for our city,” Finkbiner said. “We want our city to know that we really care about the people who live here.”
Sean Costello, the adult ministry director for the church, said they want to create events in a place where people can come and have a great time. Costello leads a team of pastors and his responsibilities entail creating a community for adults.
“We’re always trying to think of ways to connect with our community, Costello said. “We’re a church that cares for our community, and we’re here for you.”
Real Life Church Valencia will host five Christmas services throughout the day until 7 p.m.