The Jingle Fest holiday festival had hundreds of vendors selling unique products so attendees could begin their holiday shopping at Central Park on Saturday. A Veteran of the Year award was also presented to local advocate Jeffrey Stabile.
The festival had over 270 artisans and crafters specializing in various artistic talents selling their products in the second annual installation. Tammy Rossen-Wheeler, owner of Strawberry and Fig and host of Jingle Fest, said that last year it was such a huge success people wanted her to host it again.
“I just feel that the community … we need more in this town of communities getting together. Family events, more events with music. It fell on Veterans Day, which made it where we could do a veteran’s celebration also and incorporate it,” said Rossen-Wheeler.
Hundreds of tents were set up with vendors selling all kinds of unique gifts. Products being sold were handmade purses, jewelry, original artworks, pastries, clothes, handmade quilts, and much more.
“It’s such a great place to get a unique personalized gift for the holidays. Shopping at these events allows you to find unique, personalized gifts and supports artists to continue their talents,” said attendee Marissa Elbert.
To celebrate individuals who have served, Rossen-Wheeler contacted the Santa Clarita Veteran Services Collaborative to set up a booth at the event to network with the community and shed light on their services.
Assemblywoman Pilar Schiavo, D-Chatsworth, presented the Veteran of the Year Award to Stabile, director of business development for Santa Clarita Veteran Services Collaborative. He served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War era as an airman and led 140 airmen before the age of 21, said Schiavo.
“The thing that really strikes me about Jeff and why we really wanted to honor him today is because his service has not stopped. He continues to serve our community and serve veterans in our community every single day. He’s actively involved and a leader of the veterans collaborative,” Schiavo said. “The veterans collaborative really serves an important role in our community to make sure that we’re connecting veterans with the support and services and resources that they need … to thrive … and because of his advocacy and his leadership.”
Stabile was given a plaque in front of Jingle Fest attendees on the main stage. Although he was honored with the certificate, he wanted people to really just learn more about the Santa Clarita Veteran Services Collaborative and its mission.
“The important thing is it recognizes not only myself but the collaborative and what we’re doing. The more we can get the word out, the more veterans we can help. That’s veterans, that’s family members, and the recognition and outreach that can come from this … you can’t put a price on it. So this is really important,” said Stabile.
“I’ve seen his advocacy in the community and he’s relentless. He’s always there, he’s always supporting veterans … he’s giving credit to the collaborative, not himself. And it’s a beautiful thing of how he serves our community,” said Schiavo.
Renee Taylor, artist and owner of Art and Design, was one of many vendors at Jingle Fest. She was selling original artwork she created using various tools such as blow dryers and straws to create a “blow out” effect. She was also selling handmade coasters and jewelry. She said it was her second time attending Jingle Fest as a vendor and she came back to support Rossen-Wheeler.
There was also line dancing and live music performed by the local modern country band “Rebel Heart.” The event also featured dance performances and food trucks and children had the opportunity to take a photo with Santa Claus.