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Holiday traditions replaced with downsized happenings

Holiday happenings replace annual events impacted by pandemic
Festival of Tree raffle
Tracy Lehr / KEYT

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - When people in Santa Barbara think of the first Friday in December they usually think of the holiday parade, but due to COVID19 it's been cancelled.

And due to the pandemic Santa Barbara Trolley ridership to see the Christmas lights is limited.

But before people say "Bah Humbug" they need to know that alternative things to do are happening.

Instead of taking her granddaughter to see the parade, Marilyn Goodfield plans to take her granddaughter Darlah for a drive to see holiday lights.

One stop that is already glowing is the Hillside House for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities on Veronica Springs Road in Santa Barbara.

Hillside is shining a light on abilities and welcomes people to drive through after dark until midnight. They plan to have smaller grand opening on Saturday without the usual Boy Scout volunteers or open house.

The Holliday Horns Brass Quintet will kick off its season in the Paseo Nuevo Shopping Mall on Saturday afternoon. The free performance runs from 2:30-4:30 p.m.

Downtown Santa Barbara Executive Directior Robin Elander said, "You are covered for the holidays, dont' fret." has a list of events.

"Plus Paseo Nuevo has nightly snowfall starting soon, plus selfies with Santa and virtual storytime, also the downtown holiday tree is located at the 1300 block of State. St. near the Arlington Plaza to stroll near"

She said there are also and enjoy, there are also holiday movies under the star in your cars at the West Wind Drive-in in Goleta.

In Carpinteria the Festival of Trees usually hosted by the Carpinteria Lions Club has been turned into a Festival of Tree, singular, with a raffle to benefit a skate park.

Ruairi Bateson bought plenty of raffle tickets.

Bateson said the spirit of the season can be found in the small things that have replaced annual events due to the pandemic.

Tickets are selling fast at the Carpinteria Valley Lumber Company.

The winner will take home a tree, tools, a surfboard, and plenty of gift cards donated from local businesses. The drawing will be held Dec. 19 at 2 p.m. at its 915 Elm Ave. location.

People who traditionally go to the ballet can go to the Ventura Ballet Nutcracker during Concerts in Your Car at the Ventura County Fair Fairgrounds Dec. 12. Check out for tickets that cover everyone in your car.

They can also see the State Street Ballet's Nutcracker at the Granada virtually with exclusive viewing between Dec. 19-31. Check out for a link.

So if you think there is nothing to do, think again. The Downtown Santa Barbara Organization and many other groups are working to make things happen.

We will have more on the holiday options during pandemic related cancellations tonight on FOX11 News at 10 p.m. and NewsChannel 3/12 at 11 p.m.

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Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Tracy, click here


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