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November 9, 2012 (Santee) Despite a surplus of winter sunshine rather than snow, the city of Santee has found the formula to making the season feel like an old-fashioned movie, at least for one evening.

Families are invited to experience this magic by attending the City of Santee and Waste Management Holiday Lighting Ceremony at Santee Trolley Square from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 16. The free event, which offers activities for people of all ages, is a festival that celebrates the start of the holiday season.

Santee Trolley Square is transformed into a cheerful village where carolers dressed in period costumes sing traditional holiday songs and kids can skate on synthetic ice or pose for photos with Santa Claus.

There will be booths to browse and treats to nibble, including tasty samples from Daphne’s California Greek, Eccentric International Chefs Bakery & Deli. Pure Flo Water Co. will provide hot coco and coffee. There will be plenty of activities for kids. Craft stations will be set up where children can decorate cookies, make their own ornaments and personalized elf hats. The Bayou Brothers, who play a mix of zydeco with a holiday twist, will perform at the amphitheater.

The Holiday Lighting Celebration is focused around the lighting of a 20-foot artificial tree, which is done at the end of a brief ceremony hosted by community leaders. At the same instant the tree is lighted, entry monuments at four major intersections will come aglow with decorative lights.

Horse-drawn carriage rides will be available for $1 per person, except for children 3 years or younger, who may ride for free on a lap of an adult. For a $3 fee, children 5 years and older, as well as adults, can glide on ice skates across a 2,400 square-foot synthetic rink. Children will be able to confide their wish lists to Santa. Professional photos with the jolly guy will be available for $10.

The title sponsor for the event is Waste Management. Other sponsors include California Coast Credit Union, Santee Trolley Square, Daphne’s California Greek, Fireworks America, and Metropolitan Transit System.

Information is available online at or by calling the Santee Special Events Hotline at (619) 258-4100 x201.

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