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El Dorado Hills gets into the holiday spirit

By: Margaret Snider Folsom Lake Entertainer
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The El Dorado Hills tree lighting event will return again for the sixth time in Town Center, at the modern end of a 47 year tradition. The tree lighting is a joint Community Service District, Chamber of Commerce and El Dorado Hills Town Center event. The celebration is from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 26, but is surrounded by an Open House with Town Center merchants participating, with fresh hors d’oeuvres, refreshments and carolers from 4 to 8 p.m. A live band will play at Theater Plaza and Santa will parade up the Boulevard accompanied by sirens and lights on fire trucks. Santa will light the traditional giant Christmas tree. Natalie Buerki, marketing director for El Dorado Hills Town Center, said Santa is sure to make an exciting entrance. “Most people there are excited about the tree but are there, of course, to see Santa,” she said. The tree lighting night will also include other holiday activities for families including carolers and the ambiance of the roasted chestnuts, Buerki said. “Town Center (will also) host Santa photos from the 25th of November all the way through December 24th,” Buerki said. “He will be in the Welcome Center so kids and families can come here and take a picture with Santa and get a candy cane, do their holiday thing with Santa, all month long.” Community entertainment will then continue at Town Center throughout December. Wayne Lowery, board member and retired general manager of the Community Services District said the first tree lighting he can remember was in 1990. That tree was donated by the El Dorado Hills Chamber of Commerce. “That got planted just outside the Pavilion, as a matter of fact it’s still there,” Lowery said. “It’s a deodor cedar.” He remembers the local high school band and chorale groups singing, and the seniors serving cookies and coffee and hot cider. “I think we started out originally with maybe 75 to 100 people, and probably at its peak, we were getting 200 or 300 people at the ceremony,” said Lowery. “Now I hear it’s in the thousands.” According to Buerki, Mrs. Claus even comes around sometimes to visit. For more information, visit eldoradohillstown center.com.