Community invited to annual tree lighting.
By Robin GOLDSWORTHY
Contrary to the song, on Dec. 6 at 6 p.m. the weather outside is not expected to be frightful when community supporters turn out for the annual tree lighting ceremony at the La Crescenta Library, 2809 Foothill Blvd. With temperatures expected in the mid-60s, it should be rather nice outside.
Realtor Robbyn Battles has been directing the community tree lighting for nine years, since she was a member of the CV Town Council and came up with the idea. Then-Supervisor Mike Antonovich gave his thumbs up on the event and Battles has been overseeing it ever since.
Hundreds are expected to attend the tree lighting, filling the courtyard and spilling onto the surrounding sidewalk. Members of the local American Legion and VFW posts will conduct the color guard and lead the Pledge of Allegiance. The singing Eaglets from Valley View Elementary, in grades one through three, will be performing holiday favorites.
“Lisa Messineo, who teaches second grade, is also the choir teacher,” said Battles. “She’s amazing.”
Battles decorated the outside of the library with the help of LA County Parks and Rec, which hung the lights and lifted the tree into place. Her hubby Frank was on hand to tie everything down to ward off the Santa Ana winds. She also “touched up” the artwork of former town council member Lisa Griffin who created oversized wooden books a few years ago.
“After all, it’s a library, so what better way to highlight the tree than Christmas books?” asked Battles.
The traditional Christmas tree didn’t hold up as well as Griffin’s books, though.
“There was no budget to replace last year’s tree, which was old and half the lights stopped working, so I bought this year’s tree as a donation,” said Battles. “It’s quite a bit smaller, but adding the extra decorations around the bottom helped make it special.”
The outside is not the only area that will be ready for the holidays. The inside of the library will be very festive as will the meeting room.
“There is a charming Winter Holidays Around the World bulletin board display with a 3D Grinch in the sleigh with Max leading it,” said Marta Wiggins, head librarian.
The Friends of La Crescenta Library are also providing cookies and hot cocoa for everyone and a take-home craft kit for the kids.
“On Dec. 5 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. we will have our Holiday Extravaganza for adults and teens,” said Wiggins of upcoming library events.
On December 13th there are two programs. In the afternoon from 3 to 4 p.m., there will be a story time “If You Give a Dog a Donut” with a craft afterwards. And from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. there will be a gift wrapping program.
“You provide the gifts and we will provide the rest for adults and teens,” said Wiggins.
And finally there will be “It’s a Wrap Book Club” for adults. Pick up a gift wrapped book at the library, check it out and open it for a surprise.
“After you read the book join us on Tuesday, Dec. 26 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. to discuss if you would recommend the book or not,” said Wiggins. “At the end of the evening you will receive a list of books for you to try out in 2024.”
Despite all the fun, Battles announced that 2023 is the last year she will be overseeing the annual tree lighting event.
“I have tons of fond memories,” she said. “Best of all, I have been awed by the smiles from the community.” She noted, though, the “heavy lifting” needs to be passed on. She won’t leave new organizers high and dry, however; she noted that she will “lend my mental help on this in the future.”
“I genuinely hope someone in the community steps up to take on this tradition,” she said.
The ceremony begins at 6 p.m. at the library. Supervisor Kathryn Barger will oversee the countdown to the tree lighting.
To inquire about taking over the La Crescenta Christmas tree lighting, contact Robbyn Battles at Robbyn@thehouseagent.com.