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Phelan Community Park Christmas Tree Branches Out for 2nd Annual Lighting

PHOTO: T.A. Graydon - NewsPlus

PPHCSD President Rebecca Kujawa counts down to tree lighting while Miss Phelan Court looks on.

Phelan Pinon Hills Community Services District, Parks, and Recreation Department held the second annual Christmas Tree Lighting on Friday, December 2, 2022, at the Phelan Community Park. With much fanfare and plenty of hot cocoa, the neighborhood came out in parkas and mittens to energize this year’s Christmas Tree. Planted last season, this would be the tree’s first Christmas in the ground. For the tree’s previous lighting ceremony, local students decorated the shipping container as a gift box for the holiday. Eagerly awaiting the arrival of Santa Claus and his elves, families, friends, and holiday visitors were treated to candy-striped light sticks and Christmas candy canes given out by the festive staff of the Phelan Pinon Hills CSD Parks and Recreation Department and the Miss Phelan Court. The usual anticipation of meeting Santa Claus was present in the chilly air, as you could hear children asking the eternal question, “When is Santa getting here?” The comfort of the bundled-up, growing crowd was keeping everyone warm and fuzzy.

A very brilliant Christmas Tree for the community now adorns the park.

By happenstance, Trudy and Judy Roberts from Phelan were walking their dog last year when they noticed the first tree lighting. “Having Santa here was a nice surprise,” Trudy stated. “It’s great to see everyone from the community here! What a great crowd!” said Judy Roberts. Jonathan and Julee Walters from Phelan try to make it to all the local events. This evening they brought their mother, Virginia, to witness the second lighting of the Phelan Pinon Hills CSD Christmas Tree. The brainchild of PPHCSD Board President Rebecca Kujawa, the permanent holiday tree was brought to fruition with the help of Parks Supervisor Steve Lowrance and the illustrious staff of the Phelan Pinon Hills Parks and Recreations Department.

Santa Claus gets a kiss from Kimber Thompson while elves Tiffany and Catalina observe.

PPHCSD President and now Master of Ceremonies Rebecca Kujawa began the second annual event by thanking The Phelan Community Park Staff and the audience for coming out. Next, a warm thank you to San Bernardino County Fire Station Ten was given for collecting toys for children and delivering Santa and his Elves to the park. Upon introduction, the Phelan Chamber of Commerce received a big round of applause from the very excitable crowd. President Rebecca then handed over the light-switching duties to Honorary Mayor Kathy Hoffman to turn on the circuit. “And now we are going to light the tree,” Kathy announced as she began the countdown. “Five, four, three, two, one, Whooooooooooooo!” chanted the group in unison, with much excitement. The twenty-foot-tall (and growing) Deodar Cedar was as brilliant as a Christmas tree could be. Our community now has a permanent resident in the park, with an almost guarantee of many years of holiday fun and memories.

While Santa and his lovely elves were posing for pictures, the crowd was mingling in a true holiday fashion, drinking hot chocolate, and enjoying the candy canes, as in a winter wonderland. The Parks Department did a fantastic job with the Santa’s Village stage props and set-up. The romance of the holiday season was ever present this year at the Second Annual PPHCSD Christmas Tree Lighting. Everyone involved in this yearly occasion deserves a hearty pat on the back for a well-done job. Let’s make a big Christmas wish for love, kindness, and a PPHCSD third annual Christmas Tree Lighting next year!

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