Park | La Habra Journal

Posted on 23 December 2012 by La Habra Journal

Community members come out to enjoy a fun snow day and visit by Santa at The Park

By Christopher Park
La Habra Journal

Hundreds from the La Habra community came to Hacienda Park on Saturday to take part of the fifth annual “Santa, Snow and Smiles” event.
Co-hosted by the Parks and Recreation Department of La Habra Heights and the La Habra Heights Improvement Association, the event catered to children, as it offered photographs with Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, arts and crafts activities to customize their picture frame and a man-made snowfield for children to roam around.

Family photographs with the Claus family proved to be extremely popular with all attendees. Santa and Mrs. Claus were dropped off by the La Habra Heights Firefighters, who also provided activity books and reading material for children. The line to visit Santa stretched from the gazebo located in the center of the park to the sidewalk bordering the park itself.

The children enjoyed the huge snowfield. The snow itself came from Long Beach Ice, and was provided by local sponsors, Brett Bruce and Jen Smude of Prudential California Realty.

For some of the children, this was their very first interaction with snow, manmade or otherwise, giving them an experience the temperate climate of Southern California is not able to provide naturally.

“Oh, they are happy. They are enjoying it a lot,” said Carmen Babbitt, who brought her grandchildren to the event. Her grandchildren have never played with snow before and the park event was their first time in this kind of environment.

“When I told them we’re going to come here, they asked me ‘Is it fake snow or is it real?’ and when they saw it and it was real, they were happy,” Babbitt said.

It takes a lot of effort to bring snow to the Heights. The planning began in September, when a subcommittee consisting of Karen Vipperman, Faith Grimm and Joyce Jensen set out to plan the logistics and figure out the event. As development and completion of the event came to a close, one unexpected factor came into play and caused for some concern­—the weather.

With intermittent showers throughout Southern California just the day before, it was with great relief to both the committee who set up the event and the attendees at the event too to see the sun and parted clouds.

“It was a little worrisome, but it just turned out perfect,” said Vipperman, head of Parks and Recreation of La Habra Heights. “It’s got a chill in the air, but it’s got some sun, so it’s perfect.”

With another “Santa, Snow and Smiles” event completed, it is all but certain that a sixth one will follow. Hosting duties will most likely be shared between both the Parks and Recreation Department and the La Habra Heights Improvement Association.


Madison and Jamison Zepeda walk through the snow that was provided by La Habra Heights Improvement Association Saturday at Hacienda Park.

“I imagine we will be doing it again next year, seeing the success of this year.” said Jennifer Jones, president of the La Habra Heights Improvement Association. “Its a great event for the community.”

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