Holiday in the Village in La Mesa warmed hearts of family and friends

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Though the temperatures reached the mid 80’s during the day last Saturday, opening day of the annual Holiday in the Village, when evening fell, the temperatures did, too. La Mesans were eager to go to the annual event, where it’s always about meeting up with family and friends.

There were dancers and singers and entertainers everywhere along the Boulevard. Plenty of vendors kept the shoppers happy, as did the retail stores open until late. Folks from the Fourpenny House, a new Scottish restaurant soon to open, handed out samples of their stew and bread.

Though the temperatures reached the mid 80’s during the day last Saturday, opening day of the annual Holiday in the Village, when evening fell, the temperatures did, too. La Mesans were eager to go to the annual event, where it’s always about meeting up with family and friends.

There were dancers and singers and entertainers everywhere along the Boulevard. Plenty of vendors kept the shoppers happy, as did the retail stores open until late. Folks from the Fourpenny House, a new Scottish restaurant soon to open, handed out samples of their stew and bread.

“That bread is especially good,” said Lynnette Wilson, who was there with her good friends Teresa and John Hudson along with their daughters, Rebecca Miljanic and Victoria Hudson.

Victoria Hudson, who had a baby the week before, was perched on one of the benches, with her tiny Bennett in front of her all cozied up in his baby stroller.

“Bennett is one week old on this day. I’m so happy. This is all exciting, to be here for his first Christmas,” she said.

In the meantime, Miljanic was doing some serious Christmas shopping with her mother. The two of them found all sorts of gifts at Camille Hinkle’s booth, Handcrafted by Camille. Miljanic bought a crocheted beanie hat with cat ears, while Hudson found all sorts of Christmas gifts for other family members.

As it got cooler, people headed into the local restaurants for dinner. Wilson and her friends went to Centifoni’s and ordered appetizers of Fried Zucchini, Bruschetta, Cheese Sticks, and Garlic Cheese Toast. They tried different ciders and sipped on Riesling wine as they discussed plans for a Christmas party. For dessert, they chose pieces of sugar-free vanilla walnut fudge and chocolate peanut clusters, all made on the premises.  

When Wilson and friends stepped out again into the fresh air, it had gotten quite a bit cooler, and more people had arrived along with their dressed-up canine companions. Three little girls began dancing free-style on one of the dance floors set up on the Boulevard. A piano player wearing a Christmas stocking hat played spirited Christmas music for them, while their parents and grandparents stood proudly by, beaming and snapping their pictures.

The fire pits all along the Boulevard were a welcome sight. Gregory Melvin, proprietor of Total Thermal Imaging, was in charge of keeping the fire pit going near his shop. Wilson and the Hudson family sat down in the chairs around the pit and warmed their hands and feet by the fire. Melvin gathered up some more logs, and everyone watched, content, as he placed the logs carefully into the fire to keep it going. Then he scooped up Lulu, his Yorkshire terrier, into his arms and he sat down, chatting with John Hudson about his business.

Holiday in the Village was a good opportunity to leave all the worries and troubles of the past week behind and embrace the Christmas spirit. 

“This is a great time for all the vendors, too,” said Hinkle. “La Mesa is usually a sleepy little town, but when you have events like this, everyone comes out.”

The event this year was sponsored by the La Mesa Village Association. It follows a long history of Christmas in the Village. Working to be more inclusive of all the holiday festivities during December, the Association had changed the name of the event.

For more information about La Mesa Village Association, go to www.lamesavillageassociation.org.

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