La Mesa Shimmer event lights up The Village

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La Mesa counted down to the start of the holiday season on Nov. 29 when Mayor Mark Arapostathis flipped the switch that lit the downtown strip from 4th Street to Acacia Avenue in festive lights throughout the Village.

“This is the unofficial center of our town,” he said. “The lights in The Village will stay on through the end of daylight savings time. The community loves it.”

La Mesa counted down to the start of the holiday season on Nov. 29 when Mayor Mark Arapostathis flipped the switch that lit the downtown strip from 4th Street to Acacia Avenue in festive lights throughout the Village.

“This is the unofficial center of our town,” he said. “The lights in The Village will stay on through the end of daylight savings time. The community loves it.”

It started with a long year and a half of renovations of the entire downtown village. With such a project, it needed an appropriate celebration for its completion, he said.

Shimmer, as the community celebration has come to be known, has grown through the years with more people enjoying a holiday evening with hot cocoa, coffee and cookies. All while lit with lights of every color.

The City of La Mesa partnered with La Mesa Village Association who had an additional event called, Stroll. Most of the village shops extended business hours to encourage the community to shop, dine and explore.

Three weeks of preparation made this year’s Shimmer a magical experience for all who attended. Live music accentuated the holiday atmosphere and colorful lights glistened off the children’s joyful eyes as they gaze at the mesmerizing window displays of many store fronts. Many shops like the Amethyst Moon decorated their windows with artificial frost, strings of lights, and miniature houses. People were encouraged to fill out ballots to pick the best storefront display.

On the way towards Acacia Avenue, a particular crowd pleaser was the Encore Choir Carolers. They sang and danced to different variations of Christmas classics. Santa was there to meet and take pictures with children at Nainsook Framing + Art, which also provided arts and crafts for the children to make their own ornaments.

As each child had their turn of sitting with Santa, he asked them if they were good this year. Of course, they said yes.

Arapostathis joined the community for the night and expressed how proud he was about how much bigger Shimmer gets with each coming year.

“Seeing all the families and kids coming out to the event was my favorite part,” he said.

Every year, Shimmer never fails to draw in crowds from all over the city and Arapostathis said that he hopes it continues to stay that way and encourages people from all over the county to come to La Mesa and see the many things the city has to offer.