Village Association plans modified Holiday in the Village
With the uncertainty of tradition for the 2020 holiday season, the La Mesa Village Association has announced the return of the annual Holiday in the Village in a modified Craft Market format.
The modified event has been approved by county and city officials and will be held on Saturday, Dec. 5 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the La Mesa Village. The free family-friendly event will include holiday music, craft vendors, a food court, and unique holiday photo stations.
This year’s Holiday in the Village will take all precautions, under health official advisement, to ensure this Holiday Market is a safe and cheerful experience for all. Temperature checks will be required upon entry and face coverings and social distancing will be required throughout. Directional arrows will guide the flow of guests to aid in easy spacing amongst groups. Due to COVID-19 regulations, there will not be live, musical entertainment this year, with the exception of carolers. However, the event “will have festive holiday music throughout the streets as you shop, dine and enjoy the merriment,” according to a post on the La Mesa Village Association website.
Vendors interested in selling craft gifts at the Holiday in the Village event, or businesses interested in sponsoring the event can find information about both at www.lamesavillageassociation.org.
Holiday toy drive for military families
The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce (LMCC) is asking residents to make a difference this holiday season for the children of military personnel that live in La Mesa military housing by purchasing and donating toys, diapers, gift cards and other items. LMCC is coordinating this holiday project with Lincoln Military Housing to collect these items for children of military families living in La Mesa military housing between the ages of 2 and 13 years old. Lincoln Military Housing facilitates holiday events for over 2,000 military children within our region.
In past years, LMCC hosted an evening mixer at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse to collect these toys and other items. However, with the current pandemic, that is not able to happen. Instead, LMCC will accept items throughout the month two ways: by calling LMCC President Mary England at 619-251-7730 to meet and pick them up; or by dropping them off to Fran Smith at 8080 La Mesa Blvd., Suite 214 in La Mesa between the hours of 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
The final collection of toys (new and unwrapped) and gift items will take place at a “drive-thru” event on Tuesday, Dec. 1 at Grossmont Center, 5500 Grossmont Center Drive. LMCC will be staged in the parking lot in front of San Diego Yoga and CVS Pharmacy between the hours of 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Enter Grossmont Center by Target and drive up the entrance and you will see LMCC members on the right as you drive in the center — look for the pop-up tent. Every person donating will receive a free raffle ticket to be in a drawing to win a huge stuffed bear.
While in Grossmont Center that evening, LMCC encourages patrons to visit one of the restaurants and to visit the many retail stores.
Enchanted Village transforms to drive-thru event
The Enchanted Village is back in San Diego for its third year with modifications made to accommodate social distancing guidelines. The holiday extravaganza, typically a walk-through of the eight-acre grounds of Noah Homes in Spring Valley, is now a COVID-compliant drive-thru experience.
More than 1,800 vehicles are expected to attend over six days, Dec. 18-23. Limited tickets are available for various time slots between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. each night for $65 per vehicle.
Guests will begin the holiday adventure at Steele Canyon High School and then make their way to a winter wonderland with a drive-thru candy cane light tunnel, more than 500,000 lights, an 18-foot musical Christmas Tree, socially-distant interactions with characters like Buddy the Elf, and themed zones such as Candyland and Holiday Under the Sea.
“Enchanted Village is quickly becoming a family tradition and we couldn’t stop now. This is a perfect way to ensure that people can safely partake in the joy of the season and escape from everything else going on,” said Molly Nocon, CEO at Noah Homes. “Even though it’s not how we normally do it, we are very blessed to have the amount of space that we do, which allows us to be flexible in times like these.”
Additionally, as a twist on the traditional family photo with Santa, Noah Homes is partnering with SoCal Green Screen to take photos of guests in their car and add a digital Santa over the customized photo.
Guests can also enjoy holiday scents and themed music throughout the drive.
Proceeds from the Enchanted Village benefit Noah Homes, a nonprofit since 1983 dedicated to providing housing, services and advocacy to adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities such as autism and Down syndrome.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.EnchantedVillage.org.
City hires consultant in police chief search
The City of La Mesa has hired executive recruiting firm Teri Black & Company (TBC) to conduct a nationwide search for its next police chief. TBC was selected following the issuance of a request for qualifications and evaluation process by the city. TBC has successfully recruited 10 police chiefs for California cities over the past 24 months.
TBC has been tasked with gathering feedback from the La Mesa community on its ideal qualities for the next police chief. Feedback will include input from the City Council, the Citizen Public Safety Oversight Task Force, City staff, the Police Department, and focus groups with community leaders. An online community survey will also be conducted.
The recruitment process is expected to take approximately three months. The fee for recruiting services will be $18,000 with an additional budget of $7,400 for reimbursable expenses.
For additional information on the recruitment process please click the following link: www.cityoflamesa.us/1647/Police-Chief-Recruitment.