Camarillo’s Annual Holiday Tree-dition


Shannon d’Huart

The Camarillo Christmas Tree Lighting in Dizdar Park on Friday, Dec. 7.

Shannon d'Huart, Staff Writer

The seventh annual Camarillo Old Town Winter Walk and Tree Lighting ceremony took place at Dizdar Park on the evening of Dec. 7, and included performances, children’s activities, the tree lighting, and the Winter Walk.

The night began with musical performances from Camarillo’s local Girl Scouts program as well as students from the Pleasant Valley School District, St. Mary Magdalen Catholic School, Cam High’s Jazz Combo, and Chapel City Church Kids’ Choir. After the performances, Camarillo’s mayor Kevin Kildee started the countdown to light the tree.

When the countdown reached zero, one of the large trees in the park glowed with colorful lights. Santa arrived shortly after and the Winter Walk, sponsored by the Old Town Association, began.

“This is our first time attending and I think we will be coming next year depending on how excited the kids will be,” said Cailin Doyle, who moved to Camarillo from Maryland about four months ago. She attended the event with her mother and two children.

Fake snow was dispensed by the stage and free hot chocolate was provided by residents of the apartment complexes in Old Town. “We were trying to think of something to do to give back to the community and thought giving away hot chocolate would be perfect,” said Camarillo resident, Lisa Powers.

“Real” snow was also available at the Camarillo Art Center for children to play in. Cookies, hot cocoa, and a gift shop were available to the public.

The Winter Walk includes businesses in Old Town remaining open until 9:00 P.M. They will hand out special prizes, discounts, and free food until Dec. 16. A hashtag — #shoplocal — was created to help publicize these local businesses. Mister Softee and Blvd Brgr Company are some of the shops participating in the walk.

Laura Mullen, the chairperson of Camarillo Chamber of Commerce and Marketing and the Community Relations director of DCH Toyota of Oxnard said, “We want to make sure we’re not just about the local businesses, but also that we bring the community together.”

The Camarillo Chamber of Commerce estimated that about 800 people attended the tree lighting and the Winter Walk.