The South Bay is full of holiday magic this weekend! Once again, you must forgive me for the size of this Weekend Guide ... there’s just too much good stuff!
The City of El Segundo Recreation & Parks Department and Mattel, Inc. proudly present the annual Holiday Tree Lighting on Thursday. El Segundo City Hall Plaza at Main Street will be revelry central from 3 to 7 pm featuring traditional holiday entertainment with Dickens-style carolers, craft boutique and farmers’ market. The main stage will be located at Main Street and Holly Avenue and will feature musical performances by various school and community groups. Check out the Candy Cane Lane Kid Zone for free games, crafts and train ride. Go to Santa’s Village for a visit with the jolly, fat guy in the red suit, a special appearance by Barbie and receive a free gift from Mattel. The Holiday Tree Lighting countdown begins at 5:30 p.m. Join the mayor and city council for the official lighting. Once the tree is lit, enjoy a special concert on the main stage starring the fabulous Wonderelles. For more information, visit the website.
The North Manhattan Beach Business District invites you to celebrate the season the South Bay way. Gather a few friends and head to North Manhattan Beach for the annual Holiday Open House & Walkabout taking place on Thursday, December 6, from 5 to 9 p.m. Participating shops, businesses and restaurants along Highland Avenue from 32nd Street to 42nd Street will stay open late for an evening of music, shopping, dining and entertainment. Merchants will be offering discounts, samples, snacks and libations making for a thoroughly enjoyable shopping experience. The kids will enjoy balloon art, face painting, artists, popcorn and more. The area restaurants are sure to be busy, busy, busy so reservations are highly recommended. Santa Claus plans to hang out at Verandas, located at 401 Rosecrans Ave., so you’ll want to bring your wish list and camera!
Head to the Promenade on the Peninsula for the annual Santa’s Breakfast at Ruby’s Diner on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. The joyous morning begins with a personal visit from Santa, a free photo provided by CL!X Portrait Studios, activities and a special gift from Santa. Children under twelve will enjoy a free breakfast courtesy of Ruby’s Diner. The adult buffet is $15. Tickets for this
fun-filled morning are available at Ruby’s Diner and seating is limited. This very popular event sells out every year, so you’ll want to buy tickets as soon as possible. After the breakfast, take the opportunity to make a dent in the holiday gift list. The mall will open at 9 a.m. for shopping. Ruby’s Diner is located in the Promenade on the Peninsula at 550 Deep Valley Drive in Rolling Hills Estates. For more information, visit the website at promenadeonthepeninsula.com.
Does the sound of revving engines cause visions of sugarplums to dance in your head? We’ve got just the thing! Ruby’s Diner presents the 5th Annual Cruise at the Beach Christmas Car Show on Saturday. Cruise at the Beach is a South Bay tradition that keeps automobile aficionados returning year after year. The show runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Ruby’s parking lot. Take a stroll among some of the finest examples of the Southern California car culture and marvel at this amazing collection of classic automobiles. Enthusiasts are encouraged to bring their hot rods, street rods and muscle cars and strut their stuff. Judging begins at 9 a.m. with the trophy presentation at 2 p.m. In keeping with the spirit of the season, please bring an unwrapped toy to benefit the Cheer for Children Christmas Toy Drive. If you wish to display a car or require more information, contact Larry Neville at 310-962-7438. Ruby’s Diner is located at 245 North Harbor Drive in Redondo Beach.
The El Segundo Chamber of Commerce and Chevron present the 49th Annual Holiday Parade celebrating the theme Let it Snow! on Sunday. The parade gets underway at 1 p.m. and is expected to end about 3 p.m. The route begins on Main Street at Imperial Avenue and proceeds south to El Segundo Boulevard. The grand stand will be located at Main Street and Holly Avenue on the west side of the street where parade entrant performances will take place. Floats will be theme decorated and Santa Claus will make his appearance at the end of the procession. Why not make a day of it? Prior to the parade, have lunch at one of the many area restaurants and afterward browse the local shops and knock a few items off your gift list. For more information, visit the website.
Café Pierre and Zazou present the 2nd Annual Holiday Party at Zazou on Sunday. This annual event benefits the American Cancer Society and celebrates the season with friends, fine food and fabulous music. Zazou and its sister restaurant, Café Pierre, are staples of the South Bay food scene and consistently offer some of the finest Mediterranean cuisine in the area. Enjoy mouth watering appetizers and cocktails as you listen to the musical stylings of the Nova Banda Latin Jazz Group. This fun-filled event also features a live DJ that will keep you on your feet dancing the night away! The festivities run from 4 to 8 p.m. Admission is $50 per person and reservation are highly recommended as this is a very popular event with locals. For information and reservations, call 310-540-4884. Zazou is located at 1810 S. Catalina Ave. in Riviera Village in Redondo Beach.
Everybody will be at the Manhattan Beach Pier for the 24th Annual Holiday and Centennial Fireworks on Sunday! The festivities get underway at 4 p.m. with a flyover by the United States Navy and a visit from Santa Claus aboard the Chamber of Commerce float. Skechers’ Snow Park will be open from 4-6:30 pm with five 50’ sled runs, two snow play areas and snowmen available for family photos. A donation of canned goods, cash or a new, unwrapped toy is requested for admission to the Snow Park. The always popular Michael Stars Bounce Park will have two huge slides and the Fire Dog bouncie for smaller children. The Hyperion Outfall Serenaders will provide the sounds of the season starting at 5 p.m. and will be followed by the John Brown sing-a-long which will run until 7 p.m. There will be two fireworks displays this year! The first show, the Holiday Fireworks, start at 7 p.m. and will be synchronized to holiday music with an extended grand finale sponsored by Belkin. Continuing the 100 year celebration, Skechers presents the Centennial Street Dance After-Party with the LA All Stars at 7:30. The LA All Stars are a high energy, rock and roll dance band that is guaranteed to keep everyone on their feet and dancing in the streets! The second show, the Centennial Fireworks sponsored by Skechers, begins at 8:30 and will be launched from the pier and both sides of the beach. There will also be new sand seating areas 300 feet north and south of the pier with full views of both firework displays. This is a hugely popular event so be sure to arrive early to enjoy all the fun! The Manhattan Beach Pier is located at the western end of Manhattan Beach Boulevard. For more information, visit the website at mbfireworks.com.
Have you been to one of the South Bay Italian Professionals mixers yet? These monthly get-togethers have become one of the most talked about and interesting events in the South Bay. Bridges to Italy and the Academy of Foreign Languages present a Christmas Dinner event on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Hosteria Piave in Redondo Beach. Meet, interact and exchange ideas with Italian professionals and other internationally oriented individuals in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Special guest, Evan Kleima host of KCRW’s Good Food talk show, LA Slow Food Movement Founder and owner of Angeli Caffe, will discuss good nutrition and the Slow Food movement. The event will also support a charity called In a Box which provides essentials for women and children living in shelters. The children from these shelters will put together a wish list which will be published on the host sites and invites attendees to bring an item from the list to the dinner. Space is limited and reservations are required at least one week in
advance as this is a sit down dinner. The cost is $35 per person. To make dinner reservations, purchase tickets online. For more information, contact Bridges to Italy at email@example.com. It’s all good. Hostaria Piave is located at 231 S. Pacific Coast Hwy. in Redondo Beach.
Tuesday is the new Thursday in Hermosa Beach next week. I haven’t been able to determine if First Thursdays will take place next week but if you like wine and after hours shopping, join the participating shops of Upper Pier Avenue for this special Holiday Happy Hour event next Tuesday from 5 to 8 p.m. For more information, visit the Facebook page at facebook.com/FirstThursdays.
The one and only Mario Martinoli has landed in Riviera Village with his new Dolce Vita Café, and he’s brought along a time-honored family tradition! Mario has travelled the globe cooking and sharing food with people from all walks of life. For fifteen years, he invited family, friends and total strangers to break bread at his famous table. That table has hosted actors, teachers, politicians, doctors, plumbers, musicians and artists. Mario’s table is back and it’s right here in the South Bay. Mario’s Cooking for Friends Cooking Classes and Tastings will be offered throughout the month of December. Each class will be limited to 15 people and begins at 6 p.m. The classes run for 3 hours including dinner. The cost is $50 per person, per class. ‘Like’ them at facebook.com/mariosdolcevitacafe and receive a $5 discount. Attendees will also receive a 10 percent discount coupon for the Catalina Cooking Store. To sign up for classes and additional information, call 310 844-7462 or visit the website at dolcevitacaferedondo.com.
Santa is making the rounds of the South Bay over the next couple of weeks. I’ve posted the tour schedules for Torrance, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes and Redondo Beach on my website here: http://southbaybyjackie.com/ongoing-events.php.
I’ve also posted various holiday observances happening around town, specifically Christmas Tree Lightings and Menorah Lightings. If you’d like to get out and spread good cheer, you can find the details here: http://southbaybyjackie.com/south-bay-holiday-observations-december/.
On a personal note, I’ve been chosen as Total Wine & More’s Local Favorite for the month of December. I met with their wine expert at the Redondo Beach superstore for a wine tasting and chose a few vintages we’ll be recommending to consumers. A display with my choices will be featured in all Total Wine & More stores in Southern California during December so be sure to stop by and let me know what you think of my picks! You can read all about it on the Feature Stories’ page here: http://southbaybyjackie.com/feature-stories.php.
As always, check the calendar links and ‘Things to Do’ page on my website, southbaybyjackie.com, for details on these and other events throughout the South Bay.
Have a great South Bay weekend!