Murrieta’s ‘Holiday Magic’ set to delight visitors and residents alike

Murrieta’s Santa Stops are always a fun time for children and adults alike. Here, Liliana Pierson, 10 months, meets Santa for the first time while her father Charles looks on at the Murrieta Santa Stop located at the corner of Via Espada and Via Mira Mosa Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016. Kim Harris photo

With the holidays fast approaching, there is one thing that residents of Murrieta can always count on, “Holiday Magic.”

As in years past, the city will once again pull out all the stops to make the season one to remember for children and adults alike. From the annual home decorating contest to Santa Stops, there is no shortage of ways to celebrate the season.

Here is a breakdown of all the city’s programs for this year’s “Holiday Magic” event.

Holiday Home Decorating Contest

Register your home or block for the Murrieta Holiday Home Decorating Contest by visiting www.murrietaca.gov/holidaylights. All entries must be received by 5 p.m., Dec. 6. For those who don’t want to decorate, but still want to enjoy the efforts of others, a map of all participating homes will be available online at the same website, beginning Dec. 7. Online voting begins Dec. 7 and runs through noon, Dec. 14. Winners will be announced Dec. 15 by 5 p.m. Remember all entries must be within Murrieta city limits.

Letters from Santa

Available for the littlest ones in your home, don’t forget about those letters from Santa. Parents are able to download letters from Santa to print from the comfort of their own homes. Visit www.murrietaca.gov/holidaymagic to view a variety of letter options. Letters will be available to download beginning Monday, Nov. 27, through Thursday, Dec. 21. While you are at it, why not give the Santa hotline a call at (951) 461-6086 and get a greeting from the big guy himself?

Santa Stops

Even though he is as busy as can be at the North Pole this time of year, Santa is still taking time out of his busy schedule to visit various locations throughout the city. Santa Stops begin Dec. 4 and run through Dec. 13. Look for a star on the street corners near you to locate the Santa Stop in your neighborhood. Remember, Santa and his helpers will visit with the children at each stop as he travels through town on his sleigh collecting canned food and toys for needy children in the area. Nightly schedules will be available online after Nov. 28.

Holiday Drive for Food and Toys

The city’s annual Toy and Food Drive is seeing donations of nonperishable food items and new, unwrapped toys and gift cards to assist local families in need this holiday season. Those wishing to donate can do so by brining donations to the Murrieta Community Center at 41810 Juniper Street, the Murrieta Senior Center at 5 Town Square, the Murrieta Police Department at 2 Town Square, any of the city’s five fire stations and City Hall at 1 Town Square, in addition to the Santa Stops. Remember that Murrieta City Hall is closed every other Friday, and donations are being accepted Nov. 28 through Dec. 21.

Donuts with Santa

Can’t get enough of that Jolly Old Elf? Then head on over to Town Square Park, Saturday, Dec. 2, to enjoy Donuts with Santa. In addition to a sweet breakfast treat with everyone’s favorite guy, Santa Claus, a holiday craft will also be available. Be forewarned, space is limited, and reservations are being accepted now. To reserve your spot for this fun activity, visit www.murrietaca.gov.

Festival of Lights and Tree Lighting

Every year thousands head to Town Square Park in Murrieta for the Festival of Lights and Tree Lighting. Join the city Saturday, Dec. 2, for an evening filled with holiday charm. Featuring full-size, decorated, themed trees along the park’s walkway and tons of seasonal fun, this evening is one event you don’t want to miss. Moana will be on hand for this event, which boasts the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree at approximately 6:30 p.m.

For more information on these and other great events from the city of Murrieta, call the community services department at (951) 304-7275 or visit www.murrietaca.gov.

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