City rings in holidays
Posted Dec. 7, 2007
Christina Carter
Many from the community gathered on Dec. 3 for the city of La Verne’s annual tree lighting ceremony. After a quick speech by La Verne mayor Jon Blickenstaff, his granddaughter pushed the button to illuminate the tree in front of La Verne City Hall. As Bonita High School’s Chamber Singers sang “Jingle Bells,” Santa Claus emerged to greet the children. Among the anxious kids, Chloe Nasmyth, council member Donna Nasmyth’s daughter, asked Santa for a Nintendo DS Lite.

With holiday season upon us, the city of La Verne kicked off its holiday festivities with its annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony outside city hall on Monday.
La Verne mayor Jon Blickenstaff hosted the event.

Introducing his fellow City Council members, he finished his address by lighting the city Christmas tree, with his three grandchildren at his side.

“I lived in La Verne all my life and this is the first time I have been to the Christmas tree lighting ceremony,” Amanda Shaw, a senior liberal studies major, said. “It was a great way to start off this festive season. It is really great to see all the little kids get so excited about Santa.”

The Christmas tree glowed with red, green, blue and white lights and had Christmas balls carefully placed on the branches. Following, the Chamber singers from Bonita High School performed Christmas carols. They sang five carols in all, and on the fifth, “Jingle Bells,” they invited the crowd to join in – with the hope of bringing out a special visitor.

None other than Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus soon joined the festivities –  lighting up the faces of the young children in the front row.

“We work really hard so it is fun to come out and perform in such a fun atmosphere,” said Daniel Shaw, a senior at Bonita High School and a chamber singer. “It was great to see all the little kids join in singing with us,” he said.

“I really enjoyed listening to the Bonita Chamber Singers,” added Brett Bultje, a graduate from Azusa Pacific University. “They are a really talented group of students.”

The young children lined up for a turn sitting on Santa’s lap.

Marin Hummel can be reached at

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