|Little children run around with giant smiles on their faces, bundled up in sweaters, beanies, gloves, boots and snow pants that are even smeared with, could it be, yes, snow.
The city of La Verne Community Center will host its annual Winter Wonderland this Saturday, starting at 9 a.m. at Heritage Park in La Verne.
The event, which requires pre-registration to participate, focuses on children ages 1 to 12, but is also enjoyable for the whole family.
Arts and crafts, stopping by to see Mrs. Claus’ Cozy Kitchen for a cup of hot cocoa and a doughnut, seeing the big guy Santa himself, and of course, two 60-foot snow runs and snow pits with real snow are the main attractions of the event, and they are usually a big hit.
“The little kids love that snow,” Matt Mendoza, a community center employee, said.
“They’ll come in a bunch of times and act like it’s the most fun they’ve ever had each time.”
There will also be various food and craft vendors at the event, so anyone from the community can come out and see all of the hard work that goes into this function.
“It’s one of those events that takes a lot out of you,” Jennee Carey, Community Center secretary, said. “It’s stressful getting everything organized, making sure everything is taken care of, but when we’re finally done with it, it feels really good, especially after seeing the kids have so much fun.”
Carey knows how much goes into Winter Wonderland, as she handles the registration and scheduling of vendors.
“It all depends on how hard our staff works,” Eddie Parra, community center recreation coordinator, said. “Of course not everything runs as smooth as you think, but we have a lot of really hard working guys that always do a good job at setting up and offering great, fun, events.”
“Oh yeah, it’s a lot of work,” Mendoza said. “But what can you do? We have a good time, regardless.”
Children are advised to wear the appropriate clothing when attending Winter Wonderland, such as long sleeves, boots, pants, gloves and anything else that will keep them warm.
Also, parents are advised to keep an eye on weather reports for the day to help further prepare for being outside and playing in the snow.
For Community Center Supervisor Nikole Bresciani, it is her first Winter Wonderland.
“I’m excited to be a part of the event,” Bresciani said, adding, “I’m a little nervous because it is probably our most popular event during the year, but I have nothing but confidence that our guys will deliver, and everyone will have a great time.”
The community center would like to stress that signing up for this event beforehand is a must in order to participate.
Only the first 450 children will be allowed to enter. After 11:45 a.m., pre-registered children’s “Passport to Fun” will be issued to those on the waiting list.
“There are a ton of kids who attend,” Carey said. “So, obviously, if you signed up, and you want to have some fun, show up on time, because there are people who will just show up and try to get in as well.”
Heritage Park is located at 5001 Via De Mansion, off Wheeler Avenue.
Visitors should park at Oak Mesa School, 5400 Wheeler Ave.
Winter Wonderland begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m. So come out and see the fun and hard work that the city puts in to this great event.
Alex Senyo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.