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First Christmas Market all December

Downtown Arcadia will come alive with a traditional holiday atmosphere of music, unique gifts, food and activities every Saturday night until Christmas with the first-ever European-style Christmas Market.

Arcadia’s Best Foundation’s Downtown Christmas Market, sponsored primarily by

Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority as well as Forest Lawn, with additional support from the City of Arcadia, Matt Denny’s Ale House Restaurant, NAI Capital’s Marie Taylor and Dan Bacani, Attorney at Law April A. Verlato, and Arcadia Downtown Business Association, will be open from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Dec. 7, 14 & 21.

First Avenue will be closed from Huntington Drive to Wheeler Avenue and filled with more than 40 different vendor booths each night, live music, and inflated jumpers and slides produced by Family Festival Productions.

The festive Christmas environment, including lighted palm trees, a 30-foot inflated Christmas tree and giant Santa Claus, blowing snow, and projected snowflakes on buildings, will be created by Town & Country Event Rentals & Services.

Attendees will find special items of interest for the holidays from local merchants such as bicycles and related gear from Helen’s Cycles, elegant collectibles by Christine’s Gifts & Collectibles and Pok-A-Dots, the latter also offering all manner of Santa costumes.

Update 12-7-13: Claro’s Italian Market Edible Arrangements and Majestic Design Florists (MD’s) will also offer holiday treats during one or more of the events. Arcadia’s Best Foundation will offer hot cider, hot chocolate, and coffee for only $1 per cup. VJ’s Auto Service will also be offering hot cider and other items.

Update 12-7-13: A Professional quartet of Christmas Carolers who perform at The Grove and the Americana at Brand will stroll the Christmas Market singing carols from 5:30 – 7:30 tonight, Dec. 7. The performers from Southen California Entertainment and Musical Concepts will be dressed in costumes from the era of Charles Dickens.

Special gifts from jewelers, spas, and salons on First Avenue and Huntington Drive, including Spa Xanadu and 1st Avenue Salon will also be available, as will gift book collections from The Book Rack and plenty of delicious food and drinks.

Health facilities on the street,

24 Hour Fitness and The Fitness Factor, will be open on the same block where other shops such as Robusto Cigars and Stacked Sandwich also provide popular daily customer services a few doors away from The Sonata Room Latin and ballroom dance studio.

The Christmas Market, patterned after the centuries-old annual Christmas Markets in Europe that have recently become enormously popular in North American cities such as New York, Chicago and Vancouver, will showcase the plethora of services available within walking distance in Downtown Arcadia, all of which continue to be open for business during construction of the much-anticipated Gold Line light rail line to be ready for riders in 2016.

In addition to responding to the request of local merchants to spearhead a street market during construction work – the Gold Line Construction Authority is the primary backer of the Christmas Market — the Authority has also funded a new Visitors map for Downtown Arcadia featuring ads funded by the Gold Line for many local businesses, hung banners in the construction area to remind drivers that businesses remain open during construction, and has arranged for a valet service on Huntington Drive this month to offset the temporary reduction of parking spaces behind Matt Denny’s Ale House & Restaurant.

Work is well underway on the train bridge over Santa Anita Avenue, the crossing gate at the location of the station at First Avenue and Santa Clara Street, and is just beginning on the widening of the tracks behind the shops on the north side of Huntington Drive and the bridge over Huntington Drive at Second Avenue.

Plenty of free parking for the Christmas Market is available in several public lots off of Wheeler Avenue east and west of First Ave. Attendees should enter Wheeler from Santa Anita Ave. or Second Ave.

Update Dec. 7: Publicity and coverage of the event has already been strong. In addition to articles, e-newsletters, calendar listings, and Facebook and Twitter postings from and the non-profit Arcadias Best Foundation, the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce has done the same on the web, social media and e-newsletters; the Gold Line Construction Authority has sent e-mail blasts; the City of Arcadia has posted Tweets; and the Arcadia Police Department and Arcadia Unified School District have shared Facebook postings.

About Forest Lawn For more than a century, Forest Lawn has been an integral part of Southern California. Since its founding, Forest Lawn has committed itself to providing outstanding service and beautiful environments for family outings, remembering loved ones, and commemorating holidays. Our locations in the Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside counties, as well as the Coachella Valley, serve all faiths and cultures, and offer a wide range of memorial services.

Whether you are planning how to help your loved ones remember you, memorializing someone special in your life, or enjoying holiday events like Easter or Memorial Day, Forest Lawn invites you to come see all Forest Lawn has to offer. The company is preparing to open its first office in Arcadia on Huntington Drive in January.

About April A. Verlato April Verlato specializes in auto/motorcycle accidents, wrongful death, wills, trusts, and probate, Her office is at 33 E. Huntington Drive where she is also one of the leaders of the recently created Community Benefits District to revive the Arcadia Downtown area centered at First and Huntington.

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