Many Santa Clarita Valley families began celebrating Christmas early by attending The Church On The Way Santa Clarita’s Winter Wonderland event Sunday evening.
“Santa Clarita has a lot of families, so we wanted to have a fun Christmas celebration,” said The Church On The Way Director of Ministries Brian Bouer. “Everyone loves snow at Christmastime and you don’t get that in Southern California.”
Families attending the event could play in snow and sled down snowy slopes. Families could also participate in a live nativity scene, photos with Santa Claus and Disney’s Frozen characters Anna and Elsa, food trucks, a movie and a petting zoo.
“I have a couple kids and they love the animals,” Bouer said. “We’re kind of going into the real meaning of Christmas as well, not just the fun stuff. So it’s just really a fun thing for families to do.”
Church leaders were expecting between 1,500 and 2,000 people to attend the event, with many of those people not being a part of the church.
“This is open to the whole community,” Bouer said, “this isn’t just our church.”
Stacey Hernandez, of Newhall, and her 7-year-old son came with a friend to the event for the first time Sunday evening.
“My girlfriend is here with her daughter and she had seen it on Facebook and that’s why we’re here,” Hernandez said. “It’s great. So far we’ve just kind of seen a little bit but when we pulled up we saw a camel. We expected a horse but then it’s a camel. The snow, you can’t beat this for kids. It’s great.”
Dozens of kids and their parents stood in line to pet a camel, who wore a Santa hat.
Attendees could also listen to carolers and purchase jewelry and other items from vendors.
“We haven’t been here before and we always hear about it every year,” said Eric Pappert and Gabby Rykert. “Circumstances have prevented us from coming here before. Now that were available, we definitely wanted to come and support and see the little kids play in the snow.”
Pappert added laughing, “She threw a snowball at me.”