Festivities include real snow and twinkling lights
To kick off the holiday season, the Buellton Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual Winter Fest on Dec. 4, where visitors got to play in 20 tons of snow at Village Park while enjoying live music, sipping wine and beer and doing some holiday shopping.
Highlighting the event was the lighting of the Christmas tree at 7 p.m. It will be on display through December and into the new year.
“We served more than 400 people. The kids wrote letters to Santa, took photos with him and Mrs. Claus and were given a bag of craft kits to take home and assemble,” said Kathy Vreeland, executive director of the chamber. “This was a one-of-a-kind experience that was fun for the whole family and a perfect way to kick off the winter holidays.
“The event drew people from around the Central Coast who came out for the festivities. This is a time of year we get into the holiday spirit, and the snow is always a big hit for the kids,” she added. “Some of them have never seen snow or may not have the opportunity to go to places where it does snow, so we enjoy the opportunity to bring it to Buellton.”
Also helping with the event were Santa Ynez Valley Community Outreach and the Buellton Recreation Department.
This year, for the first time ever, the Santa Ynez Valley Botanic Garden at 151 Sycamore Drive in Buellton is offering the Enchanted Garden Holiday Lights Festival, an immersive light experience, during three weekends in December.
The last one will be Friday through Sunday. The first two were Dec. 2 through 4 and Dec. 9 through 11.
Each evening includes a unique experience walking through the Enchanted Garden that features thousands upon thousands of lights. Twinkling lights, flowing water with reindeer drinking, a meadow of lights and a rainbow tunnel are just a few of the areas to check out.
The reindeer will be on site Sunday, and guests will be able to take photos and feed them their favorite snack — graham crackers.
Among the merchants and food vendors at night will be Sassafras, Big Truck Foods, AR Catering, Lidos, Coastal Doggz and Savinnas Tamales.
Adding to the festivities is holiday caroling by the Santa Ynez Valley Chorale and a local duo, Billy Hurbaugh and Jillian Haig.