The holiday season in in full swing and this Weekend Guide is bursting at the seams (margins?) with special events! There are so many fun things happening, I couldn’t bear to leave anything out, so you’ll just have to forgive me!
Torrance Memorial presents the 29 Annual Holiday Festival from November 27 through December 2. The Holiday Festival is a one-of-a-kind holiday event that includes beautifully decorated trees, holiday gifts, entertainment, children’s activities, a food court, Santa photos, opportunity drawing, live and online auctions and special events featuring a fashion show, dinner gala and lunch with Santa. Tickets for the public exhibit can be purchased at the door. General Admission is $5 and children 2 and under will be admitted free. Seniors will receive free admission on Wednesday, November 28 and Thursday, November 29. The exhibit will be closed to the public on Friday, November 30. Reservations and ticket purchase are required for the special events. The event takes place in the parking lot at Medical Center Drive and Skypark Drive in Torrance. For more information and ticket purchase, visit the website at http://www.torrancememorial.org/Holiday_Festival.aspx.
Head to Redondo Beach on Thursday, November 29 for one of the most popular holiday shopping events in the South Bay – the Riviera Village Holiday Stroll! The annual Holiday Stroll kicks off at 5 p.m. A parade featuring marching bands from local schools and that jolly guy in the red suit, Santa Claus, gets underway at 6 p.m. at the corner of Catalina Avenue and Avenue I. Get some shopping done and then take a relaxing ride in a horse-drawn carriage and treat yourself to dinner at one of the many fine dining establishments. As always, reservations are highly recommended! Catalina Avenue will be closed to traffic from Avenue I to Elena Avenue from 5 to 9 p.m. to facilitate the happy shoppers. This is a very popular event so plan to arrive early! For more information, visit the website at http://rivieravillage.org/content/view/32/69/.
Select Beer Store & Tap Room presents a special Beer & BBQ event on Thursday, November 29, from 5 to 10 p.m. A special celebration of Anchor Brewing will feature limited and seasonal release beers from the San Francisco brewery. Select Beer Store will be tapping special kegs of the seasonal release, 2012 Christmas Ale, which will be poured side by side with a 2011 vintage Christmas Ale. Other Anchor beers will include the limited edition Zymaster Series Mark’s Mild, Anchor Porter and Anchor Steam. The beers will be paired with mouth-watering barbeque specialties from local catering company Wyatt’s BBQ. Dig into tri-tip and hot link sandwiches, baby back ribs, chicken, BBQ baked beans, roasted corn on the cob, Wyatt’s cheesy potatoes and strawberry spinach green salad while enjoying your beer of choice. This special Beer & BBQ event takes place on the night of the Riviera Village Holiday Stroll so of course, I’ll be there! For more information please visit http://www.selectbeerstore.com. Select Beer Store is located at 1613 South Pacific Coast Highway in Riviera Village in Redondo Beach.
Sandpipers present the 20 Annual Holiday Homes Tour November 30 through December 2 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Four homes in Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach have been chosen for this year’s tour with a special bonus ‘green’ house on Saturday and Sunday only. Presale tickets are $25, at the door $30. In addition, the Neptunian Women’s Club will host a Holiday Boutique & Café at 920 Highland in Manhattan Beach. This event is open to the public and guests can peruse a selection of merchandise from local artisans while enjoying bistro bites. A free shuttle will be available each day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with stops between the homes and the Boutique/Café. Tour sponsor Bank of Manhattan and Uncorked will host a Rooftop Wine Tasting on Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. at 1419 Highland Avenue in Manhattan Beach. Wine Flights will be $5 for Holiday Home Tour ticket holders and $10 without. This event is open to the public and all proceeds are donated to Sandpipers. Enjoy a little wine, entertainment and panoramic views of the South Bay. For more information and ticket purchase, visit the website at www.sandpipers.org.
NextStep presents the 4 Annual 900 Club Charity Poker Tournament on Saturday, December 1. The 900 Club is a private, members-only establishment located in Manhattan Beach and this is your chance to gain entrance to this exclusive retreat! The event will bring together members the 900 Club, celebrity guests, local businesses and friends in support of a worthy charitable cause. The buy-in is $100 and rebuys will be available. Check-in starts at noon with the tournament getting underway at 1 p.m. Players will enjoy free appetizers all day and free cocktails until 3 p.m.! There are only 70 seats available so you have a real chance to win some incredible prizes! For ticket purchase, visit the website at http://www.fanfueled.com/Event/Details/4112-nextsteps-4th-annual-900-club-charity-poker-tournament. Hey, it’s fun, it’s for a great cause and it’s tax deductible! The 900 Club is located at 900 Manhattan Avenue in Manhattan Beach.
The true meaning of the holiday season is often forgotten amid the shuffle of busy holiday schedules. South Bay Galleria presents the second annual 1,000 Points of Light on Saturday, December 1 at 5:30 p.m. This event gives families and local community members the opportunity to come together to sing holiday songs and participate in a candlelit ceremony that celebrates the peace and joy of the holiday season. It was created in partnership with the Blue Zones Project and Journey of Faith church. Guests may RSVP for the event by visiting the South Bay Galleria Facebook page. The first 1,000 people to register on-site, starting at 3 p.m., will receive a special flameless candle to hold during the event, as well as a Blue Zones bracelet. Registration starts at 3 p.m. near Guest Services on Level 1 in the Nordstrom Wing. South Bay Galleria is located at 1815 Hawthorne Boulevard in Redondo Beach. For more information, visit the website at http://www.southbaygalleria.com/ or call (310) 371-7546.
The Redondo Beach Public Art Commission is looking to raise additional funds for the Esplanade public art project. The original plan called for three art installations along the popular promenade with additional pieces to be added in the future as funds permit. The Redondo Beach Public Art Commission has approved a new design by mosaic artists Debbie Collett and Patti Linnett for the bollards on the Esplanade. In order to complete the project, additional funds are required. Ribbons Boutique in Riviera Village will be doing their part to raise the necessary capital. You can help by shopping at Ribbon’s on Saturday, December 1. The store will donate 20% of their sales on the appointed day to creating new mosaics along the Esplanade. It’s a great opportunity to get a little holiday shopping done while helping make the Esplanade a unique creative space. Ribbons Boutique is located at 1909 South Catalina Avenue in Riviera Village in Redondo Beach. For more information, call 310-373-4401.
The City of Rolling Hills Estates is proud to present the annual Peninsula Holiday Parade of Lights on Saturday, December 1, beginning at 6 p.m. Join the community as the Parade of Lights illuminates the night along Silver Spur Road and Deep Valley Drive, through the Promenade on the Peninsula to Norris Center Drive. Enjoy the fanfare as magical floats, marching bands, costumed characters, equestrian units, classic cars, drill teams, community and civic groups make their way along the route. Of course, there will be a special appearance by that jolly guy in the red suit, Santa Claus! At the conclusion of the parade, awards will be distributed to the various parade unit categories. The Promenade on the Peninsula is located at 550 Deep Valley Drive in Rolling Hills Estates. The mall will be open for shopping until 9 p.m. For more information, visit the website at http://www.promenadeonthepeninsula.com/go/mallEvents.cfm or call 310.541.0688.
Lady Washington, the official tall ship ambassador of Washington State, returns to Redondo Beach for a two week visit. The stately ship arrived at Redondo Beach Marina on Wednesday, November 21 and will be open for free dockside walk-on tours ($3 per person) and Adventure Sails ($39 per person) through Wednesday, December 5. The Adventure Sails feature hands-on activities for the whole family. If you’ve ever wanted to take the helm or hoist the sails, this is your chance – conditions permitting, of course. This is a great opportunity to experience a little nautical history up close and personal. So if you’re ready for an adventure, round up your crew and sail off into the deep blue. Tickets for Adventure Sails can be purchased at www.historicalseaport.org or call 800-200-5239. Redondo Beach Marina is located at 181 North Harbor Drive in Redondo Beach. You’ll want to check my website for the schedule of events.
Are you looking for a very special way to give back this holiday season? Walk With Sally, a mentoring non-profit for children whose families are affected by cancer, is partnering up with South Bay Galleria to create a Giving Tree. The event enables South Bay Galleria shoppers to support Walk With Sally’s Presents for Parents program. Beginning Saturday, December 1 and running through Sunday, December 16, South Bay Galleria guests will have the opportunity to contribute to a newly-designed program supporting Walk With Sally’s families that are affected by cancer. South Bay Galleria will display the Giving Tree and shoppers can choose to purchase a wooden ornament donated by Creative Indulgence. Each ornament is designated with a specific gift a child would like to give to their parent. For more information about Walk With Sally, visit the website at http://www.walkwithsally.org/. South Bay Galleria is located at 1815 Hawthorne Boulevard in Redondo Beach. For more information on the event, visit the website at http://www.southbaygalleria.com/ or call 310- 371-7546.
Under the stewardship of Richard Stephens for the past twelve years, Cannery Row Studios has become the anchor of the South Bay art scene. Stephens has recently announced he will be leaving the gallery to pursue other artistic endeavors. He’ll be handing over the reins of the gallery to others – but before doing so, Stephens will hold one last show featuring his work. The exhibit, Richard and the Three M’s, will be on display from December 1 through December 22. The show features the work of Wayne Magnusen, Betty Mallorca, Bob Masse and Stephens. Works by a special guest artist, Jill Nastaszewski will also be on display. The opening night reception gets underway at 6 p.m. Be sure to stop by, check out the exhibit and bid Stephens a fond farewell. Cannery Row Studios is located at 604 West Francesca in Redondo Beach and is the last remaining bit of the Bohemian Art Scene in the South Bay. Gallery hours are Thursday through Sunday from noon to 7 p.m. For more information, visit the website at http://www.canneryrowstudios.com/ or call 888-366-1988.
Chez Melange is offering an Afternoon Tea Holiday Party every day during the month of December. Pick any afternoon from 3 to 6 p.m. and enjoy a few peaceful, restorative hours in the company of friends and loved ones. Relax over assorted teas sandwiches, a selection of scones, crumpets and pastries, champagne or sherry and loose leaf tea or coffee. Holiday Tea reservations require a minimum of ten guests per party. The cost is $25 per person, gratuity and tax not included. It’s time to gather your weary, huddled friends yearning for a break from all the holiday madness. For more information and reservations, call 310-540-1222 or visit the website at http://www.chezmelange.com/. Chez Melange is located at 1611 South Catalina Avenue in Redondo Beach.
The Torrance Unified School District and the Torrance Transit system will generate a little holiday cheer this year with the Stuff-A-Bus program. The goal is to literally stuff a Torrance Transit bus with as many toys, gift certificates and cash as possible. The items will be given to Torrance families in need determined by the appropriate agencies. To help make a difference in the lives of less fortunate families this Holiday season, please donate to collection bins located at the City Hall West Annex Lobby (3031 Torrance Boulevard), the Civic Center Lobby (3330 Civic Center Drive) and the Torrance Community Credit Union Lobby (2377 Crenshaw Boulevard). On November 23, a Torrance Transit bus will be parked at Del Amo Fashion Center for shoppers’ donations. It will be located along the front of the parking lot directly across from the main entrance of the outdoor Lifestyle Wing from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Del Amo Circle East between Fashion Way and West Carson Street. The deadline for donations is December 12 at 5 p.m.
On a personal note, I’ve been chosen as Total Wine & More’s Local Favorite for the month of December. I met with their wine expert last week for a wine tasting and chose a few vintages we’ll be recommending to consumers. A display with my choices will be featured in all Total Wine & More stores in Southern California during December. I’ll let you know when the display is up!
As always, check the calendar links and ‘Things to Do’ page on my website, www.southbaybyjackie.com, for details on these and other events throughout the South Bay.
The South Bay Show presents Music Fridays each week. Tomorrow morning we’ll be talking to Sean Mulvihill, lead singer for Bonfire. Bonfire is an AC/DC cover band and they’ll be playing at Saint Rocke on Friday, November 30. You can listen to the program here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thesouthbayshow/2012/11/30/the-south-bay-show.
Have a great South Bay weekend!