by Photo by Sarah Berjan

For the first time in approximately 15 years since their opening, the Otay Ranch Town Center lit over 17,000 twinkling lights on a brand new Christmas tree standing nearly 50 ft above main street on Nov.16 with the help of Santa Claus. 

This was the first time in two years that the outdoor mall held their annual Holiday Themed tree lighting and Holiday Farmer’s Market. Last year’s festivities was canceled due to the pandemic and it poured rain in the year prior. 

The Kaleidoscope Carolers performed at the mall’s food pavilion and roamed through a large crowd surrounding a line up of certified farm stands, street food and vendors. Family friendly activities such as free crafts for kids, free cookies and hot chocolate were available until supplies last. 

“We are so happy to be back here and that they are actually doing something and we feel a little more safe with social distance and everything. Our group has been preparing for this and we are really happy to be here. There's lots of people, lots of food and lots of fun,” caroler Karina Mendoza said. 

 A Christmas tree dressed with over 1,000 ornaments, an LED Star Topper and an illuminating color changing base with snowflakes was the mall's centerpeice. The Chula Vista Fire Department escorted Santa Claus to illuminate the tree and greet the crowd.

“We are thrilled to welcome our community back out for this festive annual tradition and excited to showcase the new tree, guaranteed to bring smiles throughout the holiday season," said Otay Ranch Town Center General Manager Tim Kilcourse.

Promptly after the Christmas tree lighting, Magic Snowfall at Santa’s House began. 

“This definitely captured the spirit of the holiday. I hope it continues to go back to normalcy as much as possible, but we hope they understand because of the pandemic there will be changes that will continue for years heading on out,” Chula Vista resident Jaclyn Ford said. 

“It’s really great to see people out enjoying life and having a good time,” Founder and CEO of Chrissy’s Shortbread Cookies, Chrissy Slaughter said. Her stand was among dozens lined up at the farmers market

“With all that we’ve been through in the past couple of years, it’s just nice seeing people outside enjoying life. People are enjoying their families. The event is beautiful, and people are having a great time,” CEO and Founder Chrissy Slaughter said. 

On Friday, residents may see Santa once again for holiday photos at 11 a.m. Booking an appointment is encouraged although walk-up visits are available as space permits at participating locations. 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *