Holiday Festival Celebrates Culture & Diversity
After a one year hiatus due to COVID-19 limitations, the city of Elk Grove hosted its 2nd annual “Illumination Holiday Festival”, and “Holiday of Lights Parade” at District56 on Saturday December 4.
The all-day event started at 1 PM, and highlighted how other cultures from around the world celebrate the holiday season. The festivities stretched all along “The Avenue,” where a makeshift food court featuring a curated lineup of various food truck vendors such as: Jerroz Food Truck (Gyros and Falafels); Jojo’s Hawaiian Fried Chicken; Mely’s Churros (Mexican stuffed Churros); Tailgater 44 (“Tailgate inspired foods with a Filipino twist”); and Ahuevo Foods (“Peruvian fusion street food”), provided guests the opportunity to purchase popular foods derived from different countries.
Complimentary photos with Santa, and a giant snow globe were popular attractions for those with kids.
By dusk, people gathered around the outdoor fire pit where “Slavitza Folk”, a traditional Slavic Folk Acapella group, sang holiday folk songs.
Inside “The Center” the Cafe served coffee, tea and other light fare foods to guests, while providing additional space for community engagement. A designated room featuring local artisans selling a variety of handmade goods made up the event’s “International Holiday Marketplace”. Shoppers were able to support small businesses, while tackling their holiday shopping lists at the same time.
Lauren Zakskorn, owner of Sweetdough Bakery, told the Tribune how much she enjoyed the festivities,
“This was our first time at the Illumination Holiday Festival and we had such a great time! The vendors and people of Elk Grove are so friendly and festive. We’re glad we got to take part and share our baked treats with everyone!”-Lauren Zakskorn, owner of Sweetdough Bakery
She is a frequent vendor at District 56’s “NeighborGood” market on Thursdays and scheduled to be back on Dec 16.
Holiday of Lights Parade
By 6 PM the festivities transitioned over to the streets behind District 56 where guests lined the city sidewalks to watch the annual “Holiday of Lights Parade.”
“It’s great to see our community coming together after 2020. I’m happy to come out here with my family and watch the parade. My kids loved all the lights and got some fun toys to take home.”-Jessice Skube, Elk Grove Resident
Lighting of The Ribbon Tree
Immediately following the parade, people gathered towards “The Veterans Grove” where the lighting of the city’s “Ribbon Tree” was led by Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen, and Elk Grove Community Council member’s Darren Suen, Pat Hume, Kevin Spease and Vice Mayor Stephanie Nguyen.
The tree remains lit throughout the season for those who were not able to attend.