By Keira Mohammed
Kid Scoop Media Correspondent 

'Tis The Season in Downtown Culver City


December 14, 2017

Ron Peterson

Children were all smiles as Santa arrived to greet them. Hundreds of children were there as Santa arrived with lights and sirens from a police escort sponsored by the Culver City Police Officers Association.

Age 11, CCMS student

Downtown Culver City was in full festive mode on Thursday, December 7th, as dozens of white-shirted choir students filed onto the stage that sat in front of the large Christmas tree beside the Culver Hotel. As the students began to sing, people crowded the view with their iPhones as they snapped pictures and recorded videos of their children on stage. The students were from La Ballona and Linwood E. Howe Elementary schools. Kicking off the festivities, the children sang "Minka," a Russian folk song, and "Ernest the Unbelieving Reindeer," a child-friendly tune, bearing wide smiles.

"It is probably one of the finer events in Culver City because it brings all the kids together," commented Seth Horowitz, General Manager of the Culver Hotel. "It's put on by the Downtown Business Association, and that's important because it's the local businesses saying to the local community, 'Come on out and let's celebrate the season!'"

The host of the Tree Lighting event was Darrel Menthe, President of the Culver City Downtown Business Association. After he introduced himself to the community and thanked all the many restaurants and businesses that sponsored the event, he introduced the Culver City High School Academy of Visual and Performing Arts choir. A highlight of their performance was when they sang "Jingle Bell Rock," a classic upbeat song that the crowd loved.

Culver City Mayor Jeffrey Cooper had the honor of flipping the switch that lit the tree ablaze with golden lights. He talked about the importance of spreading kindness, whether it's as simple as letting someone go in front of you in traffic or helping someone to cross the street. He feels it is vital that we keep this spirit of kindness year round and not just during the holiday season. When asked what made this year's tree lighting so special, Mayor Cooper replied "This is the year of the Culver City Centennial. Everything is special about this year."

It was a potential concern that the many Los Angeles fires and strong winds that surrounded the county would disrupt the festivities. However, Mr. Horowitz strongly expressed that he did not think this would be a problem. "We are very pleased that the high winds have dissipated," Mr. Horowitz said. The evening did turn out to be free of wind and the smoke was nowhere to be found in the air.

Courtesy Kids Scoop Media

Kids Scoop Correspondent Keira Mohammed in front of the lighted tree.

After the ceremony, the cider and coffee lines outside the Culver Hotel were rapidly filling up. The hot cider kept me as bright and warm as the lights on the tree. The longest line, however, was to see Santa Claus. The roped-off line stretched around the Arclight Theater as the impatient children waited their turns to sit with Santa for a picture and to get goodies like stickers and lollipops.

"Culver City has become a destination. And Downtown has become the heart and the hotel has become the pride," Mr. Horowitz proclaimed. Downtown Culver City was certainly in full swing as the people at this event celebrated the heart, pride and the joy of this merry holiday season.


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