Sunday, July 22 , 2018, 10:30 am | Fair 72º


Local News

It’s Beginning to Look — and Sound — A Lot Like Christmas with Milpas Tree Lighting

Community shows off its holiday spirit during "Sabor de Milpas" tree lighting reception and benefit for Santa Barbara High Madrigal Singers

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Grocery shopping on Sunday in Santa Barbara Plaza might have been a little bit cheerier for shoppers due to the sights and sounds of the annual Milpas Christmas Tree Lighting. Family and friends from the Milpas Street community gathered in a benefit for the Santa Barbara High School Madrigal Singers to listen to live Christmas music and to enjoy holiday treats.

The coordinator of the evening, Rose Aldana, was ecstatic to see the event coming together for a fourth year in a row. A Santa Barbara native and alumna of Santa Barbara High, she remembers her parents driving along State Street when she was a child and recalls the lights and Christmas trees lining the downtown district.

"It was magical," she said. "It was because of those memories that I was inspired to start doing this. I hope that it instills great memories."

Aldana's efforts resulted in another successful Christmas tree lighting. Family members and friends danced and enjoyed the sounds of the Madrigal Singers, Dave Gonzales, aka "The Singing Sergeant;" and Lencho and the Martinez Brothers. While volunteers served food and drinks, Trader Joe's staff directed traffic around the event as the festivities spilled over its boundaries in front of the market and the Rite Aid next door.

Along with the heart-warming music program, the evening was highlighted with appearances from KEYT News anchor Paula Lopez; Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara; Santa Barbara City Council members Cathy Murillo and Randy Rowse; and the grand marshal, Santa Barbara police Officer Adrian Gutierrez. Many of them brought family members to the event.

While the event was put on to light a Christmas tree, the evening shone brightly with the strength of the Milpas community, its families and its supporters.

Noozhawk intern Frankie Victoria can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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