Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Christmas activities plentiful in the Village

Events to celebrate the holiday season will begin in earnest this weekend and provide opportunities for local families to embrace the joy of the season.

Festivities begin this Saturday, November 29, bright and early at 9 a.m. with ‘Photos with Santa’ offered by the Fallbrook Woman’s Club, at 238 West Mission Road. Children or families can have their photo taken by Ahrend Studios in the club’s nostalgic 1872 carriage up until noon for only $10.

Santa will take a break after that and families can grab some lunch and either put the kids down for their afternoon naps or stroll around the downtown shops until Santa reappears later in the day for more festivities in the Village Square at the corner of Main and Alvarado.

Santa will be on hand to visit from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m .; horse-drawn wagon rides will be running from 4 to 7; and the official lighting of the community Christmas tree will take place at 5. Members of the Fallbrook Chorale will sing Christmas carols following the tree lighting. The merchants in the historic downtown area are sponsoring these activities for the enjoyment of the community.

The merchants will show their appreciation of local customers on Friday evening, December 5, with their annual Customer Appreciate Night from 4 to 7 p.m. The merchants will sponsor another evening of horse-drawn wagon rides down Main for families and individual shops will have their own unique appreciation festivities for shoppers.

Later that same evening, at 8, the Fallbrook Music Society will present a Christmas concert by the Westwind Brass and the Don Morris Singers at the Bob Burton Center for the Performing Arts. These two groups will perform both individually and together at the concert. Call (760) 451-8644 or go online to for tickets ($30 adults; $25 active duty military; $10 children 12 and under).

From December 5 to 14, “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” will be performed at the Mission Theater. With tickets only $10 for adults and $8 for children or seniors, it’s a great way to get the family in the holiday mood.

On Saturday, December 6, Father Christmas will spend the afternoon in Jackson Square, which is currently decorated in theme as ‘Dickens Village.’ From noon until 4 p.m., families can enjoy the ambiance of the picturesque little village and snap their own pictures with Father Christmas. Merchants in Dickens Village are planning to provide refreshments.

Music lovers will have another opportunity on Saturday, December 6, at 1 p.m. to enjoy holiday tunes at the Fallbrook Chorale’s annual Christmas concert, “It’s a Wonderful Christmas,” at the Bob Burton Center for the Performing Arts. Concert-goers can enjoy the 40-voice chorale singing carols and holiday folk songs under the direction of Art Blodgett. Tickets for this concert can be purchased in advance at Major Market for $12 or at the door for $15.

The 27th annual Fallbrook Christmas parade, carrying the theme “Fallbrook’s Christmas Spirit,” will take place at 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 6, and is presented, as always, by the Fallbrook Chamber of Commerce. Upwards of 30,000 people are expected to line Main Avenue to view the unique nighttime parade.

Co-chairs Roy and Linda Costello say spectators can expect to see 140 entries that include special appearances, decorated floats, marching bands, horses, antique vehicles and much more. As each entry can include anywhere from two to 50 people, it is expected this year that more than 2,000 individuals will be part of the parade.

Even the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile is coming to town for the parade! It will be parked earlier in the day in Major Market’s lot for a close-up look by viewers. The historic 1902 American steam fire engine pulled by Percheron draft horses and accompanied by “Blaze” the Dalmatian will also be part of the parade procession. The Shriners’ Tin Lizzies will be back as well, to the sure delight of the crowd.

The parade begins at Main and Ammunition and proceeds northbound on Main to Ivy Street (just past the Mission Theater). Look for Santa and Mrs. Claus to be wishing everyone a merry Christmas from atop the last float in the parade, sponsored by the Masonic Lodge, as Santa always lets others go first.

The Costellos head up a team of close to 220 volunteers to present the parade each year but say it is a labor of love.

“Having grown up in Fallbrook, in this little town I love, I feel I’m giving back to the community,” said Roy. “My reward is seeing the kids’ faces, mesmerized as they watch the entries go by and then hearing the ‘Ho, ho, ho!’ of Santa. Seeing their faces is what makes it all worthwhile.”

The Costellos have volunteered their time to the parade for close to 20 years and Roy has chaired it for 10 of those. Now, the husband-and-wife team shares the big job.

“After Roy had been chairman for a few years, I saw an opportunity to be involved in something joyful and wanted to help make it even better than it already was, from a planner’s point of view,” said Linda. “It’s a real treat to work with our committee each year, people from various organizations around town, and have such a good time. At our meetings, we laugh and joke like old friends. It’s very special to be able to come together and do something of this magnitude that can make so many people happy – the public and us.”

The Costellos’ experiences with the parade have included more than a few humorous moments as well. When asked about the funniest parade-related situation he had ever dealt with, Roy couldn’t decide between two.

“First, there was the Marine couple who left Camp Pendleton to head off to their honeymoon. Somehow, they made it into the staging area on Ammunition shortly after starting time and got stuck because of all the entries. We had to carefully feed them around behind Albertsons and send them on their way.

“The other was where I was helping a Boy Scout Troop try to repair a string of lights on their float. When I went around to the other side of the float, I found two horses from another entry chewing on the string of lights, bulbs and all!”

Every parade has something special and the Costellos have given us a heads-up as to what viewers can look forward to this year.

“We have a handful of extra-special entries,” Linda explained. “We will have the First Marine Division Band again, followed by a local platoon of fellow Marines; The American, a 1902 horse-drawn steam pumper fire engine; and the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile.

“There is also a good chance we will have the Budweiser Clydesdales with us again. We will also have nine bands total, including the USMC band.”

A variety of unique opportunities will be offered in Jackson Square during the holidays. On December 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, and 19, carolers dressed in Dickens-theme attire will sing holiday songs in and near the square decorated as Dickens Village. Families can get the feel of what life was like in the Victorian era.

On December 12, a new business (Victorian mercantile) in Jackson Square called Ticky-Boo Tea Shoppe will hold an open house. That evening, a special gentleman’s shopping evening will be offered with a repast at 6 p.m.

If there are children in the family to be indulged, consider the Teddy Bear Tea on December 13 in Jackson Square at the Courtyard Café & Tea Room. Two seatings will be offered, one at 11 a.m. and another at 1:30 p.m. A special visit by Ted E. Bear will take place and virtually everything will revolve around the theme of teddy bears. For cost and reservations, call (760) 451-2343.

On the evening of December 13 the Fallbrook Area Visitor’s Bureau will offer the Inaugural Wine & “A Bite” Holiday Walk from 4 to 7 p.m. Modeled after the Wine & “A Bite” Art Walk of the summer months, this event will feature gift ideas for holiday shoppers. At each of the stops on the designated route, a bite of uniquely prepared food will be offered along with a two- to three-ounce pouring of a selected wine.

To learn more about this event and/or purchase tickets online, visit

On December 20, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Father Christmas will be in Jackson Square to have tea and visit with individuals and families. Those who would like to join him may call (760) 451-2343 for ticket information.

To comment on this story online, visit


Reader Comments(0)

Rendered 07/05/2024 04:49