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Holiday events begin this weekend

Holiday fun begins bright and early Saturday morning, November 28, in Fallbrook when the Fallbrook Woman’s Club will offer photo opportunities with Santa and Mrs. Claus from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. A visit to their historic clubhouse at 238 West Mission Road will give children the chance to meet the jolly couple visiting from the North Pole and have their photos taken. For $10, Ahrend Studios will provide two four-inch by six-inch photographs.

Later that day, the Historic Downtown Merchants Association will kickoff Joyful Traditions 2009 in collaboration with the Fallbrook Area Visitors Bureau.

The popular horse-drawn wagon rides, a favorite with families, will begin at 4 p.m. that day and continue until 7 p.m. The rides are free but tickets must first be obtained by visiting one of the participating downtown businesses. The pickup/drop-off point is at the Main and Alvarado intersection.

Santa will arrive from the North Pole in time to visit with children that day from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Village Square. Ahrend Studios will be on hand to take pictures of children with Santa ($10 for two 4x6 inch photos).

The official lighting of the community Christmas tree in the Square will take place at 5 p.m. Members of the Fallbrook Chorale will sing Christmas carols during the event and stroll in the center of downtown.

Joyful Traditions will continue on Friday evening, December 4, when participating downtown stores will stay open until 7 p.m., providing refreshments and special offerings. Horse-drawn carriage rides will be available, courtesy of the merchants, once again, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

An annual family favorite, “Scrooge the Musical” will open that evening at the Mission Theatre. Perfect for the entire family, performances will run through December 20. (Call (760) 731-CAST for days/times).

The annual Christmas Parade, presented by the Fallbrook Chamber of Commerce, will take place Saturday evening, December 5, beginning at 5 p.m. Over 100 entries will make their way down Main Avenue as thousands of spectators line the streets in anticipation. The parade starts at the intersection of Main and Ammunition and concludes at Ivy Street. Christmas Parade buttons are being offered for sale this year ($5/each) and by purchasing them, you can help keep this tradition alive in the Friendly Village.

The next afternoon, December 6, the Fallbrook Music Society will present its annual Christmas Concert, a holiday favorite. Beginning at 3 p.m. at the Bob Burton Center for the Performing Arts, this year’s concert features the William Chunestudy Men’s Chorus and the Chamber Music Ensemble Camarada. Music from the 16th century forward, a variety of holiday favorites, will be presented ( for ticket information)

The final Joyful Traditions event will take place on Sunday afternoon, December 20. Perfect for those still needing to pick up some last-minute gifts, merchants will be open for business. Santa will be meeting and greeting kids and their families in the Village Square from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and Ahrend Studios will once again offer photo opportunities. Horse-drawn wagon rides will run from 1 to 4 p.m. and the Fallbrook Chorale will be caroling.

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