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Downtown Manhattan Beach to Hold Holiday Open House and Pier Lighting

Nov 17, 2019 01:42PM ● By Jeanne Fratello
Are you ready for the holiday season? Let Downtown Manhattan Beach get you in the spirit at this week's 25th Annual Holiday Open House and Pier Lighting.

The event will be held on Wednesday, November 20, with various activities and attractions between 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. The official lighting of the Manhattan Beach Pier will take place at 7:00 p.m.

According to Jill Lamkin, the executive director of the Downtown Manhattan Beach Business and Professionals Association, there are several new highlights this year.

First, the L.A. Kings' mascot, Bailey, will be in attendance in Metlox Plaza, near Santa. The Kings will have a booth and are sponsoring a toy drive. Every person who donates a new, unwrapped toy will receive a free Kings game ticket.

Second, there will be a new art installation in Metlox by artists Sue and B. Kneisley titled "Peace on Earth." It will feature large marbleized balls hanging in the trees (symbolizing the earth) along with white doves holding olive branches. There will also be a participation portion of the installation where viewers can write their wishes for the world on tags and tie them to the trees.

Schedule of Events

A full schedule of events is as follows:

5:00 p.m.: Metlox Plaza entertainment, including pictures with Santa by Ralf's Photography, balloon art by The Soozi Show, face painting by Nicole, ukelele music by Jack Tracy, and treats for purchase by Frontier Kettle Corn and Le Pain Quotidien. Families are urged to arrive early for pictures with Santa; lines usually begin forming at around 4:30 p.m.

6:00-9:00 p.m.: Holiday open house, hosted by the more than 300 merchants in downtown Manhattan Beach. Attractions include:
  • Live reindeer in front of pages, a bookstore (The reindeer come from an animal rescue in Tehachapi, where they live year-round);
  • Hyperion Outfall Serenaders located in front of Chase Bank;
  • Dietz Bros. Band, located at 10th and Manhattan Ave.;
  • Matt Jazz, Saxophone, located at 12th and Manhattan Ave.; 
  • Michael Holmes, Guitar, located at Metlox Plaza; 
  • Harmony Carolers;
  • A Holiday Affair Carolers.

6:00-7:00 p.m.: Musical entertainment by the MBMS choir and the MCHS choir at the Manhattan Beach Pier, to be followed by the official pier lighting at 7:00 p.m.

Background and Notes

The Holiday Open House began with several business owners (inluding Wright's, LuLu’s, and Manhattan Coolers) deciding to throw a holiday party in their stores and restaurants and agreeing to send their guests to each other’s business. Twenty-five years later, the tradition endures and more than 10,000 people attend this annual holiday tradition.

A note about street closures and parking: Streets in downtown start closing at 2:00 p.m. for the event, and parking is full by 5:00 p.m. Attendees are urged to walk or use ride-share options. Ride-share drop off zones are located on Valley Drive in front of Vons, 15th street/Highland, 15th street/Valley, and 8th/Manhattan Ave.

For lost items or children, attendees are urged to go directly to the Manhattan Beach Police Department Command Post, located in the upper pier parking lot, just west of The Strand House.

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