OMG…I never shared the horror that was this “event”. I use the term lightly as it was just not well thought out. Okay, it wasn’t that bad, but damn…you’d think that the people putting this together have never gone anywhere before. It was practically insulting. All the typical stuff was touted: Food! Music! Toys! Snow!
Now, this could be a good thing, like Arrowhead’s exhibit at the Fair this summer, real snow coming down. Or it could be bad. Like The-Grove-soap-bubbles-snow-bad. This was bad in dirty-gutter-3-days-after-a-snowstorm-bad.
The event started at 3pm. We got there around 6pm. It was to end around 8pm. When we arrived at “the snow”, we found it be a 20′ wide enclosure (enclosed by old tires stacked 2 high), guarded by what looked to be two old vatos. There were about 60 kids, ages 1 – 57 slipping and sliding all along the ice…I mean snow. Needless to say, this was little more than packed slush at the time. It was utterly and completely disgusting. Naturally, Ilia just had to be there. I was shaking my head in disbelief, mouth agape. Ilia was whining and crying. We were standing about 10′ away from “snow” and had to dodge projectiles hurtling at our heads at 75mph. Ice chunks. I actually almost dove to protect Alton from one that luckily landed about a foot short of his stroller. There was no way in hell I was getting on that ice…I mean “snow” and there was surely no way my kid was going to participate in that. My logic…the “snowbank” at the Arrowhead exhibit was packed ice in a box 3′ above the ground (with no railings, I might add). That box was 10′ by 20′ and kids were throwing ice around. Ilia got hit and started to cry. Yeah, like I’d willing go through that drama again.
So we started walking around. We saw this table and realized they were giving out toys. There were three tents with two tables each, so that means each booth was at least 12′ – 20′ wide. Each tent was broken into 3 age groups. We sat there looking at the booth for 5 minutes. Exactly 3 kids got toys. Meanwhile, the line grew:
Of course, the little girl wanted to stand in the non-moving line for some 99 Cents Store toys. More tears and drama raged. In the meantime, Alton had decided that he was mad at me and didn’t want me to look at his pig:
Oh the food? Yeah…there were donuts, churros, pan dulce, hot cocoa, and weak coffee. HUNGRY! And since we got there two hours before the thing was to end most of that was gone too. They did have booths for the kids to decorate an ornament or cupcake and to write a letter to Santa. The Santa booth was shut down by the time we got there. They ran out of cupcakes by the time we got there and 3 of the 4 ornament decorating booths were out of everything but pipe cleaners and confetti. Nice. But there was one beacon of hope…the face painting booth was still open AND still had paints. We stood in line for 10 minutes. It was worth it:
Everyone else was getting Christmas trees, snowmen or Santa painted on them. She chose a butterfly. It matched her jacket. She wouldn’t wash her face for two days. I had to sneak in while she was sleeping with a wipe.
As promised, there was music. Unfortunately, there were no chairs and the stage was sorta pushed off to the side, almost as an afterthought. Oh well, no one should have to suffer through I Will Survive…en Español.
So, that’s how we spent 40 minutes of Dec. 18th on Huntington Dr. in El Sereno. This was the 2nd Huizar’s Winter Wonderland (that’s actually some clever alliteration there). I’ll assume my councilman (Huizar) showed up and gave a speech. I am very curious as to how the event was planned and who paid for it. It really could have been a lot a better, especially if it had been planned early enough. I think I’d like to volunteer to be on the planning committee if possible.