Christmas Celebration In McKinleyville; Work Begins On Botanical Garden

McKINLEYVILLE – The McKinleyville Shopping Center invites the community to join the Christmas Celebration on Thursday, Dec. 5. The annual Christmas Celebration is a kick-off to the holiday season in McKinleyville, and is a free, kid-friendly event open to the community.

The celebration will be from 4 to 8 p.m. at the McKinleyville Shopping Center.

The event is always a good time, and includes Santa Claus coming to town on a fire truck at 5:30 p.m., free activities for the kids, Christmas treats, a coloring contest, special sales, live Christmas music and more. Santa Claus will light a giant Christmas tree on the front lawn thanks to the McKinlevyille Chamber of Commerce.

Also, as a special addition to this year’s event, there will be a town-wide open house featuring specials events throughout the community. Below is the schedule:

4 to 8 p.m. Craft fair in the old Blockbuster building.

5 to 5:30 p.m. Christmas music by the Redwood Coast Children’s Chorus & Alumni Singers.

5 to 7 p.m. Town-wide Open House. Free Christmas treats, shops open late with special sales, activities and crafts (free for the kids!) Carriage rides in the parking lot. Book Sale by Friends of the Library featuring gift-quality books in their shop at the back of the Shopping Center (by the totem pole). Blake’s Books will be hosting a book signing by three local authors: John Daniels,  author of Hooperman, a bookstore mystery, Muriel Wills, author of Like a House on Fire, a Sam Turner Real Estate mystery and Janine Volkmar, author of France with My Father, a travel memoir and exploration.

5:30 p.m.  Santa arrives on a fire truck and lights the giant Christmas tree!

6 to 7:30 p.m. Visit with Santa in the old Plaza  Design location. Free, bring a camera to take a photo of your child with Santa!

The McKinleyville Shopping Center is located at Central Avenue and City Center Roads. All Holiday events are free and open to the public. Contact coordinator Taffy Stockton at (707) 834-6460.

Botanical garden  under construction

If you have walked the loop trails at Hiller Park in McKinleyville recently you may have noticed scattered landscape flags, heavy equipment dirt work and temporary fencing added just west of the playground.  The reason is that McKinleyville Parks and Recreation is in the process of installing a botanical garden at that location.

Last year, members of the McKinleyville Community Services District (MCSD)’s Recreation Advisory Committee discussed the possibility of installing a botanical garden at Hiller Park.

The Committee and members of the public thought it was a good idea and the MCSD Board of Directors approved the project and earmarked funding for its installation.

Staff has been working with local individuals for the design and layout of the pathways and beds as well as what type of plants will be installed.

Many of the plants will be donated. Leftover irrigation pipe from the Hiller Sports Complex project was utilized to help offset the costs of installing irrigation. Because of an agreement made between MCSD and the California Conservation Corps, the labor to do the planting, install chips for the pathways and spread mulch will be no cost to MCSD.

Initially, the project will include three large beds with a variety of flowers and shrubs. Ultimately, the MCSD’s goal is for clubs and organizations to “adopt a bed” and continue the expansion of the garden.

Weather permitting, some greenery will be planted by the end of the year.  The MCSD reminds people to stay out of the area until the plants are established.

The MCSD estimates opening the garden in February or March 2014. For informationn call McKinleyville Parks & Recreation at (707) 839-9003.

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