Tuesday, November 30, 2021     Volume: 22, Issue: 39

Santa Maria Sun / Spotlight

The following article was posted on November 24th, 2021, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 22, Issue 39 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 22, Issue 39

Buellton's annual Winter Fest opens the holiday season

By Taylor O'Connor

Holiday activities will extend from morning to night for Buellton residents and visitors during the town’s annual Winter Fest celebration, said Kathy Vreeland, executive director of Buellton’s Chamber of Commerce. 

“It’s a fun community activity and just a way to gather,” Vreeland said. “Last year was tricky [since] we were heading into another shutdown, but [now] people are anxious to get back together and have more celebration.”

Children and parents play in the snow during Buellton’s 2017 Winter Fest celebration. This year’s festivities—featuring 20 tons of snow, a parade, Breakfast with Santa, and more—will be held on Dec. 5.

The Buellton Winter Fest will be held on Dec. 5 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and festivities include Breakfast with Santa, a parade, a winter village, and 20 tons of fresh snow. The day closes with the town’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony. 

Buellton recently held its Fall Fest, which Vreeland said was “awesome.” 

“It was packed, but people were ready to get out and have some fun. A lot of people are vaccinated now, and some of the fear and worry is gone,” Vreeland said. “We will take our precautions, but I’m not too concerned.”

Breakfast with Santa kicks off the morning from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Buellton Rec Center, located in Jonata Middle School. The Buellton Senior Center makes a pancake breakfast for families, and everyone can take their picture with Santa as well as participate in the “make and take” crafts station where participants can make Christmas ornaments to take home, she said. 

“Some kids get dressed up and others stay in their jammies. When the kids see Santa, it keeps the magic in it,” Vreeland said. 

In the afternoon, visitors can watch Buellton’s small, neighborhood Christmas parade starting at Jonata Middle School, going up Second Street, around Oak Valley, and back to the school. Participants can decorate bikes or cars and ride with the parade, Vreeland noted.

Activities cease until 4 p.m., and in the meantime, visitors can go to wine tasting rooms, eat at local restaurants, visit neighboring towns, spend time at the botanical gardens, or go feed ostriches at Ostrichland, Vreeland added. 

“There are plenty of ways to stay busy,” she said.

By 4 p.m., the winter village is open where local vendors sell jewelry, fleece blankets, candy, gift baskets, churros, hot cocoa, and popcorn, to name a few items, Vreeland said. There will be a beer and wine tent for the adults to enjoy, but everything else is family friendly.

“There will be some repurposed vintage handmade items; we just had some vendors sign up selling Turkish items—bags, pillows, [and] ceramics. There’s a little bit of everything,” she continued. 

Local jazz bands and carolers perform throughout the day, and Vreeland is in the process of booking food trucks. The major highlight of Winter Fest is the 20-ton snowfall at the Winter Village—provided by a local ice company that brings in an ice-shredding machine—to make Buellton a true winter wonderland, Vreeland said. 

Having grown up in Michigan, Vreeland said she missed the snow every year during the holidays on the Central Coast, and she wanted to share that joy with the kids visiting the winter village. 

“It’s basically like shaved ice, but 20 tons is a lot, and it gives them plenty to play with. It’s nice to bring this to them, and they play with it until it melts,” she said.

“It’s a fun day, families love it, and it’s a nice way to start off the holiday season,” Vreeland continued. 

For more information, contact the Buellton Chamber at (805) 688-7829. Breakfast with Santa pre-registration is required, and tickets for those 13 and older cost $12 each, ages 3 to 12 are $7 each, and infants 2 and under are free with each paid adult. The Rec Center is located at 301 2nd St.


• Dignity Health Central Coast Hospitals partnered with Vitalant to encourage community members to donate blood. The recent partnership held 13 blood drives and received enough blood to save 1,485 lives. In order to bolster local and national blood supplies, Vitalant is calling on the community to come forward and give blood due to the current supply shortage. The process only takes 45 minutes, but the blood can save up to three lives. Blood drive opportunities will be at the Arroyo Grande Community Hospital Annex, 345 South Halcyon Road, on Nov. 30 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; the Santa Maria-based Marian Regional Medical Center Bloodmobile located outside Building 1, 1400 East Church St., on Dec. 6 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and San Luis Obispo’s French Hospital Medical Center’s Copeland Pavilion, 1911 South Johnson Ave., on Dec. 9 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. All donors must wear a facial covering and are encouraged to make appointments in advance to help maintain social distancing.

Reach Staff Writer Taylor O’Connor at toconnor@santamariasun.com. 

Weekly Poll
What are your Thanksgiving plans this year?

Traveling to be with family.
Staying home to feast with local family/friends (gas is too expensive/we’re not out of the pandemic yet).
Putting up my Christmas lights and tree ASAP.
Asking family to come to us this year.

| Poll Results

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