While snowy cities elsewhere typically stage their holiday markets and happenings under a roof. Colder climes like to take the fun indoors, inside gyms and community centers and malls, but we here in Southern California like a side of sunshine with our Santa-themed doings, if at all possible.
And after several days of welcome rain, that sunshine + Santa equation is going to work out just fine, in the Crown City, as two major merry-minded events take over two major Pasadena thoroughfares on the very same day.
They're a little different from each other -- Artisanal LA is about the locally made hand-crafted goods and the South Lake Holidayfest boasts carriage rides, a scavenger hunt, and shop specials -- so, if possible, you should try and take in both. Visiting one will not automatically give you the experience of both.
What to do, where to go and what to see
Artisanal LA presents its annual Holiday City Market on Holly Street on Saturday, Dec. 6. Booths and tables selling goods like fancy eatables -- Beyond the Olive and Three Little Figs Jam Co. will both be on Holly -- and jewelry and tees and wallets and cards and such will be the theme of the day.
And, for sure, Santa will cameo, too, and carolers as well. Plus you can drink hot cider while you shop, in the soft, post-rain sunshine.
Little slices of heaven don't come heavenlier.
And a few blocks away, that very same day? South Lake Avenue stages its Holidayfest. Live disco-electro pop, shop specials, Santa photos, a scavenger hunt, and carriage rides festoon the 1950s-esque shopping destination.
Honest: Don't you feel like you might have slipped through a time portal, when you're standing on South Lake? And it is 1955 all over again?
Holly Street has a certain wayback charm, too, making both Lake and Holly ideal stretches to celebrate a SoCal-style holiday in the sun.
Plus, how many traditional carols mention both "lakes" and "holly" in their lyrics? Once again, Pasadena, you know how to welcome a big street-based to-do with verve.