by Paul R. Spitzzeri
The City of Industry held its first holiday tree lighting ceremony here at the Homestead this evening with roughly 200 people in attendance. Fortunately, the weather was nice, with the heavy winds of recent days dying down and making for a comfortable evening.
The city’s executive assistant to the city manager, Susie Gomes, and Elevate Public Affairs’ senior vice-president Adriana Fernandez-Clark, put in considerable time and effort coordinating all the moving pieces for the event with substantial help from their colleagues.
The city’s tree was installed over the last few days by my colleague Robert Barron and the owners and staff of Square Root Landscaping, the city’s contracted landscape maintenance firm, and they did a great job putting it together in time for the event.
My colleagues in the Public Programs area, Alexandra Rasic and Gennie Truelock, also helped with set-up and clean-up and, as is so often the case, stepped in when last-minute adjustments were needed.
Entertainment was provided by the jazz band at Workman High School, one of two schools located in the city, as well as by the choir of Newton Middle School in Hacienda Heights. Students from St. Joseph’s Catholic School in La Puente were also on hand to help with the lighting of the tree.
The event included recognition and certificates provided to the city by the staff of county, state and federal elected officials. Members of a committee that helped develop a City 60th Anniversary art contest and a time capsule that was ceremonially sealed and which be at the museum until it is opened at the centennial in 2057 talked briefly about those elements of the anniversary celebration.
Mayor Mark Radecki, Mayor Pro-Tem Cory Moss, and council members Catherine Marcucci, Abraham Cruz and Newell Ruggles and representatives of county, state and federal elected officials also presented certificates of recognition to six students who participated in the art contest and were able to attend the event.
They represented the Hacienda-La Puente Unified School District, Rowland Unified School and Bassett Unified School District from the elementary through high school levels. Art projects submitted for the contest and which have been displayed at the museum since June were also exhibited in our Homestead Museum Gallery.
Valley Vista Services, which contracts for disposal services with the city and other surrounding communities, brought out a truck that was elaborately decorated by a couple of employees. This impressive vehicle makes the rounds at holiday parades and events in Pomona, El Monte, Covina and La Puente and certainly made a big impression tonight.
Then, at the end of the evening, Santa Claus (who also happens to be Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputy out of the Industry station) made an appearance with limousine service provided by a Los Angeles County Fire Department truck, though with all of the major fires now burning in the area, the vehicle had to head back to the station to be on-call during this difficult time.
So, the event was quite a success and hopefully this will become a tradition in the city. If so, the Homestead is a great place to hold the ceremony and we’ll see if we’re back doing this again a year from now!
Meantime, the tree will be lit and available for the public to see after museum hours from 5 to 8 p.m. so come down to check it out before it is dismantled in early January.