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Princesses, Santa and carolers a part of downtown San Clemente 21st annual event

Bagpipers lead the parade down Avenida Del Mar at the 2013 Glitz.
Bagpipers lead the parade down Avenida Del Mar at the 2013 Glitz.

By Jim Shilander

Something special is coming to downtown San Clemente Saturday.

The Downtown Business Association’s annual Puttin’ on the Glitz holiday celebration begins at 5 p.m. with the traditional arrival of Santa Claus atop a bright red fire truck. But what follows will be a bit different than in previous years.

While a number of familiar sights, including carolers and children having the opportunity to get their free picture taken with Saint Nick, a number will also be new, DBA director Jessica Sweredoski said. Among the additions this year will be two outdoor screenings of the movie Elf.

“We were just brainstorming ideas,” Sweredoski said. “The construction going on at the library right now is a little bit of an eyesore. So we came up with the idea in order to have something going on over there. And the Santa line can get a little crazy and the kids a little weary. So we wanted to have a movie out there to help keep the kids and the parents entertained.”

There may also be another line, as the two princesses from Disney’s Frozen, Elsa and Anna will be on hand, both as a part of the parade and for a meet-and-greet opportunity at Luxe Realty, located at 222 Avenida Del Mar.

“Everybody’s excited about that,” Sweredoski said.

A number of downtown businesses will also be holding a window decorating contest, which will begin the night of the Glitz and utilize social media. Patrons are urged to take a photo of their favorite display, which will include a number, with the hashtag #scdba. That vote will be extended through the week. People can also vote for their favorites on paper ballots at the event.

The event coincides with the national Small Business Saturday event, which encourages consumers to patronize local businesses rather than large chains.

The event will also play host to the granting of a local girl’s wish.

Illina Leff and her husband Bob are “wish-granters” for the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Saturday, they’ll be presenting a wish to an 8-year-old girl from Dana Point with a life-threatening illness. The young woman is on the kidney transplant list and on daily dialysis.

Leff said the girl’s wish, which includes a week at Disneyland, including meeting characters personally, will be presented at the end of the parade, which she’ll be participating in by riding in a carriage with the Frozen princesses.

The Make-a-Wish Foundation will also have a booth at the event that will allow children to write letters to Santa, and for each letter, $1 will be donated to the foundation.

Returning to the event will be traditional favorites like the Capistrano Valley Christian School Dickens Carolers, who dress in period costume, the San Clemente High School Madrigals and Ooh La La female acapella singers. Each will be performing in various locations throughout the city. There will also be food vendors, a bounce house, carriage and hay rides. Free parking and a shuttle service will be available at SCHS from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.

More information can be found at

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