For the first time in its nearly 25-year run, Cambria’s annual holiday open house in the business district is set for a Friday instead of Thursday night.
Hospitality Night organizers are expecting a sizeable start-the-weekend crowd, with many people getting free rides between East and West Villages on the Cambria Trolley when festivities kick off at 5:30 p.m. The trolley is scheduled to run until 8:45 p.m., shortly before the event wraps up at 9 p.m.
The Cambria Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors Hospitality Night, is adding to the fun with a retro photo booth at 770 Main St. where individuals, couples and even families can get free strips of photos. Costumes will be available for those who wish to dress up.
Holiday tree lightings are scheduled at 5:30 p.m. in front of the Cambria Chamber of Commerce, 767 Main St., followed by a holiday sing-along with Ron Perry and Mary Schwalbe; and at 6 p.m. in the gardens of the Cambria Historical Museum at the corner of Burton Drive and Main Street.
There’ll be photo opportunities with Santa and Mrs. Claus in the East Village museum gardens, and with Santa in front of the West Village chamber office, where officials will also hand out free T-shirts.
Participating Hospitality Night businesses provide entertainment, munchies, beverages, sales, giveaways and/or discounts to say “thank you” to current customers and to introduce their offerings to new customers.
The Local Food Bank will benefit from the “Soup Benefit” in the courtyard of The Garden Shed, 2024 Main St., from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Guests are asked to give a $20 donation to receive a one-of-a-kind bowl created by Coast Unified School District art students and other craftspeople.
Members of 4-H will offer s’mores in front of Among Friends, 2254 Main St.
Sons of American Legion Post No. 432 will provide free hot dogs and hot chocolate in the French Corner Bakery parking lot at 2214 Main St.
Santa Rosa Church will celebrate the Feast of St. Nicholas from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at in church parking lot at 1174 Main St. with a warming fire, cookies, warm drinks, a choir and, of course, St. Nicholas.
The Cambria Chorale’s Christmas Program starts at 6 p.m. at the Joslyn Center, 950 Main St., and the Cambria Center for the Arts, 1350 Main St., has a special showing of original 8-by-8-inch paintings on canvas.
Most of all, Carson added, “we want to see the town all lit up and festive, and everybody having a good time.”
A move by the chamber to rename the evening Holiday in the Pines Open House in conjunction with its month-long celebration was abandoned due to the familiarity of all involved with the long-standing name Hospitality Night. For more on Holidays in the Pines, go to www.cambria holidays.com.