Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Lake Baldwin Lights up for the Holidays

Three white horses strolled around the city center on the shore of Lake Baldwin Saturday night - the procession led this year’s Festival of Lights.

Families and friends huddled for warmth along the brick-laden road for a chance to ride in a horse-drawn carriage.

Joey Mangano, founder of Downtown Horse & Carriage II, Inc. said it was his fourth year working with Baldwin Park during the holidays.

Face-painters, jugglers, and plate balancing acts dotted the streets, interacting with the crowd throughout the shopping center.

“It’s hard to stop a show and start again. It’s our job to keep the momentum,” said performer Billy Damon.

Damon showed children how to balance spinning plates on a single stick while his son, Liam, juggled beside him. Damon said he’d traveled the world over and has recently been to Shanghai. Through all of his shows, he leans more toward the “mainly interactive” side of performing.

“During the holiday season, everyone is in a good mood,” Rose Barnett, a sociology major at Valencia said, as she watched as a Christmas tree, complete with ornaments and snow, was painted onto the face of her son.

“The more things keeping the people here after the parade, the longer they’ll stay,” Mangano, of the horse-drawn carriage company, said.

The festivities went well into the night while the Amish-built carriages brought awaiting passengers on a tour of the town.

Previously published in the Valencia Voice

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