ONTARIO — With the holiday season officially here, what better way to kick it off than with a light show? Four Rivers Cultural Center did just that, with its sixth annual Christmas Spirit and Lighting Celebration on Friday.

According to Four Rivers Cultural Center Executive Director Matthew Stringer, over 300 people are estimated to have taken part in the festivities this year, saying that Nov. 29 is the earliest this celebration has ever been held.

“It’s kind of the biggest Christmas decoration in the city,” says Stringer of the syncopated light program. As for the date, he explained, “I don’t want to have it up for a shorter period of time,” than previous years.

Contributing light displays were the Mendoza family and Vanmar Trucking.

The lighting itself was comprised of LED lights showing images matched to popular christmas songs, a show orchestrated by Martin Mendoza, Jr.

According to Stringer, it took his team over 60 hours to string up the lights and prepare the Center for the celebration.

“It’s just supposed to be a festive time to celebrate… to engage with each other,” said Stringer.

Families took part in arts and crafts, watched a magician, and even got to take part in a reader’s theatre which presented an old-fashioned radio show on-stage.

And what Christmas celebration would be complete without Santa Claus? Claus was indeed present to take pictures with local children and field their wishes for the holiday.

Stringer thanked his staff for their hard work on this celebration, and said their work on all the events the Center puts on means they’ve been good all year.

“There are ten people on the Four Rivers Cultural Center staff that do everything from plan events to [setting] them up, too.”

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