Photos and Story by Breeana Greenberg
Shoppers packed the Dana Point town center on Sunday, Dec. 4, when more than 100 small businesses set up booths along Del Prado Avenue, from Violet Lantern to Ruby Lantern, for the inaugural “Sleigh the Holidays.”
Dana Point Entertainment and Arts Council (DPEAC) partnered with the City of Dana Point and the Monarch Beach Rotary Club to launch the holiday market featuring local vendors, live bands, food trucks, caroling and a pet parade.
“Dana Point Entertainment and Arts Council in partnership with the Monarch Beach Rotary was thrilled with the turnout for this inaugural event,” DPEAC Executive Director Todd Wallin said. “With the money that was raised, we will be able to help more charities in Dana Point.”
Walling added that Rotary members and about 50 students from the Interact Clubs at Dana Hills High and Capistrano Valley High volunteered at Sunday’s event.
At 1 p.m., Christina Haney, a veterinarian, and Wallin kicked off the pet parade with more than 50 entries, according to Wallin.
In the kids’ zone, children had the opportunity to build gingerbread houses, draw on large cardboard gingerbread houses and play with artificial snow and moldable play sand.
Pop-Up Shoppes founders Sergio Bindel and May Ratana curated the vendors for the market.
“We worked with a huge team on this, and to see it all come to life and get, I think we had about 10,000 attendees at this event throughout the day, it was such an amazing turnout of local participants,” Bindel said. “The vendors also did really, really well.”
“That’s the biggest thing; we want to make sure that this was profitable for them and something they would sign up for next year,” Bindel continued. “Feedback was very, very good.”
Ratana added that the Pop-Up Shoppes wanted to thank the Dana Point community, as well as the DPEAC and City of Dana Point, for supporting local businesses.
In an email, Wallin added that the DPEAC board wanted to thank “Chris and Kathy Zoch and Dr. Kristin Haney for the local sponsorships, along with Dana Hills High School Interact Club that is sponsored by the Monarch Beach Rotary.”
“DPEAC is looking to expand the footprint next year and add more holiday celebration and double the size of the VIP area, which sold out this year,” Wallin continued.
Mayor Joe Muller said he “couldn’t be more pleased with how the event turned out.”
“It’s been a dream of mine for the last five years to put this together,” Muller said, thanking the DPEAC board, volunteers and community members for coming out to support the holiday market.
“It was fantastic,” Muller continued. “I was really pleased for the first year, for an event of that magnitude, to go off as well as it did. It was so well-attended, the vendors were fantastic, people had a really good time.”
Breeana Greenberg is the city reporter for the Dana Point Times. She graduated from Chapman University with a bachelor of arts degree in English. Before joining Picket Fence Media, she worked as a freelance reporter with the Laguna Beach Independent. Breeana can be reached by email at email@example.com
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