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Commerce Community Gathers In Holiday Cheer

Hundreds of families attended the City of Commerce’s annual Community Tree Lighting event on Monday night that featured live performances, skits, photos with Santa and, of course, a much anticipated Christmas tree lighting.

In one of their last appearances as Commerce royalty, Miss Commerce, right, and her court pose with Santa. (EGP photo by Gloria Angelina Castillo)

This year, Mayor Lilia Leon and her colleagues on the city council used a “smart phone,” a remote control prop about a foot long, to turn the 40-foot Christmas tree’s lights on.

During a skit, Master of Ceremonies Adolfo Marquez, the city’s interim senior recreation supervisor, jokingly said he was reading the children the “State of the City Address,” and Santa soon arrived to encourage them to shop locally. At one point, Marquez elicited laughter from the crowd when he briefly danced ‘gangnam style’—a popular song and dance reminiscent of the international “Macarena” craze in the 1990s.

Performances by Department of Parks and Recreation dance and performing arts program participants were some of the night’s main attractions, as proud parents, relatives, friends and neighbors watched local children perform to holiday music. The city’s recreational programs were promoted throughout the evening.

During the event, Miss Commerce, Unique Starlene Hernandez, sadly announced that Miss Commerce 2013 pageant applications would be available at the end of this month. Hernandez and members of her court posed with Santa and children who formed a long line to have their photos taken and receive a gift.

The City of Commerce has a Holiday Cheer Program for people wishing to make the holidays a little merrier for their neighbors in need. The program includes a variety of ways to give, including an Adopt a Family option. Donations are being solicited by Dec. 12, for more information call (323) 722-4805.