The holiday season kicked into high gear in Lompoc on Friday night with the return of the city’s annual Children’s Christmas Season Parade and the lighting of the Community Christmas Tree.

Community members, youth groups, animals and a wide range of decorated vehicles featured prominently in the citywide celebration, which winded through portions of North H Street and West Ocean Avenue. Thousands of spectators braved the chilly weather and lined the sidewalks for the parade, themed “Miracle on H Street.”

The parade was followed by a festive gathering at the downtown Centennial Park, where the community tree was lighted. Several children and families met and, in some cases, took photos with Santa Claus at that post-parade get-together.

The festivities can continue next weekend for anyone who wants an extended visit with Santa.

The city of Lompoc is accepting booking requests for Santa home visits, which are available between the hours of 6:30 and 8 p.m. each day from Friday, Dec. 14, through Monday, Dec. 17.

The cost per booking is $30 for Lompoc residents and $36 for nonresidents, and visits are limited to a maximum of 20 minutes. They will start every half hour.

Any location with more than four children requires booking additional time slots, according to the city.

Information and Santa visit applications are available by visiting or calling the Recreation Division’s administrative office at the Anderson Recreation Center, 125 W. Walnut Ave., 805-875-8100. Completed applications can be returned to the recreation center in-person, by email to recreation@ci.lompoc.ca.us, or can be faxed to 805-736-5195.

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