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A Frosty, Festive Orinda Holiday Celebration

Tree lighting, carriage rides, singing groups and Santa were all part of the festivities on Saturday night

Orinda tree lighting on Saturday night
Orinda tree lighting on Saturday night
There was Santa and singing as well as carriages and colored lights.

It was all part of Orinda's annual holiday celebration Saturday night in Theatre Square.

The festivities lasted from 4 p.m. until past 7 p.m.

Santa had a bench for children of all ages to visit.

A horse-drawn carriage gave people a ride up and down the downtown area. More than a dozen people waited in line most of the evening.

Two Miramonte High School a cappella groups serenaded visitors.

And, of course, the city's official holiday tree was lit up at 7 p.m. inside the square itself.

The cold, brisk weather may have kept some people away, but those who were there were enjoying themselves.

Jeff Winkel was waiting in line for the carriage ride along with his wife, Vanessa, and their two children, Skylar, 5, and Summer, 9 months.

The family moved to Orinda a year ago from San Francisco and was enjoying a more suburban Christmas celebration.

"I like the spirit of it all. The weather is actually putting us in the mood," said Winkel.

Kevin Akerman was also waiting in line with his daughter, Sophie, 3.

They've lived in Orinda for almost three years, but this was their first visit to the annual festival.

Sophie had already talked to Santa and that seemed like it was going to be the highlight of the evening.

Over at Santa's bench, George and Vanessa Lagui were getting their 2-year-old daughter Celeste introduced to Mr. Claus.

They moved to Orinda from Oakland three months ago and were enjoying what they called a "nice, quaint" evening.

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