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Mall marks holiday celebration with toy drive, parade

Parkway Plaza is ready for the holidays. Santa has arrived, and along with his friendly elves, the plaza is brimming with holiday treats for the entire family, starting off with the Salvation Army Fire Truck Parade and Toy Drive on Dec. 3 starting at 11 a.m.

Parkway Plaza Marketing and Business Development Manager Petra Rich said Santa came for the tree lighting on Dec. 19, officially kicking off the holiday season.

“We are partnering with the Salvation Army for all of our holiday events this year, so we are really excited to have that component of giving back tied into all of our holiday celebrations this year,” she said. “This event has been held at Parkway Plaza for many years. We have about nine local fire departments who will parade their trucks through the parking lot, then parking and setting up shop where we will have different community partners involved. We will all be out there set up with games. We will have Frosty the Snowman, a giant toy soldier, the fire department always brings Smokey the Bear. We will be doing give- aways for folks who donate three toys. They will receive a movie ticket to our Regal Cinemas. It is in alignment with our goals as a shopping center as far as giving back, promoting, and being able to use our space for people to provide gifts for those less fortunate in our community.”

Rich said on Dec. 4, and Dec. 11, it will have its sensory-friendly Santa Cares event, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Santa set.

“We open the mall before regular business hours to allow those folks on the spectrum or any developmental disabilities or sensory sensitivities,” she said. “We cut off the music. We have different sensory sensitive games and activities for them to play while they wait for their photos. This event is registration required to allow everyone to get their allotted time, get their photos, while keeping in mind their sensory sensitivities.”

Rich said it is also doing Santa Pet Nights, for pet photos on Mondays from 4-8 p.m. throughout the season.

“We are very excited about those as we just went pet friendly this year and cannot wait to have our furry friends come in this year and get their photos taken with Santa,” she said.

Rich said Breakfast with Santa is on Dec. 10 from 9:30 -11 a.m., a yearly event with the Salvation Army with tickets for $3 for children over three years old and $5 for adults. Children under three are free. All proceeds are donated to the Salvation Army. Lonesome Rider Coffee Company is bringing in classic cars.

On Dec. 10 and 17, Parkway is partnering with the San Diego Literacy Foundation for a free interactive holiday story time from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the JC Penney Play Town with Buddy the Elf, a dancing Christmas Tree, The Grinch and Cindy Lou.

“They will have some community partners they will bring to provide books and read stories,” she said. “We will have some fun crafts and holiday story reading and fun toy giveaways.”

Rich said Santa will be in center court for photos until Dec. 24.

“We highly encourage folks to make reservations as we are already seeing a lot of action at the Santa set,” she said. “We are really excited. We have many stores doing great, fun deals for this holiday season. A couple of stores are providing discounts when they bring in their Santa photo receipt. Stop by the mall, take your photos with Santa and check out some of the other amazing deals with have going on for our stores.”

For more information or to register for events:

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Source: East County Californian

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