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Village merchants prepare holiday events, elect new board

The La Jolla Village Merchants Association (LJVMA) discussed holiday events planned for the Village between now and the end of the year, and elected the board that will serve for the next year, at its Oct. 14 meeting.

events under discussion included Pillage the Village (Oct. 30), christmas Parade & Holiday Festival (Dec. 6), and the second Village Festival of Lights contest (in December).

Pillage the Village, the community-wide costume and trick-or-treating party, will begin at 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30. Monsters, superheroes, princesses and pirates are invited to wander upper Girard Avenue and connecting streets to receive treats from participating businesses, indicated by posters and balloons.

LJVMA member Claudette Berwin said the Real Estate Broker’s Association (REBA) at 908 Kline St. would hold a costume contest with four or five categories TBA. “REBA employees go around with wands and invite costumed children to the contest. It really gets the kids excited and there are small prizes for them,” she said.

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Ann Kerr Bache, La Jolla christmas Parade & Holiday Festival chair, reminded the board of the 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6 event, now in its 58th year. “Last year there were upwards of 20,000 people at the parade and another 5,000 at the holiday festival,” she said, noting sponsorship opportunities are available through the end of October.

A marching band could be sponsored (and recognized in the parade program) for $600 and a float for $500. “but we’ll take tax-deductible donations right up to the day of the parade, the day after the parade, any time for any amount,” she said.

The 2015 theme is “100 years of christmas cheer,” in honor of La Jolla Rec Center, which is celebrating its centennial this year. representing the Rec Center, Peter Ferrell, Jack McGrory and bill Kellogg will serve as the parade’s honorary chairs.

The parade march starts on Girard Avenue at Kline Street, moves down Girard to Prospect Street, then down Prospect to Silverado. Other streets will be closed for staging and preparation. For more details, including a map, visit ljparade.com

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LJVMA members Richard Walker and James Niebling
LJVMA members Richard Walker and James Niebling
(Ashley Mackin)

To keep the holiday spirit glowing, LJVMA will continue its lighting of Girard Avenue and will host the second Festival of Lights contest. LJVMA member Richard Walker reported he was in communication with Vons to string LED holiday lights around its roof to match the other lights being strung throughout the Village, chiefly on Girard Avenue.

Additionally, LJVMA executive director Sheila Fortune said the Festival of Lights contest would return to encourage businesses to decorate their windows with holiday-themed displays.“Last year, we had 20 participating businesses that decorated their storefronts after Thanksgiving through the holidays,” she said, hopeful that this year, even more will participate. “It gets people excited, into our businesses, and we want to light up the Village.”

business owners may decorate however they see fit and LJVMA will award winners with bragging rights in various categories.

New board elected

LJVMA elected seven members to its board to serve for the next year: Christophe Cevasco of Eddie V’s restaurant, Nancy Warwick of Warwick’s Books, Brett Murphy of La Jolla Sports Club, Michael Dorvillier of Symbio Financial, Claude-Anthony Marengo of Marengo Morton Architects, Ike Fazzio of San Diego Fly Rides bicycle rentals and Adam Barno of Dick’s Liquor.

This year, LJVMA conducted its election by mail-in ballot, which resulted in 80 votes cast, far fewer than in previous years. Nonetheless, the San Diego business Improvement District council counted the ballots, and called in the results after the meeting. Fortune notified the winners and announced they would be seated and sworn in at the Nov. 11 meeting.

Way-finding signs revisited

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In March, LJVMA voted to proceed with a proposal to install directional signs that point and provide the distances to La Jolla landmarks, beaches, businesses and more. The original plan was to attain the funding ($20,000 for seven signs) from businesses that would be represented on the signs before deciding on their design and placement.

“We’re stepping away from that now,” said project chair Walker. “Funding has been put on hold so we can focus on the look and feel of the signs. After that, we’ll concentrate on where they should go, then on how many we want, and then fund them.”

Fortune added they are still a ways away from installation because the project still needs to be presented to other local civic boards and permits need to be obtained.