“The San Diego Padres are going to be decorating our house this year in a Padres' theme,” said Kyle Ybarra, who, along wife Carrie, participate every year in the holiday neighborhood block-party tradition.
The Ybarras host another homegrown Yuletide event during December, their hot-chocolate fundraiser benefiting a needy neighbor, on Saturday, Dec. 16.
Noting that a good friend who does marketing for the Padres expressed interested in participating in this year's Garrison Street display, Kyle Ybarra, said: “We brainstormed what they (team) could do within the community during the holidays. Somebody from the team mentioned they might be able to do something 'leveraging' the team as part of the display.”
Concerning the team “pitching in” for Garrison Street's light display, Kyle Ybarra, said: “We thought it would be pretty cool — and help generate traffic — if we could decorate one house with blue and (likenesses) of Trevor Hoffman (famed Padres relief pitcher), the Friar and a baseball glove. They (Padres) asked us I they could do it and we said, 'Sure.'”
Ybarra noted the Padres “Do a big holiday marketing campaign every year. We felt, with their outreach, that this would be a great opportunity (for them) to intersect with the community, leveraging both the Garrison Light event, and at the same time, promote our chocolate charity.”
Ybarra added, “There is a lot of synergy (between both events).”
The Garrison Street Christmas lights tradition was born as a friendly competition nearly 30 years ago between the Judd family's mother and daughter trying to outdo one another with their holiday displays on the block between Chatsworth Boulevard and Garrison Place.
The display began humbly, with just a small nativity scene. In subsequent years, a Santa was added, then angels and Mickey Mouse characters in windows. It has since morphed into something more like Disneyland.
“The Garrison Street lights was started by John and Carolynn Freitas (3616 Garrison St.) as a friendly competition with the neighbors,” said Nazare' Freitas Judd. “Every year more and more decorations were added, and every year new neighbors joined the fun. They try to represent many beliefs, not just Christmas, so everyone feels the love and is welcomed. Now it has continued to grow. The neighborhood has been in a transition with a few homes selling, but we look forward to another amazing year.”
Nazare' added, “The Freitas’ wanted to provide somewhere for families to come to and feel the holiday spirit without having to spend any money, they love hearing the giggles of the children and love being apart of so many families' Christmas traditions.”
Other neighborhood homes have joined in the block party celebration adding lights and other things, like big blow-up displays of Santa Claus and his reindeer, snowmen and other holiday icons.
Kyle Ybarra noted the light show displays, even the neighbors displaying them, change over time. Nonetheless, he pointed out the year-end Garrison Street light show continues with new players — and new displays.