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    Ho Ho Ho-ing for a good cause – Pacific Beach SantaCon donates to Toys for Tots
    by THOMAS MELVILLE
    Dec 09, 2018 | 5858 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    SantaCon participants walk south the The Local on Mission Boulevard on Saturday, Dec. 8. / ALL PHOTOS BY THOMAS MELVILLE
    SantaCon participants walk south the The Local on Mission Boulevard on Saturday, Dec. 8. / ALL PHOTOS BY THOMAS MELVILLE
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    Rachel Boles (left), who organized the Pacific Beach SantaCon, with her friend Molly.
    Rachel Boles (left), who organized the Pacific Beach SantaCon, with her friend Molly.
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    Pacific Beach SantaCon
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    Hundreds of Santas, elves, reindeer – and a few trees – pub-crawled through Pacific Beach on Saturday, Dec. 8 to spread holiday cheer and spirits while donating gifts and raising funds for Toys for Tots. “It has been an amazing turnout,” said Rachel Boles, who organized this year’s SantaCon, after restarting the tradition in Pacific Beach in 2017. “Last year, we had about 100 people. This year we had more than 400 come out.” All those somewhat-sauced Santas donated more than 200 toys and raised more than $2,000 for the Toy for Tots program. “I’m going to be buying a lot of toys for children,” Boles said. “I’m really happy about that.” They also filled restaurants and bars – Tavern at the Beach, Mavericks Beach Club, The Local PB, and Sandbox Pizza – spreading more green around for service workers during a normally slow Saturday. “These places are packed on what is usually a dead Saturday because people are busy with the holidays and college football’s not on,” said Boles, who works for US Foods and has many contacts in the service industry. Boles, who’s originally from south New Jersey, said she was surprised there wasn’t an active SantaCon in Pacific Beach when she moved to San Diego. “It’s huge on the East Coast and in other West Coast cities like San Francisco and LA. I know it gets a bad rap at times, but last year we had no incidents. Hopefully, this year everything goes well.” Boles said that most people she meets are also San Diego transplants with no family here, so they rely on friends during the holidays. “This event is a big deal for me because I can’t always go back east to visit family at Christmas. A lot of these people here can’t either, which is why spending time with your friends is so important – we become family. And today, we’re also helping out other families so they can have a wonderful Christmas,” Boles said.
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    News and community briefs for Ocean Beach and Point Loma
    Dec 07, 2018 | 9126 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Vera, the new Ocean Beach mermaid, made her debut Dec. 1 riding on the lifeguard boat at the Holiday Parade. Instead of topping Ross Rock, like her sister Marina did, Vera is to be a ‘guest’ rotating between several OB businesses throughout the year in her new role as a community ambassadress and beacon. / THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
    Vera, the new Ocean Beach mermaid, made her debut Dec. 1 riding on the lifeguard boat at the Holiday Parade. Instead of topping Ross Rock, like her sister Marina did, Vera is to be a ‘guest’ rotating between several OB businesses throughout the year in her new role as a community ambassadress and beacon. / THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
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    Ocean Beach Torrey pine saved A public outcry to spare a 44-inch diameter Torrey pine at 4633 Long Branch Ave. in Ocean Beach from the chopping block has succeeded. “While public safety is foremost in evaluating whether an old, mature tree with defects or health issues should be removed, it’s also important to balance that with the wishes of the surrounding community,” said Anthony Santacroce, City public information officer. “Therefore, the Torrey Pine on Long Branch Avenue will remain in place and will receive corrective pruning to alleviate the weight contributing to the tree’s moderate lean. The tree will also be monitored and evaluated on a regular basis to detect any changes in the health or physical standing of the Torrey pine,” Santacroce said. On Nov. 26, City forester Brian Widener of the city’s Urban Forestry Program emailed the City Forestry Advisory Board advising them that, instead of cutting down the pine, three of its branches would be removed instead, reducing the crown by as much as 15 percent, as well as painting the adjacent curb red. The Torrey pine will be trimmed no sooner than Monday, Dec. 10, Widener said. Letters to Santa in OB Can you picture the ear-to-ear smile of children when they receive a letter from Santa, post marked from the North Pole? Every year at the Ocean Beach Business Center, at 4876 Santa Monica Ave., there is a “Letters To Santa” mailbox program where kids can write their letter to Santa and drop it off with a self addressed stamped envelope, and later receive a response letter from Santa. For more info on how it works, call 619-222-4876. The last day to mail out letters, ensuring a response before Christmas, is Dec. 10. OB Toy and Food Drive Ocean Beach Business Center, at 4876 Santa Monica Ave., is looking for donations for the OB Toy and Food Drive. Call 619-222-4876. Early days of surfing at Sunset Cliffs Come join Jim “Mouse” Robb (85), John Holly (75), Tom “Lizard” Chapman (75) and Billy Chapman (73) as they present their first hand experience with the “surfer’s life” at Sunset Cliffs 2 p.m. Saturday Dec. 8 at Ocean Beach Branch Library, 4801 Santa Monica Ave. They will share their anecdotal recount of surfing culture and boards, surf board design, cultural change and the explosion in popularity of surfing. A Christmas Carol Westminster Presbyterian Vanguard Youth will present “A Christmas Carol” 6 p.m. on Dec. 8, and 2 p.m. on Dec. 9 at Westminster Theatre, 3598 Talbot St. All ages may experience the message, drama and joy of this Dickens tale. There is no charge for this event and it is general seating so please arrive about 20 minutes before show time. For more information, call the box office at 619-224-6263. Peninsula Singers concert Peninsula Singers will present “An American Holiday,” 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14 at All Souls’ Episcopal Church at the corner of Catalina and Chatsworth. Songs will include holiday favorites such as, "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day," "Do You Hear What I Hear?" "Mele Kalikimaka," and much more. PLHS winter concert The music program at PLHS will perform at Crill Hall at Point Loma Nazarene University 7 to 9 p.m. on Dec. 11. Performances include Symphonic Winds, Orchestra, Vocal Point (chorus) color guard, and small musical ensembles Jensen's wine tasting fundraiser Jensen's is holding a wine tasting fundraiser to benefit the music program at PLHS 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 14. Event will be held in Jensen's San Diego office space, across the parking lot of Jensen's Foods in Point Loma. Purchase tickets at Jensen's PL store or at jensensfoods.com/cart/wineTasting.php. ‘First Night’at Point Loma Playhouse Point Loma Playhouse continues its 2018-19 season with the sweet comedy “First Night” by Jack Neary. It’s New Year’s Eve 1992. With a dreamlike plot, film-obsessed Danny Fleming is watching an old movie at the video store where he works. When he wanders into the back room, Meredith O'Connor appears at the window then sneaks in and hides behind a rack of tapes in order to jump out and surprise Danny. These two haven't seen each other in 20 years, since they were in eighth grade. Danny's dreams of being a writer are all but forgotten and Meredith's two decades as a nun have taken a different direction; for Meredith it’s reminiscent of Maria Von Trapp and for Danny it is making a big splash owning his own cinema. What hasn’t changed is the past – when they were in eighth grade. Featured in this heartfelt love story are local actors Timothy Benson and Sarah LeClair Klacka with direction by Jerry Pilato and technical direction by Jay Maloney. “First Night” takes to the stage at Point Loma Playhouse 3035 Talbot St. at the historic Point Loma Assembly Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. through Dec. 16. Tickets may be purchased at pointlomaplayhouse.com. Parade of Lights in San Diego Bay The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights, presented by the Port of San Diego, will delight spectators with a dazzling display of decorative vessels 5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9 and Sunday, Dec. 16. About 80 pleasure craft are participating in this year’s parade. The boats will be festively bedecked to align with the parade theme, “Tropical Island Christmas.” The parade begins at 5 p.m. at Shelter Island. The route proceeds to Harbor Island, the North and South Embarcadero areas, then turns south at Cesar Chavez Park and heads toward the Ferry Landing on Coronado. This is the 47th year of the event, which attracts approximately 150,000 spectators to the shoreline of San Diego Bay. The entire procession takes about two hours. Ideal viewing areas for the parade are Shelter Island, Harbor Island, Embarcadero Marina Parks North and South, Cesar Chavez Park and Pier and the Coronado Ferry Landing. Election coming up for Ocean Beach Town Council The 2019 Ocean Beach Town Council board of directors election is approaching and letters of intent are now being accepted. If you would like to take your community involvement to the next level, here’s a great opportunity. By being an OBTC director you can be an elected voice in communicating the views and needs of the community to the appropriate agencies, be at the forefront of community discussions, take appropriate action on community issues and be a leader in promoting the general betterment of Ocean Beach. There are 15 seats on the Ocean Beach Town Council board of directors and OBTC members elect board directors for two-year terms. Half of the board stands for election every year. This year, eight seats are up for election. If you would like to be considered for candidacy, submit your candidate statement to: info@obtowncouncil.org by Jan. 21. Eligible candidates must be over 18 years of age, already be a paid-in-full OBTC member, and either live, work, own property, or operate a business in Ocean Beach (92107). Voting for this election will take place from Monday, Jan. 28 to Friday, Feb. 8. The Ocean Beach Town Council is a community-based nonprofit organization dedicated to expressing the will of Ocean Beach residents and representing the welfare of the community. For more information, contact info@obtowncouncil.org or visit obtowncouncil.org. Open registration for spring semester begins Dec. 10 Those interested in jump-starting their educational plans can begin as early as Dec. 10 when open registration for the spring semester begins at the San Diego Community College District (SDCCD).  The 16-week spring semester begins Jan. 28 and runs through May 25. At $46 per unit, student enrollment fees are among the lowest in the country for a higher education system. Most students attending City, Mesa or Miramar College, however, do not have to pay for tuition, thanks to the San Diego Promise, the California College Promise Grant, and other financial aid opportunities. Students can also earn a semester’s worth of credit during the winter intersession which will offer four- and six-week sessions both of which begin from Jan. 2. City, Mesa, and Miramar colleges are offering a variety of classes online and at night to accommodate students’ busy schedules. In addition, City College in the spring will debut renovated A, D, and T buildings – among the last of the Proposition N projects that began nearly a decade ago. The A building renovation features upgraded space for admissions, counseling, financial aid, and other services. Renovation of the D building includes a new roof that will be transformed into student and faculty gathering areas, outdoor furnishings, and landscaping. The T building renovation provides a new home for the engineering department and space for machine technology and a technology incubator. Mesa College, meanwhile, will dedicate a new 57,800-square-foot Center for Business and Technology and a new Fine Arts Building that was constructed within the former I-300 Building. Students can register for classes online. For more information visit the SDCCD admissions page.
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    McMillin sells most of Liberty Station to Southern California real estate firm
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Dec 05, 2018 | 6739 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Pendulum acquired 327,000-square-feet of Liberty Station multi-tenant retail and office space.
    Pendulum acquired 327,000-square-feet of Liberty Station multi-tenant retail and office space.
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    Much of Liberty Station, including the North Chapel, has been sold for nearly $159 million.   Pendulum Property Partners, a Southern California-based real estate firm, in partnership with The Seligman Group, has acquired a long-term leasehold on a number of properties in the 361-acre former Naval Training Center. Pendulum acquired 327,000-square-feet of Liberty Station multi-tenant retail and office space. The property is approximately 98 percent occupied.  The seller, McMillin Cos., retains ownership of one hotel site, two hotels under construction and a number of office assets in the neighborhood. Additional property owners within Liberty Station include the NTC Foundation, the Rock Church, High Tech High and hundreds of homeowners. “The ground lease has been transferred to The Seligman Group/Pendulum Partners as of Nov. 15,” said City senior press secretary Christina Di Leva Chadwick, who noted the sale amount was $158.98 million.  Pendulum’s transaction primarily consists of the retail components – The Quarter, South Point and Arts District – of Liberty Station’s master-planned development.  Alongside popular brands Trader Joe’s, Vons and Starbucks, Pendulum’s other anchor tenants include: Liberty Public Market food hall, Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, El Jardín, Corvette Diner, Moniker General, Slater’s 50/50, a nine-hole golf course and a landlocked training ship of the U.S. Navy. Pendulum will continue activation of Liberty Station common areas, as well as upgrading the tenant mix as leases expire.   “San Diego is one of the most diversified economies in the nation and offers many compelling investment characteristics,” said Kevin Hayes, Pendulum managing partner. “Over the past 10 years, countywide growth has outpaced both the state of California and the nation. “Our investment strategy is centered around acquiring well-located assets with the potential to add value over time. Liberty Station fits perfectly within this strategy,” Hayes said.     North Chapel The sale follows on the heels of an ongoing dispute over the possible conversion of historic North Chapel at Liberty Station into a restaurant/entertainment venue. North Chapel, previously used by sailors going off to war, is currently used by two Catholic congregations.  Arguing that the chapel site has been “underutilized,” Liberty Station developer McMillin Cos. previously told both congregations they would continue to be allowed to use the chapel until June. That deadline was later extended until Dec. 31. Hayes said Pendulum has signed a lease with 828 Venue Management Co. to operate North Chapel. “[828 Venue] plan to continue to operate the North Chapel as an event venue, allowing for a wide range of community events throughout the week,” he said. “The venue will continue to be available for weddings, religious gatherings, performances, receptions, and a variety of other events, as permitted in the NTC Precise Plan.” Noting 828 Venue Management Co. understands North Chapel’s historical significance, Hayes added, “They are committed to preserving the historical integrity of the North Chapel, and any tenant improvements that they propose will follow the Department of the Interior’s guidelines for the treatment of historic properties.” Hayes added 828 Venue has reached out to both Catholic groups “to discuss the potential for these congregations to continue to hold their faith celebrations and functions at the North Chapel in the future.” In a letter to The Seligman Group, Mayor Kevin Faulconer wrote: “While no formal application has been submitted to the City for review, I am seriously concerned about any alterations to the chapel’s historically protected characteristics. I oppose any plan that affects the historic nature of the North Chapel … City staff will continue to work proactively with The Seligman Group and the City Attorney’s office to ensure that the chapel remains open to the public and that any future use respects and maintains its historic elements.” Congressman Scott Peters (D-52) and historic preservationists Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO), have both formally requested an investigation by the City Attorney into a commercial lease for the historic church. “We are not giving up on our efforts to save the North Chapel and to encourage the City Attorney to investigate the dealings of the North Chapel and the NTC Foundation,” said Ron Slayen, a Liberty Station Arts District tenant who has been lobbying to block non-religious use of North Chapel. “There may be a new owner of McMillin's ground lease, but the underlying problems and uncertainty remain.” In a memo to City Attorney Mara Elliott, Council President Pro ten Barbara Bry posed a number of legal questions, including whether the City has the authority to compel keeping North Chapel open to the public, and whether the chapel’s interior features can be removed or altered. “We are researching the legal questions presented to us by Councilmember Bry,” said City Attorney spokesperson Hilary Nemchik.
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    Garrison Street light show continues, but hot chocolate fundraiser ends
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Dec 04, 2018 | 3659 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The Garrison Street holiday lights display from last year. / Photo by Mike McCarthy
    The Garrison Street holiday lights display from last year. / Photo by Mike McCarthy
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    The annual hot chocolate fundraiser hosted by the Ybarras of Point Loma is no more, but the neighborhood Garrison Street Christmas light show will continue. That was the good — and bad — news this year on the peninsula Yuletide front. “Unfortunately we retired the hot chocolate stand on Garrison. Last year was our final year,” said Carrie Ybarra who, along with husband Kyle, has hosted the fundraiser at their home. “After 18 years, our two daughters are now out of the house and off to college, so we decided that it was the right time to bring it to an end. Although it's bittersweet, we say good bye to our little hot chocolate stand that turned into an amazing community event each year. We can now reflect on the influence we had on so many families in need. We are all pretty proud.” The Garrison Street holiday nighttime Christmas display survives. But the show has been downsized. “The neighborhood has had some recent changes,” noted Carrie Ybarra. “There are a few homes for sale and new folks are moving in, not participating in the light show.” The Ybarra charity hot-chocolate fundraiser started out small with their two daughters setting up a card table in front of their Garrison Street residence. One daughter, now in her 20s, was 6 years old when she and her three best friends set up a small little hot chocolate stand to benefit a young girl in Tijuana they knew who was going to have surgery. They raised about $80 and took that money and bought the girl a Barbie doll and took it to her hospital room. Kyle Ybarra noted there were 18 different fundraising recipients over the years. Those recipients included a victim of domestic violence, a child with brain cancer, a boy who was shot and survived, a juvenile diabetes sufferer and a man who lost his arm in a boating accident. Rady Children's Hospital was a recipient one year.  Like the chocolate fundraiser, the Garrison Street Christmas light display began humbly, with just a small nativity scene.  The holiday tradition was born as a friendly competition some 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. In subsequent years, a Santa was added, then angels and Mickey Mouse characters appeared in windows. Eventually, the event morphed into something more like Disneyland. Every year more and more decorations were added —and new neighbors joined in. The neighborhood’s objective was to represent many beliefs, not just Christmas, so everyone could feel the love and be welcomed.  Last year, in 2017, Garrison Street’s year-end holiday event drew a “major league” sponsor, the San Diego Padres. The team sponsored the decorating of a Garrison Street home participating in the light show with a Padres’ theme. The home was decked out in blue with likenesses of Hall of Fame Padres’ relief pitcher Trevor Hoffman, the Friar and a baseball glove. 
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    La Jolla looking for park land – residents suggest parklets and view corridors for more open space
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Nov 29, 2018 | 16530 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Hikers look south to La Jolla Cove from a lookout on one of the trails at Torrey Pines State Reserve. / THOMAS MELVILLE / LA JOLLA VILLAGE NEWS
    Hikers look south to La Jolla Cove from a lookout on one of the trails at Torrey Pines State Reserve. / THOMAS MELVILLE / LA JOLLA VILLAGE NEWS
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    The public perception is that much of La Jolla’s public park space lies underwater. That point was debated at length at a recent La Jolla Parks and Beaches meeting where City park staffers discussed an ongoing update to the citywide parks master plan, which includes La Jolla. The City got an outpouring of ideas and opinions from La Jollans arguing their community is decidedly “under parked” with its above-ground parks and open spaces. LJPB planners have long held that much of the community’s available park space is in the submerged, 6,000-acre San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park between Torrey Pines State Reserve and La Jolla Cove.  On Oct. 22, Meredith Dawson, Shannon Scoggins and Rosalia Castruita representing the City’s Parks and Recreation Department invited residents to share their views on the quality of La Jolla’s existing park space, vetting where more space could possibly be found. “The City’s parks master plan has not been done since 1956 and we’re now laying out a new plan,” said Dawson. “We’re meeting with stakeholder groups who are invested in local neighborhood parks.” “Park advocates are key stakeholders,” Scoggins told LJPB’s board, adding the objective is to “create a roadmap” guiding parks master-plan revision. Scoggins said the City wants to standardize its definition of what a park is, as well as make parks more publicly accessible. “We want people to live a minimum of a 10-minute walk and 20-minute bike ride from meaningful open space,” Scoggins said. An audience member replied those time intervals might be excessively long for moms with strollers or seniors, adding the City needs to consider the multi-generational needs of park users. Resident Gail Forbes inquired if the San Diego Unified School District had been approached about sharing school recreational spaces. Scoggins replied that, with today’s heightened school security, it has become increasingly difficult for the public to use school space without shared-use agreements. “We are the most under parked community in San Diego,” contended LJPB board member Melinda Merryweather. “We need to come up with some more land.” Merryweather suggested Pottery Canyon, a designated City historical site off Torrey Pines Road, would be ideal for a picnic park. LJPB board member Patrick Ahern said pocket parks and view corridors shouldn’t be overlooked. The Cove’s Coast Walk trail ought to be considered for park space, argued one audience member, to which another replied, “That trail is a dedicated street. The homeowners own the land so it can’t become a park.” Another resident argued La Jolla needs more off-leash dog space, complaining popular Capehart dog park on Mount Soledad is inadequate. Bird Rock resident Sharon Wampler noted the city ought to take a closer look at parklets and remnant lots in its quest to find more park space. Architectural historian Diane Kane said the city ought to consider the historical and cultural resources of parks in its parks master-plan update. “That is what we want to hear,” said Dawson in response to the public’s comments. “We’re going to be fleshing out trends coming from these listening sessions.” LJPB board member Phyllis Minick asked why the abandoned De Anza Mobile Park site isn’t being considered for park space. She was told that site’s future is being debated in the City’s ongoing De Anza Revitalization Plan. One proposal calls for the former mobile home park to be turned into shorefront camping. How much park space is in La Jolla? Addressing the actual amount of public park space in La Jolla, and whether or not any of it is underwater, the City confirmed the community is “under parked,” but said none of its calculated park space is inundated. “Population-based park acreage requirements come from the Recreation Element of the City’s General Plan and are generally made up of community parks, neighborhood parks, mini parks and joint-use areas,” said City spokesperson Tim Graham. “We are to provide 2.8 acres of usable parkland per 1,000 residents.” Noting useable parkland is generally flat enough for recreational use, Graham said, “In 2106 La Jolla was determined to be 30.51 acres in deficit of useable parkland, and are projected to be 37.66 acres short in 2035.” Graham said La Jolla is a little unusual in that, “There are areas along the coast, such as south of Children’s Pool, that appear to be parkland,” while adding, “But they are actually street right-of-way. Those types of areas are not included in the calculations because they are not designated parks.” Added Graham, “Then you have Charlotte Park, which is nothing more than a rocky beach that can only be accessed from the ocean except maybe in an extremely low tide.” Graham said Charlotte Park was likely donated to the City many years ago, and was probably designated as a park because, “There wasn’t any other category it would fit into.” “The San Diego La Jolla Underwater Park is counted toward the City’s overall park acreage, but not towards La Jolla’s population-based park needs,” said Graham, pointing out the underwater park is considered more as a regional park because it attracts people from all over, not primarily La Jolla.
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    News
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    Current Issues(Archives)
    The Peninsula Beacon, December 6th, 2018
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    The Peninsula Beacon, December 6th, 2018
    The Peninsula Beacon, December 6th, 2018
    download The Peninsula Beacon, December 6th, 2018
    The Peninsula Beacon, December 6th, 2018
    La Jolla Village News, November 30th, 2018
    download La Jolla Village News, November 30th, 2018 (Holiday Gift Guide & Parade Program)
    La Jolla Village News, November 30th, 2018
    The Peninsula Beacon, November 29th, 2018: Holiday Parade & Shopping Guide
    download The Peninsula Beacon, November 29th, 2018: Holiday Parade & Shopping Guide
    The Peninsula Beacon, November 29th, 2018: Holiday Parade & Shopping Guide