Though the prime part of the season officially gets under way Dec. 1 with the parade and tree lighting, there will actually be a precursor to the main event at the OB Christmas tree location at the foot of Abbott Street on Nov. 29 from 9 a.m. to noon.
“School children from the area will help decorate the tree that morning,” said Claudia Jack, associate director of the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association. “They’ll have a chance to come down and see Santa, bring an ornament and put it on the tree.”
Later that evening, beginning at 6 p.m., there will be an auction to benefit the Ocean Beach Town Council Holiday Food and Toy Drive at the Sunshine Co. Saloon.
“This is a great opportunity to give back to the community, with lots of great items from local merchants,” Jack said.
One of the most popular activities each year is the OB Farmers Market Holiday Concert Series, promoted by Michael Head.
“This year, I am expanding the music and fundraising,” he said. “I am having a ‘December Concert Series’ with a food, toy and money drive benefiting needy OB families through the MainStreet Association.”
Artists performing include Trevor Green on Dec. 5, Joey Harris and The Mentals, plus the Midnight Pine with Alfred Howard from Heavy Guilt/Black Sands on Dec. 12 and King Legend with the Country Rockin’ Rebels on Dec. 19.
“We also put on all of the holiday events free of charge and really try to provide OB with a sense of community spirit,” Head said. “We collect food, toys and money and the occasional new clothing. It's always important to help. I do think the need is still out there. And the tradition of community events brings everyone together.”
He said he’s particularly pleased with the support Ocean Beach residents have given to these efforts to help the less fortunate.
“The fundraising efforts are pretty successful,” said Head. “There are a lot of generous, anonymous donors in OB. I’ve seen it.”
Head said his favorite thing about the season is much the same as many participants say on the day of the event.
“My favorite part of the holidays in OB is the lighting of the famous OB tree and the parade,” he said. “It’s the signal the holidays have truly begun.”
Meanwhile, one of the city’s most unusual holiday happenings takes place minutes after the end of the parade on Dec. 1 with Holidazed and Confused, a musical celebration featuring the songs of Led Zeppelin that takes place at Winston’s Beach Club. Featuring top area cover band Dazed and Confused, the event features three sets of music, starting with an acoustic reading and featuring guest musicians. Admission is $8 or $4 if guests bring an unwrapped toy or can of food.
Event organizer and Dazed and Confused frontman Jason Ott said he believes the night is important for more than just classic rock fans.
“Toys on Christmas made me ecstatic as a kid,” he recalled. “Hopefully, the donations will help some children enjoy their holidays a little more. We’re glad to help Winston’s raise money and offer a spot for toy/food collection.”
He said he believes the holidays are the best time of the year and that he is thrilled to be able to give something back to the community.
“It’s about getting together with friends and family that you don’t usually get to see,” said Ott. “Also, the holidays seem to bring out the best in people.”
Led Zeppelin’s music may not be particularly holiday oriented. And Ott agrees — to a point.
“I don’t think Christmas music is our style, but it is definitely going to be a celebration day,” said Ott. “Does it count as Christmas music if we play with Santa hats on? I think our crowd would lynch us if we went into ‘I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas’ or something.”