Christmas at Closter Park Trees, gifts and even snow come to Salinas

YOUNG VOICES |

By Isaac González Díaz

Christmas at Closter Park returns for its third year with different family activities such as pictures with Santa, Christmas displays, giveaways, live performances, arts and crafts, real snow and raffled Christmas trees.

Sponsors decorate each tree and donate them on the last day of the event. “All 70 trees are raffled at the end of Sunday night,” said Salinas Councilman Orlando Osornio. “Maybe somebody (who) didn’t have a tree under their roof that year will get the opportunity to have a tree under their roof.”  The trees come with a stand, lights and decoration – ready to be enjoyed, Osornio added. 

Children also receive gifts when they arrive. “It’s kind of like Christmas in the Park, the one in San José, but a local version,” Osornio said. “It’s just a really good, fun, family event to go to. They have lights, hot chocolate, they have a small carnival and they have an ice-skiing ring, and for me, somebody who was born and raised in Salinas, it was really important that the residents that live here also have access to those types of fun events.”

Orsonio said conversations with his coworkers over lunch resulted in forming a group to first organize the event two year ago. The event is co-sponsored by several businesses and service organizations, including the Salinas Alisal Rotary.

“It is right in our backyard,” said Ralph Martínez, Salinas Alisal Rotary Club president. “Closter Park has La Plaza Rotario, which is the kiosk that was built with funds raised by local and international clubs 13 years ago. The majority of the kids who will be able to enjoy this will be kids who attend schools and live in our community, the Alisal.”

Christmas in Closter Park is offered over two days, Dec. 9 and 10.

“Many of these kids have never had an opportunity to be taken to the snow because of lack of funds, working parents or they travel with the harvest season. Christmas in the Park is bringing the snow to them,” Martínez said. 

What: Christmas in Closter Park

Where: Closter Park, 401 Towt St. in Salinas.

When: 5-9 p.m. Dec. 9; 4-8 p.m. Dec. 10

Cost: Free

Isaac González Díaz

About Isaac González Díaz

Isaac Alberto González Díaz graduated in 2023 from North Salinas High School and is now attending Hartnell College. He plans to transfer to a four-year university to pursue a degree in journalism. He enjoys photography, building Legos, listening to music, reading, and taking walks around his neighborhood.