Sunday, December 01, 2013

Your Sunday Trip

Christmas Market, Cambria lights 001

Cambria’s having its Christmas Market every Wed – Sunday, from now until Dec 22, from 5 - 9 pm.   It’s held on the grounds of the Cambria Lodge at 2905 Burton Drive. There’s a $4 entrance fee, but you’re given 4 tokens which gets you $1 off for every $10 you spend in the mini-town market center they’ve created, booths manned by various Cambria merchants, plus a few food booths (Most wonderful combination: a booth selling bread pudding, hot chocolate and tamales.) There’s even a St. Nick roaming around.

Christmas Market, Cambria lights 005

The second part of this event are the lights.  The amazing lights, which must have taken weeks to rig up.  What’s created is a fairyland that starts you off through a tunnel of lights, then along a rambling path that snakes from the lodge at the top of the hill, down, down, down to another entrance across from the Cambria Nursery.

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They’ve used the intensely color-saturated LED lights and the whole effect can be utterly disorienting.  The shooting stars (below) for example, appear through the trees and look like the lights were simply stretched from the ground to a tree. But ramble down the path to get a closer look and you suddenly see, through the darkness, that isn’t ground.  You’re standing on the edge of a yawning canyon which the lights cross to get to the tall trees on the other side.

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All the usual suspects are there as well; a lighted creche, figures from the Nutcracker, Santa’s house, even the Grinch has his own little niche.  Along the way were braziers near benches so people could sit, sip their spiced cider and listen to live music (played very softly so as to not disturb the Lodge’s guests.)

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But it’s the fairyland in the trees that’s visually enchanting.  Trees wrapped in lights so as you stroll along you think you’ve fallen into the middle of the movie, “Avatar.”

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This event is now getting so popular that it’s having the usual growing-pains problems: traffic, parking, complaining neighbors.  The event coordinators are recommending people park at the public parking lot (behind  and down the alley next to Robin’s  restaurant) and walk up Burton Drive to The Brambles, or park in the lot at The Brambles. One of several shuttle busses will pick up and drop off at that site every 10-15 minutes or so as they're running the buses in continuous loops all evening. If you’re early enough, there’s limited parking at the Cambria Nursery and from there you can walk across the street to the bottom entrance gate and walk through the lighted display, ending up at the Marketplace. Other public parking areas are being considered, but they haven't officially been announced, so you can always park on the streets in and around the town center and walk up to the Brambles. (Many of the stores are open late, so it’s a good chance to also do some Christmas shopping as well.)

This is one event the whole family can enjoy.  And at $4, an incredible bargain and a great way to start the holiday season.

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Anthony V. Toscano said...

Cambrelot becomes a fairyland during the holiday season. Friendly, inclusive and stunning. Thanks for the reminder.

Churadogs said...

It really was a wonderful, fun experience. I especially enjoyed how visually disorienting and visually elusive it all was. Eye-games, so to speak. That's always fun, challenging what you think you see vs. what actually is.

Sewertoons AKA Lynette Tornatzky said...

Great pix!!