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Featured Rancho Santa Fe Lead Story

Decorations in the Village have become a long-standing tradition

RANCHO SANTA FE — For as long as just about anyone remembers, the Village of Rancho Santa Fe has been decorated and lighted for the holiday season. 

“This has been going on since I’ve been here and that has been 12 years and it was going on prior to that,” said Nadine Garcia, an administrative assistant who is the liaison with Penelope Bax, owner of Rancho Santa Fe Flowers & Gifts, which arranges for the work.

Association Manager Pete Smith said it has been going on for as long as he has been working for the Association and that is more than 20 years.

However long it has been a tradition, it looks great this year with snowflakes and lighted palm trees, but it is no easy task.

Bax said in addition to getting to have some fun doing it, it’s also a challenge.

“It’s a big deal for us to do,” said Bax, who has been coordinating it for eight years. “We need to bring in booms to do the palm trees. A lot of people just light the bottom of the trees, but we do the palm fronds in green.”

“We light the center median and then we do all the rooflines all the way down Paseo Delicias and around all the coroners. We also do the huge tree on the lawn at the Rancho Santa Fe Inn,” she said.

“We have a snowflake theme this year,” Bax said. “We do a lot of giant snowflakes. We try to do something a little different each year.”

“We did reindeer for a couple of years that were really fun, but the staff had to come in early every morning to rearrange the reindeer,” Bax said.

She said teenagers would come during the night and arrange them into what she called “creative” positions.

“You can’t do that with snowflakes,” she said with a laugh.

She said there are two reasons she does the display. One is that it gives her business some exposure, but mostly she does it because she admires the Association and the people of Rancho Santa Fe.

She said she is also very proud of the other small businessmen and women in the Village like herself who have weathered the recession and the fires and “everything else,” they have faced over the past few years.

She has been in business locally for 18 years.

“I am proud of the clients I have. I am thrilled with them,” she said,

The display is lit the day after Thanksgiving and is turned off the day after the Greek Orthodox Christmas.

“The Association pays for the main drag and we coordinate the lighting,” she said.


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