A long-forgotten Los Altos holiday tradition returned to Whaley Park this month and the neighborhood is loving it!
Letters that light up at night and spell out the phrases “Happy New Year” and “Merry Christmas” were installed in front of each house surrounding Whaley Park and to celebrate a “Lighting of the Letters” party was held on Sunday. The party in the park was a huge success but you may be wondering how this all came about.
Back in the 50s the installation of the letters was a tradition carried out by the individual homeowners. As luck would have it Bob Soukup, who lives on the west side of the Whaley Park was trying to find someone or a group of someones to bring the tradition back. It was serendipitous that at the same time I was ask to become a member of the Los Altos Area Charitable Giving Fund and tasked with finding a way to use a small amount of funds to create something that would benefit the Los Altos area. This Fund came about from a settlement won by Long Beach City Prosecutor Doug Haubert against an airline who had broken the noise ordinance repeatedly.
We reached out to the Boy Scouts of Long Beach for help creating the letters. This became a summer project for a few of the older scouts that volunteer at the Sea Base on Appian Way. They did an even better job than we anticipated! The newly formed Greater Los Altos Neighborhood Association (GLANA) then helped to organize the “Lighting of the Letters” Kick-off Event and that was better than we had anticipated too! There was a rocking DJ, funhouse bouncer, the best Santa ever, homemade treat table, and hot chocolate. The turnout was excellent and the feedback from attendees all positive. In fact the biggest compliant was we need to do more events!
Next year we hope to improve upon what we have started and be back on the first Sunday of December for the 2nd Annual “Lighting of the Letters” Holiday Event.
If you live in Los Altos and would like to join GLANA, please email MicheleK90815@gmail.com with the subject line: I would like to join GLANA. Who knows what neighborhood wonderfulness we can put together if we all pull together!