The Western Science Center’s seventh annual Old Fashioned Holiday delivered an evening of fun and celebration in Hemet for hundreds of guests on Dec. 10. Organizer Margaret Ozolins said that even with a winter chill in the air, families and friends flocked to the museum for entertainment and merriment in a winter wonderland setting.
The award-winning Claddagh Irish Dance Company performed at the Old Fashioned Holiday event on Dec. 10.(CONTRIBUTED IMAGE)
Choirs from Hemet and West Valley high schools performed at both sides of the complex: Diamond Valley Lake Visitor Center and Western Science Center museum. The high-stepping, award-winning Claddagh Irish Dance Company performed a medley of Irish dances.
The Western Science Academy campus also shares space with the centers and members of the charter school’s Robotics Club sold pizza as a fundraiser. The WCA Parent Teacher Student Association raised money selling hot cocoa and cookies and the Associated Student Body helped at the gingerbread station.
Students of Western Center Academy surprised visitors at the museum’s Old Fashioned Holiday on Dec. 10 with a flash mob dance routine. (CONTRIBUTED IMAGE)
Some Academy students also surprised everyone with a lively flash mob dance at the piazza between the two centers. Hemet High cheerleaders assisted Santa during his visits with children who wanted to tell him about their Christmas wishes.
There was also an inaugural gingerbread house building competition, with prizes awarded in several categories. First place in the group division went to the students from Hemet High School’s Autism Program.
The Hemet High School Autism Program students placed first in the gingerbread house building contest’s group division.
“They also had the most overall votes for their display ‘Candy Crush Christmas Cottage,’” said Ozolins Education Specialist for WSC. “They were very excited and said that the house was going on display in the school’s front office.”
Melanie Bernal placed first in the junior division and Elizabeth Simon won the child division for ages 5 to 8.
“Another fun entry was ‘Frosty’s Hawaiian Vacation Gone Wrong’ with a melted snowman in front of the house,” said Ozolins. “Peter Kleinpass and Wendy McCune entered that one and received second place in the group division.”
Peter Kleinpass and Wendy McCune entered “Frosty’s Hawaiian Vacation Gone Wrong” in a gingerbread house building contest.
She said the contest is scheduled to become an annual tradition at future Old Fashioned Holiday events.
“We hope we continue to see creative and fun entries,” said Ozolins. “It can be such a fun holiday activity for people.”
Ozolins thanked the many volunteers and Anady’s Trophies, Hemet Bike Shop and Hemet-San Jacinto Exchange Club for their support. Western Science Center Educational Assistant, Krystle Sibole, thanked the Hemet Woman’s Club and West Valley High School’s NJROTC students who helped throughout the event. They assisted guests at some of the craft stations to make snowmen magnets and decorative gift bags.
Administrative Services Manager Holly Lauridsen worked with vendors who sold a variety of homemade jams, crafts and wearables. Assistant Curator of Archaeology, Darla Abigt, said there were many families returning to the annual event who gathered around the fire pits sharing Christmas memories and stories.