*Los Angeles – Councilmember Bernard C. Parks, 8th District presented the annual Winter Wonderland and Toy Giveaway, Saturday, December 14th, 2013.
This event was held from 10:00AM-1:00PM. This popular event was held at the Sears Auto Center Lower Level Parking. The location was transformed into a magical Winter Wonderland on a bright, beautiful, sunny Southern California Day.
Hundreds of children and their parents steadily streamed into the area to pick up a toy, enjoy photos with Santa, ride a tube down a bank of snow and facepaintings. There were continous entertainment on the Main Stage throughout the day. Thousands of toys were given away before the event closed in the afternoon.
Councilmember Bernard C. Parks and his wife Bobbie were joined by Santa to greet and take photos with families lined up for the event. Everyone was already having a great time when I arrived on the scene.
Vocalist Lucy Angeleno kicked off the live performances on the Main Stage. She treated the crowd and I to some festive, upbeat Christmas tunes. Several ladies from the Supreme Sunshine Modeling School (Ms. Rubye Kessee Wallace, Founder/Director) strolled downed the run way to the delight of all in attendance.
The Korean Dance Group has been a regular presence at the Winter Wonderland and Toy Giveaway since its inception many years ago. They showcased some traditional dances from many regions of South Korea. Councilmember Bernard C. Parks and Bobbie Parks presented the group with Certificates of Appreciation/Recognition.
Youth were well represented and showcased throughout the program. Leroya Sanford is a very talented and funny, young comedian who kept the crowd and I in stitches with her topical jokes that resonated with the crowd.
Dynasty is another talented trio of vocalist. They performed “Silent Night,” and “Winter Wonderland” with a group of dancers. JLC (Just Loving Choreography) demonstrated some amazing dance moves. The program kicked into high gear with the performance of Urban Xtreme. Other youths have noticed them on the Disney Channel’s Make Your Mark, Shake It Up. This is another talented quartet of singers and dancers whose performance were highly energetic on the tunes “Guilty of Love,” and “Colors of the Rainbow.” Urban Xtreme empowers their peers through music and dance with their motto “Show Up & Show Out.”
Legendary rapper YOYO made a brief appearance to shout out some Holiday greetings. She spitted out a few rhymes before leaving the stage, that left the crowd and I wanting her to return for a full set.
Singer, songwriter and keyboardist Stacii Jayy graced the stage to sing an original tune “Hershey Kisses.” I witnessed lots of smiles as parents were beaming with pride during the dance performance of students from Baldwin Hills Elementary School.
Mali Nicole is a rising star on the music scene. She is an in demand vocalist, with a very busy performance schedule at many of the popular events around the city. Mali Nicole wowed the crowd with her version of “This Christmas.” Ms. Nicole autographed posters for her new found fans. Look out for her upcoming EP Confessions of a Teeanger to drop in the near future.
The Lula Washington Youth Dance Ensemble danced to “Little Drummer Boy.” The program headed into the final stretch with three additional vocalist or groups. Lyrics captivated the crowd on the tune “Mary, Did You Know?” The duo of Balance followed with “Come All Ye Faithful.” The program concluded with “Jingle Bell Rocks” performed by Socrates.
Ricky Richardson is a Southern California based music reviewer, writer and photographer. Contact him via: [email protected]