Let It Snow!

by Jody Godoy '05

On Saturday, December 6, residents of Azusa and neighboring cities came with family and friends to the annual Winter Family Fiesta and Holiday Boutique. The event took place at APU's Sports Field, and featured free all-day activities and entertainment.

The day began with a family pancake breakfast with Santa Claus. For the rest of the day, younger children enjoyed the bounce houses and craft booths; the older set tackled a climbing wall and mini skateboarding park. Kids of all ages returned again and again to the snow toboggan rides, and lined up to ride around in a horse-drawn carriage. Some residents proudly displayed their classic cars, and more than 20 local crafters manned booths showcasing their homemade holiday wares.

A stage featured continuous entertainment for everyone, including a jazz and ballet group from the ">Azusa Recreation Center, and two caroling groups, the Voice of Christmas and This Holiday’s Life. Entertainment also included a hip-hop group, and the band Mariachi Los Halcone de Jalisco.

Additional activities supported local organizations, including a raffle with half the proceeds going to the Azusa Recreation Center, and a food booth fundraiser for the Azusa Youth Program.

The event was organized and run by students in a strategic marketing management course from APU's School of Business, with the help and support of the City of Azusa. The final class project each semester is to coordinate and advertise a major community event. A large part of the students’ work involved gathering sponsors and donations, which included the Knights of Columbus, Pepsi Cola, Naked Juice, RainBird, and Walmart, among others.

"The community responded well in donating what we needed," said Cameron Munson '04, one of the event coordinators. Munson said that the planning process showed students "how to build relationships with the community and handle tough situations. We had just under three months, and it usually takes 90 days to get sponsorship approval from larger companies. There was a lot of pressure, but it was a good experience," said Munson.

And the result was fun times all around. "It’s been a nice day, and a good chance to get out and meet people," said Azusa resident Roberta Medina, a crafter who has participated in the event since it began to be offered annually.