In true community fashion, close to 4,000 residents showed up to bring in the city’s very first Holiday Lighting Ceremony at the Forum. Lines of overly anxious youngsters stretched across the parking lot, waiting their turn to give Santa Claus their holiday wish list.
The holiday program opened with a presentation of the colors from the Inglewood Boy Scouts Troop 636, Inglewood Girl Scout Troops 5915, 10195, and 9715, followed by a hip mix of Christmas jams and carols.
Live entertainment was provided by Inglewood darlings, Fantasia Dance Ensemble, who performed their holiday inspired numbers for families in attendance.
Inglewood Mayor James. T. Butts, council members, and city officials greeted the community to the inaugural event at the Forum. Mayor Butts said, “You’re witnessing the first annual and largest Christmas celebration in the history of the City of Inglewood at the Fabulous Forum, which is now LED Green and Red.”
Councilman Eloy Morales added, “I have to say, welcome back to the City of Inglewood, the City’s Fabulous Forum allowed us to be here on the site and set up this beautiful tree. But most importantly, the community came out and that’s what it's starting to become, have a happy holiday season, Feliz Navidad!”
When asked his thoughts on the event, Councilman Alex Padilla shared, “Merry Christmas to all our community and friends. A night like this at the Fabulous Forum where we’ve lit this fabulous Christmas Tree, all the young kids here with a smile on their faces, being greeted by Santa, this is what makes Inglewood unique, this is what makes Inglewood a family community.”
Councilman Ralph Franklin pumped up the crowd as he stated, “To God be the glory, this is a community of unity. This was a team effort (making an acronym from the letters in TEAM). Together Everyone Achieves More. In the spirit of giving, this is the reason for the season, God bless you all, have a safe, healthy, and happy holiday.
From Santa Claus making a grand entrance and electrifying the crowd, to the lighting of the tree, accompanied by a huge snow shower, this has by far been the most exciting Holiday Lighting Ceremony in the history of the city, and as Mayor Butts said, “A lot of these things that we’re seeing now, were years in the making, culminating with the grand reopening of the Forum.”
To give a sense of how many young people came out to celebrate in the City of Inglewood, it took close to 2 hours to allow all the children to get an opportunity to take a picture with Santa and receive their gift.
The city has to be on to something for it to be the beginning of winter, and yet we’re burning hot with opportunity and community spirit. From the looks of it, this Inglewood is here to stay.