Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The 23rd Annual Lights On Celebration

This Saturday, November 30, 2013, is the 23rd Annual Lights On Celebration, organized and hosted by the Hollister Downtown Association. It's an all day event, from 10 AM to 8:30 PM, which includes a Holiday Boutique, live entertainment, and the traditional Lights On parade.

Lights On Parade
The year's theme for the parade is A Family Tradition. Beginning at 5:30 PM, the parade starts at the corner of San Benito and Haydon Streets and will end at Fifth and San Benito Streets. The review stand will be in front of the Veterans' Memorial Building.

Holiday Boutique
The Holiday Boutique at the Veterans' Memorial Building will feature about 56 vendors. Opening at 10 AM, the boutique will offer a wide variety of products, from foods to candles, soaps, purses, jewelry, plants, and unique local handcrafted items. Some of the vendors will be Silpada Designs Jewelry, Vista Notes, M&M Plants, Origami Owl, Pampered Chef, Gaia's Cottage, Designs by Juli Ann, and East-West Fashion.

Local artist Kathleen Sheridan will be on hand to sell and sign her book, Jaime the Elf, the beloved character who Santa gave the task of lighting downtown Hollister.

Family Toy and Canned Food Drive

The American Legion Post 69 will accept donations of canned food and wrapped toys throughout the day in front of the Veterans' Memorial Building. The donations will be distributed to families in need within our community. Post 69 will have coffee, hot chocolate, and cookies on hand to give to contributors.

Live Entertainment

Several things are scheduled throughout the day at the Veterans' Memorial Building Plaza.
11 AM to noon: Smith Alley
noon to 1: Mr. O's Jazz Band
1 to 2: Almad de Mexico Mariachi's
2 to 3:30: David Huboi and the Architecturals
3:30 to 4: United Way's 2-1-1 Kick-off

San Benito Street Youth Performances
Youth performers will be featured in the afternoon at the Veterans' Memorial Building
4:15: San Benito High School
4:30: Animation Dance Community
4:45: West Coast Martial Arts
5:00: West Coast Music & Dance FX

If you miss any of the youth groups, then check them out at the Fifth Street Stage where they will repeat their performances.
4:30: San Benito High School
4:45: Animation Dance Community
5:00: West Coast Martial Arts
5:15: West Coast Music & Dance FX

For More Information
Head over to this page at the Hollister Downtown Association web site for more details about the Lights On Celebration. There, you can find a list of participating vendors at the Holiday Boutique,  a map of the parade route, when and where you can have your kids take a photo with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and more.

See you there!

Monday, November 25, 2013

I'll Have the Pancake

This past Saturday, the Husband and I had breakfast at Grillin & Chillin Downtown. I ordered the corn beef hash and the Husband decided on the blueberry pancake with a side order of 2 scrambled and 2 slices of bacon. "That's a better deal," he said, after seeing that it was only a couple of bucks more as opposed to twice that amount for a side order of 4 pieces of bacon. Yup.

After we ordered, Chuck, co-owner of the Grillin and Chillin, came by to greet us. "What are you having?" he asked. We told him. He nodded, a big fat grin taking over his face. "Have you had our pancakes before?"

"Nope," said the Husband.

"You're in for a treat," he said. Before heading for the counter, Chuck may have said something like "They're kind of big."

A few seconds later, he called. "The cook is making your pancake now. Come take a look."

It turned out that wasn't the Husband's pancake. His was next.

Let's just say when his blueberry pancake was set in front of him, we were both surprised.

You ought to put a warning on your menu," we kidded the waitress.

She laughed. "That's what the other customer said!"

The Husband had an appetite that morning, so he put a good size dent on his yummilicious pancake.  The waitresses were surprised. "Usually the adults don't eat as much," one waitress said. "The kids are a different story.

Goes to show that the Husband is still a kid.

Grillin & Chillin Downtown, at 650 San Benito Street (next to Brown Alley), is open for breakfast seven days a week. They also serve lunch throughout the week, as well as dinner on Friday and Saturday. Their winter hours are Sunday through Thursday, 8 AM to 3 PM, and Friday & Saturday, 8 AM to 8 PM. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Happy Houses of Hollister

Of course, you can see the big, fantastic grin. Could it be smiling because of what it sees reflecting in the windows across the street?

Ah, the things you might see as you wander down Monterey Street in downtown Hollister. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Autumn in Hollister

The rustle of leaves as the wind rushes through them. 

 Colorful falling leaves. Fallen leaves. 

The cracking sound of dry leaves as we walk on them. 


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Can't Believe Everything You Read

Thank goodness, it's not that cold!

By the way, Walgreens is now open.

Friday, November 15, 2013

2013 Holiday Boutiques, Shop Hops, and Fairs

The Holiday Market Place during the 2010 Holiday Season
A couple of holiday crafts fairs have already come and gone. Here's what you can look forward to in the coming weeks. If you know about other events, please leave a comment.


Joy to the World Craft Fair — 5 to 9 PM
First Presbyterian Church
2066 San Benito Street, Hollister
Note: Entry is a canned food donation for the Community Pantry.


Joy to the World Craft Fair — 9 AM to 4 PM
First Presbyterian Church
2066 San Benito Street, Hollister
Note: Entry is a canned food donation for the Community Pantry.

Cerra Vista Elementary School Annual Holiday Boutique  — 10 AM to 3 PM
Cerra Vista Elementary School
2151 Cerra Vista Drive
Note: Santa will arrive at noon. 

Mars Hill 3rd Annual Holiday Boutique — 10 AM to 4 PM
Mars Hill Coffeehouse
610 San Benito Street, Hollister

Aromas Hills Artisans Holiday Art Festival — 10 AM to 4 PM
Aromas Community Grange
corner of Rose & Bardue
Aromas, CA


Aromas Hills Artisans Holiday Art Festival — 10 AM to 4 PM
Aromas Community Grange
corner of Rose & Bardue
Aromas, CA


Ladd Lane's Annual Kid's Craft Night and Community Boutique — 5:30 to 7:30 PM
Ladd Lane School 
161 Ladd Lane, Hollister
Note: Santa will arrive at 6 PM.


Holiday Arts and Crafts Boutique — until December 21
Blak Sage Gallery
727 San Benito Street, Hollister
Note: Sponsored by the San Benito County Arts Council.


Holiday Boutique —10 AM to 8:30 PM
Veterans Memorial Building
San Benito and 7th Streets, Hollister
Note: One of the many activities at the 23rd Annual Lights On Celebration.


Hazel Hawkins Hospital Auxiliary 35th Annual Winter Magic Bazaar & Luncheon 
9 AM to 3 PM; Luncheon 11 AM to 2 PM, $10/person
Veterans Memorial Building
San Benito and 7th Streets, Hollister


3rd Annual Holiday Cheer Shop Hop
Throughout San Benito County


Spring Grove School PTO Annual Santa Breakfast and Boutique  — 8:30 AM to 1 PM
Spring Grove School 
500 Spring Grove Road, Hollister
Note: $6.50/per person for breakfast. Santa will be there.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Conchita's Bakery

We have several Mexican bakeries in town. I like them all. Lately, I've been favoring Conchita's Bakery on 730 San Benito Street whenever I have a yen for something sweet.

What I like about Conchita's sweet stuff is that they aren't so sweet that I feel like my teeth are melting. The dentist should be happy about that. The savory offerings are very yummy, too.

I also like the prices. Fifty cents for a sweet roll. $1.50 for a ham and jalapeƱo roll, which, by the way, is quite hardy.

Conchita's Bakery is located in what was once the bagel place in the old Free Lance building. Still can't picture it? It's on the west side of San Benito Street, between South and Seventh Streets, across from the Blak Sage Gallery. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The New Courthouse

Did you know that the new courthouse under construction is the fifth one for San Benito County? Yeah, that's news to me, too. I thought the current courthouse was the second one, and the gorgeous structure modeled after a Roman palace was the first.

The new courthouse is nearly finished. I like the landscaping and the red seats in front of the building. How about you? If you're interested in learning more about the construction, check out this page at the California Courts web site.

It already seems like it was long, long ago that Fremont School stood on the site of the new Superior Court of California in San Benito County, don't you think? For that matter, once upon a time, the home of Col. William Welles Hollister, for whom our town was named, stood on that same spot.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Friday, November 1, 2013

Gourmet Tortillas

Chipotle, spinach, tomato, beets, whole wheat, and jalapeno & cilantro tortillas.  Sound yummy and nutritious, huh? Suppose you could buy a package of these 8-inch freshly-made tortillas for $1.75, or three packages for $5.00.  Would you? That's the cost of these gourmet tortillas when you could purchase them directly from the makers right here in Hollister.

That's right! Right here in Hollister, California. These yummy gourmet tortillas, along with regular flour and corn tortillas and bags of corn chips ($1/50/bag), are produced by La Piedad Tortilla Factory on 1551 Lana Way, off of Fallon Road. Here's a 2011 article about La Piedad Tortilla Factory when it was in Gilroy.

La Piedad Tortilla Factory is open from 3 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Saturday. It is located on the north side of Lana Way. You can't miss the company's sign. Turn left into the driveway after the sign and go through the gates. Look for a black security screen door. That's the entry. Not only will you be able to buy the tortillas, you can check out the operations at work.

What other hidden gems do we have in our county?

Teresa at the 2013 San Benito Olive Festival



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