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September 29, 2022

Success of Holiday Lights drive-thru launches others at Fairgrounds

WATSONVILLE—Following an enormously successful fundraiser for the Fairgrounds Foundation—the first-ever Holiday Lights drive-thru tour during November and December—more events are now being lined up with a similar footprint.

Next in line: The first-ever Drive-Thru Crab Feed, slated for March 6.

“Holiday Lights was a resounding success,” said John Eiskamp, committee chair of the event and a sixth-generation local berry grower. “We were very pleased with the results; the turnout was approximately twice of what we expected. We were amazed with the success and with the outpouring of support.”

Thus, here comes the crab, just after the commercial crab season kicked off over the weekend.

“We are planning a great dinner as always, but this year you get to drive-thru and pick up dinners to enjoy at home,” organizers said. “We also will have an online auction complete with our outstanding cakes and Champagne items we have each year.”

A ticket for the Crab Feed will provide guests with a whole cleaned crab, a half barbecue chicken, tossed green salad with Italian dressing, fire-roasted garlic bread, a cup of clam chowder, a container of cioppino sauce and a dessert cookie all packaged in a reusable cooler container. Dinners include a crab bib, cracker and heating and serving instructions. A bottle of red or white wine will be included for every two dinners ordered (must be 21 for wine).

“We couldn’t have done it (Holiday Lights) without the volunteers,” Eiskamo said. “There were about 30 to 40 of them working on the displays set up alone. And the sponsors were incredible—around 20—who really helped make this happen. It will be even better next year; after the response we got we don’t really have a choice not to run it again. It was so rewarding to be a part of it.”

All proceeds from the events allow the Fairgrounds Foundation to help fund the county fair and other Santa Cruz County Fairground events.

Tickets will go on sale starting Friday at 8am. Visit fairgrounds-foundation.org for information.

Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.

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