Observations: A virtual Christmas makes it merry in Wasco
Last updated 12/15/2020 at 6:59pm | View PDF
In the Year of the Pandemic, how is
the Christmas season in Wasco different
f r o m eve r y o t h e r year?
Being a Shafter native, the writer
was eager to dissect the town's decorations
and/or lack thereof. In Wasco,
I wondered why hardly any lights
adorned businesses downtown, and
why Highway 46 was so dark.
Then reality set in, humbled by
the "why" while cruising the City of
Roses. We're In the middle of Covid-
19's wrath! Now is not the time to
critique. All small businesses have had
and continue to have a rough year. The
signs of the season may not be in the
budget, or currently not a top priority.
As a friend who works for a local
franchise put it, "It's hard sometimes
to decorate for holidays because it
does take time to hear from the top and
abide by the regulations per franchise
per company." That changes your attitude
and with new eyes to see and a
heart to understand, the search for the
story became clearer.
Although the scene is currently not
as festive as previous years -- it may
be too soon to tell -- still there was a
story to find in the spirit of Christmas
Let's start with the fact that 7th
Street is the hub of the city. Although
there was no tree lighting ceremony
this year, a tree made of lights does
encase the downtown clocktower.
A "Merry Christmas" sign made up
of lights and candy canes frames the
"Welcome to Wasco" city sign. But
the real sight is how local businesses
like La Imperial light up the street.
"Being a family-owned business,
we have the privilege to share our culture,
which is celebrating Christmas.
We are able to share that joy with our
employees and community. [We're]
doing our best to stay open to provide
your favorite meals along with a festive
cozy environment with outdoor
I agree with owner Maria Solis and
her brother Hugo, who adds, "The fact
is that the pandemic is out of our control.
But we are still able to offer the
best possible experience through it all.
We are one community; I believe it's
our duty to look out for one another."
The warmth shared in conversation
with Maria and Hugo is a gift anyone
can appreciate. "We plan to register
our business in the #lightupwasco
campaign and hope people will vote
for our window display."
Another new way to enable the
town to be a part of one anothers'
holiday plans while, yes, being apart.
Juan Bernal, the Wasco Recreation &
Park District program director, says,
"Twelve days of Christmas is an enjoyable,
no cost, interactive way for
the community to be involved while
also taking proper precautions to
Wasco residents have the opportunity
to vote for their favorite decorated
home or business at wascoparks.
After speaking with many Wasconians,
the writer's blue-and-gold
grinch heart grew to bursting.
Wasco doesn't need a parade, or a
tree-lighting ceremony, or extravagant
lights and decorations strewn along
downtown. The true sight is the adoration
and unity within them. Its apparent
the City of Wasco is alive and full
of with Christmas spirit.
oid spread. Registration endsDecember
10th, then Wasco residents
have the opportunity to vote for their
favorite decorated home/business at
speaking with so many Wasconians,
my blue and gold grinch heart grew
ten times bigger. I realized, Wasco
doesn't need a parade, or a tree lighting
ceremony, or extravagant lights
and decorations strewn along downtown.
The true sight is the adoration
and unity within them. Its apparent the
city of Wasco is alive and full of with