It's official: The holiday season is now underway in La Cañada Flintridge.
Families gathered by the dozen Thursday evening in Memorial Park for the 16th annual Festival in Lights celebration, taking delight in live holiday music, two kids' snow-play areas, a pair of reindeer and an appearance by the season's top celebrity couple — Santa and Mrs. Claus, who arrived in a 1915 Ford Model-T behind a noisy fire and Sheriff's Department escort to hear kids' Christmas wishes and switch on holiday lights at the park and along Foothill Boulevard.
"It's about family, friends, the whole spirit of this community. It's so neat," said longtime La Cañada Flintridge resident Shirley Myers, who's attended all 16 festivals.
Myers' son, Rich Myers, performed holiday standards with the local band Misplaced Priorities, which took the stage following choirs from Palm Crest and Paradise Canyon elementary schools and the Chamber Singers of La Cañada High School.