By Christopher Gomez
The time has come to start spreading a little holiday cheer! Little Italy remains determined to support its local businesses and residents while attempting to maintain a sense of normalcy with public health and safety at the forefront. While we may be celebrating a little differently this year, Little Italy is still shining bright and looking forward to another spectacular holiday season— with a few changes.
Get started on your holiday shopping during Small Business Saturday on November 28. Boutiques, galleries, restaurants and other locally owned businesses in Little Italy will be offering in-store specials and discounts for shoppers to enjoy. Businesses will be extending their hours to help you find those perfect gifts for everyone on the list from fashion accessories and home décor to good eats and gift cards. For more information, visit LittleItalySD.com.
The annual Little Italy Tree Lighting Ceremony kicks off December virtually with the Little Italy Holiday Special that will be streaming on Saturday, December 5th at 5:30 p.m. on various platforms. One of the most anticipated events of the year, Little Italy will shine bright during this 45-minute “Hallmark-style” broadcast. The Special will include the tree lighting ceremony of the 30-foot tall live Christmas tree in the Piazza della Famiglia led by the Little Italy Association leadership with an Italian countdown initiated by Father Joe Tabigue of Our Lady of the Rosary and exciting performances including a musical performance by Our Lady of the Rosary Choir in the historically renovated Church, a reading of Twas the Night Before Christmas by Santa & Mrs. Claus, and much more. For more information, visit LittleItalySDTreeLighting.com.
Little Italy is also excited to announce the return of its Wednesday Holiday Market running every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through the month of December, with the exception of December 30th. Located in the Piazza della Famiglia, you can once again find your favorite farmers, artisan food producers, local crafters, and gifts all within the heart of the community. The Holiday Market will be operating under similar COVID-19 guidelines as the Little Italy Mercato including restricting the number of people allowed inside at one time and asking that shoppers wear facial coverings and maintain proper social distancing with a minimum of six feet between them and the vendors.
Spread some cheer to a child in need during the 10th Annual Little Italy Toy Drive. Over the past decade, the Little Italy Association has hosted the annual toy drive benefiting the foster children of New Alternatives, Inc. and has brought in over 6,000 toys. Participating restaurants, retailers and the Little Italy Mercato will host drop-off boxes where guests can drop off new, unwrapped toys for children ages 1 to 18. The Little Italy Toy Drive will go from November 2nd to December 14th.
Little Italy will be “decking the halls” of the neighborhood with festive décor and embellishments as a way to spread holiday cheer and spirit throughout the season. The Little Italy Association also plans to introduce several other activities on its social media and other platforms.
As Little Italy begins to slowly and safely reopen, the Little Italy Association is constantly looking for new and creative ways to allow people to enjoy the neighborhood and experience some of the best shops and eateries in San Diego. This holiday season, more than ever before, we must be there to support one another and lend a hand to those in need.
— For the latest updates on Little Italy, please visit us at LittleItalySD.com or follow us on Instagram @LittleItalySD, Twitter @LittleItalySD and Facebook @LittleItalySD. Christopher Gomez has been Little Italy’s District Manager since 2000. Reach him at email@example.com.