Nostalgic and Soulful Winter Wonderland Celebration at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza

 Marsha Ambrosius (Ricky Richardson Photo)
Marsha Ambrosius (Ricky Richardson Photo)

By Ricky Richardson, Contributing Writer

Los Angeles – Thousands of kids and their parents or guardians converged on the upper deck of the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. The occasion was the much-anticipated Winter Wonderland, which was held on Saturday, December 14th, 3:00pm-7pm.

Los Angeles City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, District 8, partnered with the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza to present their annual Winter Wonderland Celebration.

“Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza are proud to present the largest annual holiday event within the Crenshaw corridor. We are dedicated to giving back and celebrating here in the community,” says Rachel Freeman, President & CEO, Capri Retail Services.

Los Angeles City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson echoes Freeman’s sentiments and states, “I love to see our community come together. As a life-long South Los Angeles resident, I understand the value of having events like this that spread joy and allow us to celebrate the holidays together. It’s also an opportunity for us to give back to families and children that may have never experienced winter activities like sledding or may not receive toys for Christmas.” (SOURCE Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza).

This upbeat event was designed to bring Winter festivities to South Los Angeles residents and to get the community into the holiday spirit. I would say that the organizers accomplished this task easily, the proof was the many smiles viewed, laughter heard and seeing everyone having a good time on this festive evening.

Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow! This wonderful engaging event was loaded with winter activities that engaged the entire family, including sledding and snowman building with real snow. Kids enjoyed holiday arts and crafts, face painting, along with toy giveaways (while supplies last). Attendees also enjoyed a free cup of hot chocolate, and other tasty holiday treats. The small intimate venue offered many photo ops.

DJ Mark complimented the festivities with an awesome soundtrack of holiday theme songs, along with some classic soul and R&B tunes. Radio Personality Adai Lamar, Radio Free KJLH, 102.3FM, served as Mistress of Ceremony.

The live performance got underway with a beautiful retro a cappell quintet, The Noelles, who got the crowd into the spirit of the holiday with a joyful set of classics. Their crowd-pleasing set featured the tunes “This Christmas,” It’s Christmas Baby; Please Come Home,” “Sleigh Ride,” followed by White Christmas.” The crowd and I can only hope and dream for this to occur with Winter just around the corner.

D’Anna Stewart, singer, songwriter and musician and her tight band had the crowd and I vibing with her throughout her set as she performed “This Christmas,” “I’m Searching for a Real Man,” followed by crowd favorite SZA-The Weekend (remix).

R&B/Soul singer Kenyon Dixon was lit. He captivated the crowd with an amazing set of original tunes “Bitter,” got down with the blues with a holiday classic “Merry Christmas Baby,” and gave us an upbeat rendition of an Old School classic “Love and Happiness” by Al Green. Kenyon slowed down the tempo on “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” followed by “Sleigh Ride.”

Santa and Mrs. Claus made their appearance to the delight of everyone in attendance. They were quickly approached by attendees for a keepsake photo.

The final, most anticipated moment that everyone waited for occurred with the phenomenal, and awesome performance of Grammy-nominated Soul singer and songwriter, Marsha Ambrosius. She rocked the festivities with material from her catalog of hits to the delight of the crowd.

Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, District 8, thanked the sponsors for helping to make this event possible. Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson presented several Community Service Awards to individuals in the community, making a difference and for their part in the betterment of the community. The first award was presented to Angeline Buenaventura, Economic Policy Manager (Convention, Tourism and Hospitality), Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Six Sev, Artist/Entrepreneur and Christina Cooper, Film Director and Producer. You should be aware of her previous projects the critically acclaimed Dear White People (2017), Never Heard (2018) and her latest release South Central Love (2019), which can be view during Black History Month on BET.

The Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, 3650 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Los Angeles, CA. 90008 www.baldwinhillscrenshawplaza.com Connect and stay connect on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 The Noelles (Ricky Richardson Photo)
The Noelles (Ricky Richardson Photo)