The holiday festival nods a holiday cheer with a World Series twist to the City of LA. Photo by Carina Noyola.
By Carina Noyola, Staff Writer
Did the Dodgers even win the 2020 World Series if they didn’t celebrate it in the most California holiday season way ever?
A calming sunset, palm trees, a euphoric stadium visit, and the celebration of a win. The Dodgers won their first World Series in 32 years this past October and are celebrating with fans, COVID-19 style. The holiday experience rings in the season with an immersive car wash style drive-thru that celebrates major upcoming holidays like Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa.
What was expected to be an upwards of a 45-minute wait left a surprisingly short and easy entry into the Dodgers Holiday 2020 Festival at Dodger Stadium. There were little to no cars waiting to get in, which led you to a short drive all the way up to the familiar ticket booths of the parking lot that every Dodger fan missed this past baseball season. Not to be discouraged from the seemingly endless line for the COVID-19 testing site that wrapped around the lower outside entrance of the stadium.
The Holiday Festival gave a nod to the holiday season with the celebration of the elephant in the room, the theme of the World Series. Snowman, snow, cactus gardens decorated in twinkly lights, and Santa greeted fans and encouraged an immersive interactive drive-in with themed stages that led fans to a giant replica of the winning trophy.
The 20-minute drive took you through some of the team’s greatest moments throughout the season. At the start of the show, cars were greeted with 20-foot long LED screens that showed game highlights in the theme of a snowy LA. The section that followed celebrated the Latinx community surrounding the stadium where cactus blow-ups decorated in twinkly lights, were surrounded by traditional “papel picado”, colorful paper cut outs that lined streets during major celebrations in Latinx culture.
The ingenious cardboard cutouts that centered this year’s season for fans were also given an applaud with a display of the players as cutouts in the stands. In addition to oversized bobbleheads, past years of winning oversized championship rings were on display for fans to enjoy. Along the way you also saw an array of trampolinists, and performers, in addition to an LAX-esq exit for Santa, as a Boeing 747 awaited his departure on the tarmac with all of the gifts he’s sure to give to Dodger fans, and Dodger fans ONLY.
The event was a COVID safe way to get out of the house and enjoy the celebration that this year in sports brought to families during a year of many lows, highlighted by some pretty big highs. Aside from the holiday cheer, the extensive LED drive, and some pretty cool celebratory props, it had been the closest that I had been to the stadium in over a year. And for someone that traditioned one game a month every season, the feel of the drive through those familiar ticket booths completed enough awe to get me through the rest of the year, in time for the start of next season.
Overall, the celebration was nothing short of a nice drive to enjoy an oversized replica of the trophy that fans have been waiting for, some for their entire lives, and a family fun safe way to enjoy a COVID holiday.
For more information on how to visit the Holiday Festival, visit the Dodgers website.