The SFPUC kicked off the holiday season in style with this year’s Winter Wonderland event on Thursday, Dec. 19, at the Bayview Opera House.
Mayor London Breed and District 10 Supervisor Shamann Walton were two of many cheerful guests at Winter Wonderland this year and took time to speak with community members and snap photos with families and Santa Claus.
Families and community members gathered to enjoy arts and crafts, live music by local musicians, ice skating – and real snow. The Bayview Underground Food Scene Holiday Market offered delicious local food choices at reasonable prices as well as gifts. Modeled after German holiday markets, it featured hot spiced wine, sausages and other holiday favorites from abroad and from the local Bayview community.
“It’s really incredible to see the Bayview transform into this wonderful event and really enhances the neighborhood as a destination for families,” said Larry Berry, coordinator of Citizen Involvement at the SFPUC. “My favorite part of Winter Wonderland is watching along with youth from the community as the snow is created. It’s like seeing how magic works.”
SFPUC staff were also present to represent the Sewer System Improvement Program (SSIP) and educate the community on sewer system upgrades, as well as active projects like construction of the new Headworks facility, Biosolids project, and new community center at 1550 Evans Ave.
CleanPowerSF staff constructed nearly 300 pinwheels with children of all ages, educating them on clean power and connecting the activity to real windmills they might have seen around San Francisco or have learned about in school. Staff members also engaged adult attendees by distributing approximately 100 boxes of four-pack LED light bulbs.
“As a way to engage, we asked each person how long they thought the lightbulbs would last,” said Jackie Randazzo, public relations officer for the Power enterprise. “The majority of folks answered way below the expected time of 22 years with answers like three months, one year, five years, etc. When we told them the answer, they were shocked! We are looking into getting more of these for future events.”
Berry, who helped to organize the event, worked with SFPUC staff as well as over 40 volunteers from six SFPUC social impact firms. Volunteers helped with set-up, collecting tickets, putting skates on young attendees, and helping them learn how to skate in the indoor ice rink. The firms that volunteered at Winter Wonderland are Pankow, Webcor/MWH, Arcadis, Brown & Caldwell, CDM Smith, and Avila and Associates. Bayview Bistro vendors included Yo Soy Ceviche, Big H BBQ, and Rome’s Kitchen.