Liberty Station hosts its second annual Holiday Block Party

by Kiani Dumagan , Contributor

The sound of live music and laughter filled the air as revelers gathered to “salute the season” at Liberty Station this past Saturday night.

From 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 10, the Arts District of Liberty Station opened up its shops, restaurants and art galleries to families and friends and invited them to participate in holiday activities.

One of the most popular attractions among event-goers was “Fantasy On Ice,” which featured an outdoor ice-skating rink decorated with strings of lights. The skate rental line wrapped around the booth as people eagerly waited for their turn on the ice.

Ice-skating admission was $12 for kids, $14 for adults and $10 for military. Proceeds benefited the Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego.

Other kid-friendly activities included arts and craft stations and a meet and greet with Santa Claus, where children were invited to pose for a picture with him.

Another popular event photo-op was the spectacular 90 foot Christmas tree that stood in the heart of the Art District adorned with ornaments and bright lights.

Restaurants like Dirty Birds, Corvette Diner and Soda & Swine offered free samples to hungry event-goers. One store, Moniker General, offered $4 discounted select beer, along with a free holiday photo booth, which was a hit for many.

The Liberty Public Market was packed as people indulged themselves in balsamic vinegar and olive oil from Baker & Olive, sushi from FishBone Kitchen, and too-die-for cheese from Venissimo Cheese among other vendors.

Event-goer, Allie Becker, said she enjoyed having a variety of food options to choose from.

“I love that all the vendors are local or small businesses,” Becker said. “It’s a fun place to meet with friends, and we don’t have to settle on one restaurant – there’s so many options, everyone can get something that suits their cravings.”

Pop up shops lined the historic Art District buildings selling various works of art including handmade candles and original paintings. One vendor, Kai and Skye, sold unique So-Cal Bohemian jewelry.

The echoes of one caroling group could be heard down the hallway as they rendered upbeat and jazzy versions of traditional Christmas songs.

“He knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake,” crooned the Holiday Hipsters, pointing at children who listened intently while sipping their hot chocolate.

Many families went all out and dressed up in festive costumes. Among those was a four-member family of elves.

All in all, it was evident that the holiday spirit was alive in all that were there at Liberty Station.