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December 2012

My wrap-up of Christmas in California - in the South Bay, Santa Monica, Malibu, and more!

By Joy A. Kennelly

Hard to believe Christmas is over and we're heading straight to New Years Eve so quickly, isn't it? Have you been making New Years resolutions? I have decided to call mine intentions and am excited to see them come true in 2013.

Since not everyone is privy to my Facebook photo album, I thought it would be fun to share highlights of all the Christmas events (which I refuse to call holiday when they include a Christmas tree and it's obvious that's what they are meant to be:) I enjoyed in Santa Monica, Manhattan Beach, North Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach and elsewhere around Los Angeles.

Just in case you are thinking of getting out of town next year and want to see what CA has to offer during Christmas, read on. And even if you live here and are unaware there were so many free festivities you're missing out on, read on!

So without further ado and in no particular order...

Azusa Pacific University Choir & Orchestra Christmas Concert

My holiday season started off just before Thanksgiving with an amazing concert by the very talented Azusa Pacific University Orchestra and Choir with over 100 members. I helped my Dad and his South Bay Christian Businessmen's Connection group of 4 men and their wives pull off an event for almost 200 guests which was quite a feat.

Here's some APU pictorial highlights courtesy Paul Bostrom:

30956_10151212902773600_1091230753_nMy little Mom, me and her good friend Francine who was a POW as a child in the Philippines. What an amazing life she's lived. Who knew there were Americans interned by the Japanese? I didn't! She and I handled the crazy registration table together. Don't ask.:)
  417139_10151212904668600_503844224_n APU performed many holiday favorites, and also many I'd never heard before which kept it entertaining, especially when they came out into the crowd to perform and welcome us. 598366_10151212904493600_1076344031_n 604022_10151212910408600_2128780135_nI was very impressed and wished more of my friends had attended to see such a quality performance.
Next year another group (other than CBMC) will be producing the dinner, so keep your ears open to attend because the APU choir and orchestra are extremely talented.

They perform all over Los Angeles and are planning to head to the deep South in the Spring for a big tour. 

315768_10151212948563600_640039930_n On a side note, if you care to join the CBMC breakfast meeting, you're welcome to as long as you're a man.:) They meet every Wednesday morning at 7:30am at the local Marie Callendar's located at 21211 Hawthorne Boulevard, Torrance, CA 90503 phone (310) 540-9696. Just in case you're interested in becoming more principled in your business endeavors.

Redondo Beach Hollywood Riviera Christmas Stroll

This is a fun event because numerous streets are closed down and it becomes a huge street party in the middle of Redondo Beach. I always enjoy visiting stores I normally wouldn't go into to see what they're offering and everyone goes all out decorating. The whole South Bay comes out and it's a very warm, fun celebratory event complete with a horse drawn wagon ride, singing carolers, and this year, even a "ballerina man" as one child called a performer.

Here's some pictorial highlights:

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Hermosa Beach Christmas Events

This one kinda bugged me because even though they were lighting a "Christmas" tree, they were so intent on being PC, they called it a holiday tree. People, c'mon. Get over yourselves. LOL

This was definitely smaller than past years as far as gatherings go, but it was still a lot of fun complete with Hawaiian hula dancers, Santa arriving on a fire truck, and the actual tree lighting ceremony. It followed the Christmas Village shopping experience which was held earlier in the month. I enjoyed seeing people I had worked with politically, but also was happy I was no longer involved in city politics.

Here's highlights of both events combined:

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302719_10151223279698600_1516147542_nSanta pix courtesy Ara Gougher

The Grove Christmas Concert Celebration

This event happened in early November to allow it to be televised later on and featured the tree lighting, Mario Lopez hosting, Colbie Caillet, Scotty McCreary, Phillip Phillips, Michael Bolton, others I forget and my favorite, The Backstreet Boys (we all screamed out inner teen-ager hearts out!:) After standing for five hours we became friends with the people standing around us too.

The evening ended with a spectacular fireworks display. Needless to say, the Grove was packed!

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Journey of Faith's 1,000 Points of Light at the South Bay Galleria, El Segundo Plaza's Christmas jam, Moto Art's Christmas Party and King's Harbor celebrations

Journey of Faith hosted a 1,000 Points of Light Christmas sing-along in the South Bay Galleria with hundreds of people and the acoustics were amazing. El Segundo Plaza also enjoyed music on a much smaller scale with a children's band performing at their gathering who were very talented.

And my talented DJ friend of Focus Entertainment included me in a cool Moto Art Christmas event too. Kings Harbor Church hosted numerous special Christmas events which were also fun to attend. My publicist friend, Lana Leazer, included me in her South Bay Magazine event which was very fun.

Best photo booth ever!:)

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Santa Monica Christmas Stroll

Despite the rain, the city came out in full support of this very popular annual Christmas event complete with a tree lighting, Jingle Bell Rockers, store parties, carolers and more.

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You may recognize Janet Gervers of the Abbott Kinney First Friday's blog and she covered the Venice "sign" lighting which included Robert Downey Jr as host and Councilman Bill Rosendahl presiding.

I was a little tired after attending so many events and skipped it, but you can see her pix here:

Last, but not least, Manhattan Beach and North Manhattan Beach

If you think it's silly there are two Manhattan Beach events, don't worry, some of the locals do too. However, it's needed because otherwise they're so spread out, it's difficult to walk around in one night. These events are always very upscale, classy, community-oriented and fun.

Besides, who doesn't love fireworks?

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My favorite Christmas site to see though, was late last night driving home from Santa Barbara in Malibu.

A life-size creche kitty corner to a gigantic menorah. Malibu gets it.

Happy New Year and thanks for joining me on my Christmas adventures! Gotta run!








(I just don't feel like dwelling on more serious subjects right now since things are moving along in a positive direction hopefully and am sharing the follow-up to the Blacklisted party for all the big, bold fashionista's still looking for a New Year's Eve dress!:)

276Full-Figure Brand Brings Edgy Style with Holiday Collection


Los Angeles, CA - Stylists, fashion bloggers, and local fashionistas attended Blacklisted's launch of its holiday collection on December 11. Hosted by TV personality Marcy Guevara, the invitation-only event featured models and curvy fashionistas wearing selected styles from the collection, as well as a limited edition available for immediate purchase. Attendees got a first glimpse at soon-to-open downtown bar The Lexington, as they sampled the bar's wine selections, with DJ Dilltronik spinning a hand-picked selection of tunes that rounded out the edgy, dark-walled vibe of the venue. A Blacklisted Candy Bar and cocktails, were served at neighboring Doll Boutique during the event. Other event sponsors include: Energy-X, Scentsibles, Rodan & Fields, Outburst, and My Luxury First Hair Extensions, Affluence Public Relations, and The Lexington.  


L.A. Designer Shellice Beharie presented the 20-piece collection featuring jersey and vegan leather dresses, tunics with leather detailing, leather-look leggings, and sequins. With dresses retailing between $120 and $400, Blacklisted bridges the gap between fast fashion and designer couture, providing lasting value through quality construction and fabrics, with well-cut fashion staples. The collection has already gained a following among celebrity stylists. "I am very excited about this new collection," says Marcy Guevara, host of Marie Claire's "Big Girl in a Skinny World" web series. "The pieces are well designed and have a great fit. There's nothing like it out there in the full-figure market, this will get snapped up in no time."


Beharie's 6-year experience as personal shopper, stylist, and designer, as well as her own struggle to find stylish quality clothing above size 12, led her to create Blacklisted. "There are very few edgy, fashion-forward pieces for larger sizes. I had a hard time finding anything in my size, was spending a lot of money, and still had nothing to wear...In fashion, if you're size 10 or above, you're mostly blacklisted from a stylish, high-design experience. Look at mainstream media - plus size and a high-fashion lifestyle are rarely portrayed together...With Blacklisted, we will remove these size limits from fashion," says Beharie.


The Blacklisted collection is available for viewing and editorial pulls at Fashion Forwards showroom. Selected styles will be available for purchase online, at in 2013.


 Blacklisted is a lifestyle brand that caters to fashion-forward full-figured women, providing well-designed, stylish clothing and accessories at accessibleprices. For more information about Blacklisted, please visit:


 Marcy Guevara was seen on VH1's second season of "You're Cut Off" as a central character, playing the resident plus-sized princess. She can be seen on Hearst Digital media's new Youtube channel "Hello Style", and host of Marie Claire's "Big Girl in a Skinny World" web series that provides plus-size style advice, based on the popular Marie Claire column. She is also a regular contributor on and on the Rachel Ray Show, and runs various web shows, as well as her video blog "The Marcy Minute."


@Instagram follows @PictoramaApp's lead, but doesn't pay! #Photography

Every so often I am pitched by European companies and in light of the uproar Instagram has caused with the change in their terms of service, I thought all the photographers in the house would appreciate this bit of news from a German app called Pictorama.

So without further ado, here's their press release for your reading pleasure.

(18.12.2012) The shocking news about Instagram's upcoming policy change that allows them to sell their user’s photos without either paying them a cent nor informing them in any way is spreading around the web! Millions of people are expected to be extremely upset when they realize that they might see their own photos being published by third parties in the near future.
Pictorama fights for photographers! It was founded with the belief that talented photographers should benefit from the fact that they shoot great photos and are willing to share them. Unlike Instagram, Pictorama pays their users a revenue share (20-50% depending on the number of their photos on the market place) as soon as their photos are sold. Additionally, users receive 25 cents for every single photo they upload to the marketplace for sale. So with Pictorama smartphone photographers can even earn money before they sell a photo!
Every photo that is for sale on the Pictorama marketplace can be bought as a download or ordered as a poster, canvas, alu dibond, or smart frame print. Together with its print partner, Pictorama found a way to print smartphone-photos bigger and better than competitors proving Pictorama's expertise with smartphone-photos.
Pictorama ships to 7 countries: Germany, Austria, France, UK (mainland only), Italy, the Netherlands, and the USA.
About Pictorama
The Pictorama app is a development of Pictorama GmbH, a company headquartered in Hamburg, Germany. It was founded by Christopher Becker, angel investor Nils Regge (TruVenturo), and Klaas Kersting (Founder of both Gameforge and Flaregames) in late  011. Pictorama enables users to sell their smartphone pictures by uploading them with the Pictorama app to our digital marketplace ( Pictorama sells authentic, time and GPS-tagged pictures which help buyers to search for local and seasonal pictures.
Pictorama is currently for iphone users only. The android-app will be available in a few weeks.

For more information, please review their website here:

If anyone has information contrary, or in addition to, please don't hesitate to let me know. I just thought this sounded cool and hey, any way to make money from pictures is always cool!:)

Oh, and as far as my feelings over the recent tragedy, I still feel terrible. I just needed to share something else since the last few posts have been kinda heavy. I am very curious to see how the media will handle the premiere of Django tonight - will they fawn over Quentin and his latest bloodbath like they always do, or will violence in film affecting our youth be dealt with in the media?

Will celebrities show up in support of Quentin's bloodbath because they're more concerned with fame and being with the "in" crowd? Or will some people finally have a conscience and choose to stay home in support of those still suffering?

Because really, how can you praise a film where killing is the norm after the horror of this past weekend in good conscience?  

We shall see.

Thoughts on the CT Massacre, @QTarantino_news & DJango, @FamilyGuyonFOX, Grand Theft Auto III and the growing #violence in society. Be the change!

By Joy A. Kennelly

Sometimes I feel like a modern day philosopher because I feel things so deeply in my spirit I am compelled to share a side of an issue that isn't normally covered in the media or discussed in normal life until a tragedy occurs like the massacre at the school in CT.

I always wonder if I'm the only one to feel this way, but also don't care because there comes a point when I can't do anything else, but share.

It affects me that deeply.

And when I do, then I find many others do feel the same way as I do. They were just waiting for someone else to speak out first.

Even though I am not raising my son and technically am not a mother in the tradional sense of the word, only a "birth mother" as those of us in the adoption world are called who have placed our children with other parents to raise, I still feel deeply about protecting children from ills in society.

I only wish more people in power did too.

Pornography, alcoholism, drug abuse, the way women are portrayed in the media have all been topics I've covered here in my blog in the past and now, with the horrific shooting in CT, I feel compelled to address the growing glorification of violence in society, especially as Quentin Tarantino prepares to launch his latest killing spree film, Django, wherein Jamie Foxx, whom I normally love and will watch in anything he does, went on SNL to brag about killing white people. 

Yes, maybe Jamie was trying to be satirical, but at a certain point, that commentary ceases to be funny. It crossed a line.

He needs to apologize and SNL too. 

And now, even more so when innocent children are gunned down so horrifically after what happened in CT.

When will this glorification and mockery of the sanctity of life end in Hollywood? Why is there such a disconnect on cause and effect?

I posted a bunch of articles, books, and images yesterday on Facebook to process what has happened which helped me and many others. After sleeping on it, I feel a broader audience needs to hear this too which is why I'm sharing it here.

I know many people in Hollywood and in politics are going to be clamoring for more gun control now as they always do after something like this happens, but I hope you will read what else could be causing our society to implode upon itself with an open mind because many, many, many researchers concur that violence in TV, Film and video games is causing people to become more violent.

Aw, it's just a movie. A video game. A TV show. A music lyric.

How can Family Guy, American Family, Django, Inglorious Bastards, Grand Theft Auto III, or Postal 2 or any number of violent media or even violent music videos have this much affect on society you ask?

Thanks for asking. Well, let me tell you.

According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, "While the causes of youth violence are multifactorial and include such variables as poverty, family psychopathology, child abuse, exposure to domestic and community violence, substance abuse and other psychiatric disorders, the research literature is quite compelling that children's exposure to media violence plays an important role in the etiology of violent behavior."

You can read more in this quick 1 pager overview: The Impact of Media Violence on Children and Adolescents: Opportunities for Clinical Interventions

And who can forget this tragedy and what the killer had to say: "(CNN) -- Norway's alleged mass killer testified on Thursday that he played video games as a way to train for a shooting spree that killed 77 people last summer. In particular, Anders Behring Breivik said at his trial that he played "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" as a means of shooting practice, according to CNN's report."


Read more here: Norway mass-shooting trial reopens debate on violent video games

If you're interested in more information on the cause and effect of violence in the media, review Myths and Facts About Youth and Violent Media for an intensive, comprehensive review of this issue. 

Not to harp on my sister's friend, Quientin, but did you read the review of the premiere of Django in the New York Times? It's especially chilling in light of what just happened: 

"Ms. Thurman, of course, has done numerous movies for Mr. Tarantino including 'Pulp Fiction' and 'Kill Bill.' She can’t give an exact tally of how many people she’s killed on-screen for him. 'At least 88,' she said.

Nearly everyone in the house professed to love his latest offering. 'It was three hours of Tarantino perfection,' Cameron Diaz said, though she admitted to having some trouble watching some of the bloodier scenes. 

'It was awesome' Patti Smith said. 'The guy kills 100 people and doesn’t even get wounded. I want to go see it again at midnight with a theater packed full of crazy kids screaming.'

Read more here: This Tarantino Premiere Killed

Notice how Patti Smith said "crazy kids?" Who do you think is being influenced by this film?

Yes, kids.

And this is why I feel it needs to stop. Hollywood has to stop glorifying murdering people. Did you ever stop to think about how Quentin Tarantino learned to make films? By watching videos non-stop in his video selling job in Manhattan Beach.

See the correlation? Or is it too obtuse for you?

I have nothing against the guy. I admire what he's accomplished and how he directs. However, I wonder if any Hollywood filmmaker who is making bucco bucks off this violent trend is even considering donating money to support the victims they help cause indirectly. I wonder how many even have a conscience when they see this happening more and more in our society? Are they that blinded to their influence? 

And even the Oscars will be glorifying the Family Guy creator who is one of the worst racist, offensive offenders on TV. WHEN WILL THIS STOP? CHOOSE SOMEONE ELSE TO "ENTERTAIN" OUR CULTURE DURING THE OSCARS.

I am tired of the glorification of violence in society. I'm tired of the killing of innocent adults and children in real life.

I'm tired...

Aren't you?

If so, please consider reading this book, Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill : A Call to Action Against TV, Movie and Video Game Violence which looks at the role the entertainment industry plays in socializing/training children for violent behavior.

Author, Lt. Col Dave Grossman is an expert in the field of "killology" and in his first book, On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society also looked at the techniques the military uses to train soldiers to kill which offers compelling evidence THAT THE MEDIA EMPLOYS THE SAME TECHNIQUES, RESULTING IN DE-SENSITIZED KIDS.

This isn't just about males though, it's affecting girls too which is why I was happy to share what my friend, Doreen Hanna is doing with her Becoming a Modern Day Princess program to mentor young women into living lives of value, purpose and strength.  970434_w185
We either address the core issues affecting our society and look at what we're doing to perpetrate this violence upon our innocent generation, or accept the consequences. We can't have it both ways. Guns, in and of themselves, aren't the issue.

It's evil people and their drugged out state too.Photo: More than coincidence? 
Original content by Bezay Noneya

So, are we going to allow our American culture to become what it is over in Israel? Will we soon see teachers carrying guns to the classroom to protect themselves like this?



I hope not. This tragedy in CT didn't have to happen. My heart and prayers go out to the victims and their families.


It breaks my heart.


I cried yesterday over the loss of innocent lives which didn't have to happen. We don't live in a war torn country, yet it's beginning to feel like it.


But then I remember people like Mr. Rogers and his wise sayings:

483572_4480289019531_914086174_nYou can become one of the helpers too. 

"Sympathy cards and/or letters of support and solidarity can be sent directly to the school:

Sandy Hook Elementary School
12 Dickenson Drive
Sandy Hook, CT 06482"

I'm sure they would appreciate this.

But also, seriously consider what impact the media is having on your child, on your view of violence and what is within your power to change how our society looks at this issue. 

Will you Hollywood professionals continue to create films, TV and video games that glorify violence?

Will you pharmaceutical drug companies, continue to push drugs on society that influence this behavior?

Will you gun sellers, continue to sell guns without considering the consequences?

Where does it end?  When everyone is murdered and we live in a lawless society?

I find it ironic that the more we remove the good news of Christmas and Jesus coming to save us from our sins, the more we see this violence become prevalent.

There is a cause and effect from removing moral values from our society.

You can't have it both ways.

You either see sin and evil and do something about it, or you allow it to take over. I prefer to see evil and attempt to stop it. 

But that's just me. Or is it? Will you join me?

I was happy to see someone in Hollywood saw the need to make a change and switched out Family Guy episodes in light of what has happened: 

Fox Nixes Sunday's Original Episodes of 'Family Guy' and 'American Dad' 

So, in closing, wanted to share this beautiful image someone posted to encourage those who have lost loved ones yesterday or any time. 

12575_10151189194388137_2116075524_nAnd as President Obama shared so thoughtfully with this verse yesterday, Psalm 147:3, He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds.

And here's another verse I love:

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27

God bless you. Think on these things. Will you do something to make a difference?

If so, I hope you do. 

We are one nation, one community, one legacy.

Let's leave a loving one for our world and children.

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” 
― Mother Teresa


#Opinion "Do They Know It's Christmastime at all?" Do you? Or has your community removed it too?

By Joy A. Kennelly

Seeing as I've attended over 5 recent Christmas events in the South Bay and surrounding areas and none have had any Christian Christmas songs or reference to baby Jesus yet, and Santa Monica atheist's voted to remove the traditional nativity scene that has been part of that landscape for over 50 years this season, I realize that in an effort to be "tolerant" people have become intolerant of my belief system and it's my "holiday!"

Did you hear this on the news? If not, check out what went down on Saturday at the park.

"The season really isn't about the fight," said Jeff McCulty, pastor of the Church on Pearl in Santa Monica. "The season is all about the glory of God."

Before the fight over the displays last year, the city had allowed nativity scenes in Palisades Park for nearly six decades.


Here's a thought. First, start playing this video and then consider this fact, If we replaced the word Christmas in every childhood Christmas song with the word Holiday, here's what some of our favorite childhood memories would be reduced to as stated below with highlights from the list of the top 100 Christmas songs:



1. White Holiday - wonder when this one takes place?  Could happen any time in November, January, February, March in some parts of the country.

2. The Holiday Song - Wonder what this song is about. Could be Valentine's Day? Halloween? Thanksgiving?

3. Snoopy's Holiday  - Who knew Snoopy has his own holiday!

4. Rockin' Around the Holiday Tree - What does that one look like? Is it an elm? An oak? What holiday and why are we dancing? I don't understand.:)

5. Baby's First Holiday - Ok, let's guess. Is it President's Day? Or my favorite, Memorial Day? Why are parents celebrating? 

6. Happy Holiday - Interesting. This one is written by John Lennon and Yoko Ono and they actually used the word Christmas! How un-PC of them! Per shame!

7. Do They Know It's Holiday? - Band Aid wrote this one. What on earth were they thinking! This is so offensive to those who are Jewish and Aethist! Seriously folks.

Make your own atheist and Jewish songs. It's a free country and we totally support freedom of speech. Defend ours too. It's only "fair."

8. Merry Holiday Darling - The Carpenters made this one popular. Let's see... Merry normally applies to Christmas, but I guess if we really wanted to be PC we could apply it to other times of year too. Merry Valentine's Day!

9. Please Come Home for Holiday - Charles Brown - I'm sure people who have loved ones far away probably think this for every holiday, but doesn't it make sense that Christmas is when you want to be near your family and loved ones the most? 

10. It's Beginning to Look A Lot like Holiday - Perry Como and The Fontaine Sisters were so un-pc back then, weren't they? What does a generic holiday look like to you? Mine has Christmas trees, lights, cookies, cards, baby Jesus, angels, and more...

I could go on, but do you see how ridiculous this really is? And for all the retailers and cities (Skechers, Manhattan and Hermosa Beach, Santa Monica), do you realize the more you remove God from the public square, the more you are inviting those who have no morals and beliefs to take over? 

Or do you also realize that you also market to people who do believe in Christmas and celebrate? What about our money? Or doesn't it buy your same products? Support your city roads? Pay for your schools? Pay for your new homes, new cars and everything else our money supports of your atheist or Jewish lifestyle?

Think about it. Taxpayers who are Christian also pay into community-wide celebrations. Shouldn't their money be reflected in celebrations for the city too? I know, separation of state and religion, but when it's basically a religious holiday (there, I used it appropriately), why not make a concession and allow that this is a specific day, regarding a specific celebration and thus deserves it's own recognition?

When you consider the five reasons the Roman Empire fell as enumerated below, it's easy to see we as a society are heading in the exact same direction. Five reasons for the fall of the great dynasty according to The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire written by Edward Gibbon a long time ago: 

  • First: Rapid increase of divorce, with the undermining of the sanctity of the home, which is the basis of society.
  • Second: Higher and higher taxes; the spending of money for bread and celebrations.
  • Third: The mad craze for pleasure, sports becoming every year more exciting and more brutal.
  • Fourth: The building of gigantic armaments, when the real enemy was within; the decadence of the people.
  • Fifth: The decay of religion; faith fading into mere form, losing touch with life, and becoming impotent to guide it.

Just thought you might like to read what one of the silent minority thinks of the removal of our celebration's official representation and word. 

I can't begin to tell you how refreshing it was to go to church this morning and see a children's program where little kids were singing about the birth of baby Jesus.

Heavy sigh. There is a God....

And He's alive and well in the South Bay!

At least these little kids aren't learning about baby Jesus from Will Ferrell!:)


And with that, I'm off to the Skechers "Holiday" Celebration where they will light a fireworks display that the Travel Channel is filming for their interestingly enough, "CHRISTMAS SHOWDOWN" show.

If a secular, travel-oriented TV show can call it what it is, how about us South Bay?

"Manhattan Beach will represent the West Coast while a yet-to-be-named community represents the East Coast. Crews from the Travel Channel will be at the pier most of the afternoon and evening filming the event and interviewing local officials and residents.

The two finalists will be featured on a program called “Christmas Showdown” that allows viewers to vote for their favorite online. Manhattan Beach will be competing in the category of best holiday fireworks."

So, see you there! MERRY CHRISTMAS!:)