BARSTOW — Despite cold and windy conditions, the Treasure House Mall Antique Store was bursting with Christmas spirit while guests took a nostalgic trip around Old Town for the city’s annual Christmas Route 66 and Main Street Murals Tour.
Children of all ages along with their families went back in time Saturday morning as they were treated to a horse and carriage ride down festive Main Street in Barstow along Route 66, while also learning about the history of the Mother Road.
“We’ve been doing this for the past six years and it’s a really popular and lovely event to host downtown in the old part of the district,” said Desert Discovery Center Director Jane Laraman-Brockhurst. “Of course with the 90th anniversary of Route 66 this year, this is a great community event celebrating both our heritage and Christmas.”
While passengers riding the festive white carriage cheerfully waved to people walking down the sidewalk, others inside their vehicles honked and waved to those waiting in line for a turn outside the small thrift shop.
“I’ve been wanting to attend this event for a while and was so happy to be able to do so today and bring my grandchildren," said Margie Williams of Barstow.
From there, everyone sat around a large sheet that hung inside the Treasure House Mall while Historian Steve Smith gave a small presentation about the history of Barstow. Smith’s show, entitled "A Walk Back in Time Along Route 66 Barstow,” included over 100 photographs of Barstow and Route 66 in its heyday. Throughout the day, Smith shared stories and explained how the town had evolved over the years.
“Today was a lot of fun and I learned a lot of about Barstow,” said Jessie Auzenne, 7, of Barstow. “I really liked learning about the camels that people rode here when Barstow was first being discovered. That was my favorite.”
The event also featured the Delta Kappa Gamma Singers performing a variety of Christmas carols for the crowd. Santa Claus, along with his senior elf, were on hand to greet children and their families. Hot chocolate and sweets were waiting for guests once the carriage had returned to the store.
“We’re really getting into the Christmas spirit here and what better way to continue to kick off the holiday than with this lovely tour as we lead up to the Christmas holiday,” Laraman-Brockhurst told Kicks. “A lot of times people come downtown to see the horses but end up leaving with a new respect for the town. It’s really a festive event.”
Monica Solano can be reached at MSolano@VVDailyPress.com or at 760-951-6231. Follow her on Twitter @DP_MonicaInes.