ABOUT THE CHRISTMAS ON EUCLID EXPERIENCE
In 1922, a tree growing in the old city hall park on South Euclid Avenue and Emporia was decorated by Ontario firemen with 125 colored electric lights, 900 square feet of cotton batting for a snow effect, and 2200 feet of decorations.
A program in the park was given on December 23rd with singing Santa Claus handing gifts of candy to the children. It was such a success that the next day the program was given again. For the next four years the program was repeated during the Christmas season.
In 1928, the Chaffey band under the direction of Fred Wilding, along with two glee clubs directed by S. Earl Blakeslee presented Christmas programs for the community. The Ontario Chamber of Commerce had printed the familiar Christmas carols for handouts to the public.
The merchants in Ontario for 1930 planned an early Christmas present for shoppers. On November 24th the stores were decorated and a plane circled over the Bank of America, (now the Beauty College building located on the north, east corner of Euclid and B Street). A red-clad figure dropped from the plane and landed on the roof of the bank. All watching this spectacle were surprised and delighted when no other than old Saint Nicholas called a merry greeting to all.
Santa tossed number slips of paper to the crowd that gathered. The slips were then exchanged by merchants for gifts they donated. The Christmas spirit in Ontario in later years began to deteriorate. By 1958, community leaders began to feel something better was needed to bring back a sense of family to Ontario.
The Reverend Paul Kennedy of the First Christian Church and several other community leaders came together as the “Christmas on Euclid Avenue Committee”. The committee was under the sponsorship of the Association of Commerce and Industry (later renamed the Ontario Chamber of Commerce). The goal of the original Christmas on Euclid Avenue committee was to plan programs that would bring back a traditional respect, and meaning for the celebration of Christmas.
One of the most significant changes to Christmas on Euclid was the addition of the 12 Nativity and Life of Jesus Scenes that were created and added from 1958 to 1976. For more information read about the Nativity Scenes.
CHRISTMAS ON EUCLID EXPERIENCE – JOIN US!
Today Christmas on Euclid has become bigger and better than ever! The Greater Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau has embraced and now operates this long standing community tradition. Visitors and locals alike can look forward to a winter wonderland on historic tree lined Euclid Avenue every holiday season. The first weekend in December kicks off the month long event calendar. The first Friday is the tree lighting ceremony at Ontario Town Square. Families gather for food, games, and a movie night at this beautiful outdoor amphitheater. The second Saturday of December is a day of family activities – from horse drawn carriage rides to ice skating and playing in the snow everyone will have a great time! The beautiful light display, the food, games, and shopping from local crafters plus the live entertainment provides everyone with holiday cheer. Each year we are adding to the calendar of events!
Christmas on Euclid Experience is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. We recognize the cultural and religious diversity of our community. We do not endorse or support any gathering or expression that would be considered of a religious nature. We do however support displays that are a celebration of the joy and diversity of the holidays. Thus, all groups that celebrate a seasonal festival near the winter solstice are equally free to display their religious symbols on the Euclid Avenue median with approval. An application must be completed in advance and submitted for approval. Contact us for more information – Sue Oxarart at firstname.lastname@example.org