This newsletter was lightly edited to remove an event that happened last night. 

President’s Message:  

Thank you to everyone that made it out to our holiday event on Saturday at the Victorian – and thank you to the Victorian for hosting us! 

We are tabulating our 2024 Board of Directors votes, and will be posting results on our website soon & sharing via our newsletter on Monday.

We’ve had a great 2023 and I’m looking forward to an even better 2024!

Sean Besser, OPA President

Last Chance to Vote for 2024 OPA Board: Voting closes Friday @ noon. Reply to this message if you are a current, paid OPA member but didn’t receive your ballot. 

NYE @ The Victorian: Ring in 2024 at their 5th Annual Prom NYE celebration. $35 tickets include entry to the main floor and upstairs plus: Spiked Punch, Photo Booths, Prom King & Queen, Confetti Countdown, Champagne, and Hors d’oeuvres!

The Network SM Holiday Toy Drive (Sunday, Dec. 17, 12-4 pm): OPA’s newest task force is asking you to please bring new, unwrapped toys for kids ages 0-12, OR you can donate gift cards for teenagers. Drop off is from 12-4pm @ 237 Hill St, 90405. You’ll see a sign that says “Meditation & Yoga Center” out front. We’re partnering with The Church in Ocean Park, the self-described “progressive, inclusive, interfaith church for people who don’t like church”, to get these holiday presents to kids & teens (There’s free parking in the lot next to 237 Hill St.).

Council to Take First Major Step in Airport Planning: “The City Council next week is set to embark on one of the largest — and most costly — outreach efforts in Santa Monica history as it begins plotting the airport’s future. On Tuesday, the Council is expected to give the go-ahead to negotiate a $2.1 million contract with consultant Sasaki Associates, Inc. and create an $221,797-a-year staff position, including benefits, to help lead the outreach. The intensive 21-month process will include more than 60 community meetings, “listening sessions,” pop-up events and focus group sessions, including five presentations to the Council at each “outreach milestone,” according to City staff.” More details here.

Stella Barra Closing Down: After 10+ years on Main St.: the beloved pizza spot’s last day of business will be Jan. 5. Here’s their Instagram post about the closure.

Eater LA Covers New Sweet Maple on Ocean Ave: This write-up states “A Silicon Valley Brunch Spot Delivers Quiet Luxury and ‘Millionaire’s Bacon’ to Santa Monica” that took over the former Joan’s on Third Santa Monica location @ 1705 Ocean Ave.

Holey Grail Seasonal Holiday Menu: Flavors include their Naughty List, made with Hawaiian vanilla bean cookie glaze and charcoal streusel; Saffron Snickerdoodle spiced with saffron and rolled in cinnamon and vanilla sugar. Holey Grail Donuts also has a holiday pop up with popular San Francisco’s bean-to-bar chocolate maker, Dandelion Chocolate running through December 31. 2441 Main St. https://www.holeygraildonuts.com/ 

Things to Do This Weekend:

  • SaMo Ice Skate for FREE on Netflix Family Nights: “Guests can visit Ice at Santa Monica for Netflix Family Nights and enjoy complimentary skate sessions featuring family favorite films and shows.” Free sessions over the next week are Friday Dec. 15 & Tuesday, Dec. 19. https://iceatsantamonica.com/
  • La Posada Event: This annual celebration of the season and starts as a procession at Virginia Avenue Park and travels throughout the neighborhood. Traditional songs are played as a sing-a-long, led and accompanied by a Mariachi Ensemble. Bring beach chairs and blankets to set out on the grass and enjoy the entertainment! Friday, Dec 15, 5 – 10p.m.
  • Vermiculture Workshop and Gently Used Toy/Book Swap (Saturday 9 – 11 am): Come for a dive into the life of worms and their part in recycling your kitchen scraps. If you are interested in starting your own worm bin at home, this is the perfect time to learn the do’s and don’ts to make your project successful. This event is also our 3rd Annual Gently Used Children’s Toy and Book Pick Up. Ishihara Park Learning Garden, 2909 Exposition Blvd. More details here.
  • SANTA Monica Pub Crawl (Saturday 5p.m. – 2a.m.): Join thousands of Santas, Elves, Naughty Reindeer, and over 20 of the city’s best bars & and restaurants and raise money for the Westside Food Bank to help those in need for the holidays. This year’s crawl will feature 3 different routes – Main Street, Ocean Ave. & Third Street Promenade), $6-$9 Food & Drink Specials, Beer Gardens, Costume Contests, Scavenger Hunt, and Santa’s Official After Party. https://santamonicapubcrawl.com/
  • Main St. Sunday Farmers Market: Join us for a special holiday celebration with music beginning at 9am with Megan Ukoh followed by DJ and the Main Street Jam 10am-1pm.  Coffee with a Cop and the Bach 2 Rock Instrument Petting Zoo begin at 10am.  We will be closed for Christmas Eve and New Years Eve to give our amazing farmers and food vendors a break.  Looking forward to coming back January 7, 2024!  Stay tuned.
  • SaMo Democratic Party Annual Holiday Party & Toy Drive (Sunday 5-7pm @ SM Brew Works): “No speeches, no program. Just informal socializing with your fellow Santa Monica Democrats. It has been an eventful year at the Santa Monica Democratic Club, and we want to celebrate with you. Please bring an unwrapped toy for a child in need.” RSVP Here.
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