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Hundreds of children help at Children's Christmas Festival in Red Bluff - Red Bluff Daily News

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RED BLUFF — The annual Children’s Christmas Festival was a blockbuster on Saturday, with hundreds of people lining the street.

This festival is organized by Northern California Child Development, Inc., which partners with the California Highway Patrol and other community members to organize the event.

Several stalls in the Red Bluff Community Center, popcorn, local produce clothing, science kits and other things they may need.

Volunteers fill sacks of toys for those queuing for the Christmas festival.  (George Johnston/Daily News)
Volunteers fill sacks of toys for those queuing for the Christmas festival. (George Johnston/Daily News)

At the end of the line, people could get toys donated by the community and pictures with Santa for their children.

The California Highway Patrol collected the toys from the community as part of their CHiPs for Kids holiday program.

CHP official Jason Thinnes described the collection as going quite well this year

“There wasn’t a single business in town that didn’t get at least a basket of donations,” Thinnes said.

Last year the festival was a walk-through, and the organizers decided to bring it in and do more than what we’ve been able to do in the past. In 2020, the event served approximately 950 children; last year it helped more than 1,100. Organizer Jennifer Torres said she expected similar numbers for Saturday’s event.

“I think there are more people than I thought would be here,” she added. “So we’ll see what happens. I’m always pleasantly surprised when I see how many people show up at my events or the events we hold for the community.”

Coming from Chico for his grandchild was Roland Messerschmidt. His daughter arrived to line up two hours before the event, while Messchmidt arrived an hour before. This was his first year at the festival and he felt it was an excellent thing for the community to do. Messerschmidt said he’d like to see Chico do something like that.

On Tuesday, NCCDI was still finalizing its numbers, but an estimated 850 children were helped and 2,500 people showed up at the event.

“We had a good day,” said Torres.