When Santa came to San Bernardino Valley College last night, he couldn’t find a place to park his sleigh. Most of the college’s parking lots were full of cars from either evening students — studying for finals — or visitors attending the college’s inaugural winter festival, dubbed “Valley WinterFest 2016.”


“We didn’t know what to expect,” said Alejandra Aguilera, one of the event’s organizers. “The weather was our primary concern. A forecast last week had us thinking it would be too cold for some of the outdoor activities. We thought people might just choose to stay home.”


But when the event began at 3:00pm, visitors began to flood the campus’s walkways in droves. Some went hunting for Santa. Others visited the glass-blowing studio, watched a Planetarium show, or checked out the many food vendors on campus. By the end of the night, two vendors had run out of supplies.


“I think the turnout was pretty phenomenal tonight,” said Javier Vizcarra, an officer with the college’s Associated Student Government. “I’m sure that, as people hear about it, participation from the community will go up. It will be even better next year.”

The event was organized to promote spring application and registration, which began in late November. Organizers estimate the event to have drawn up to 2,000 visitors throughout the day.