Project Playground’s Volunteers Got to Work on City of Winters Park

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Autumn has finally arrived and the summer’s intense heat has faded and cooled to fall’s tolerable temperatures. Pumpkins, large and small, have appeared at the markets, indicating Halloween and Día de los Muertos as being just around the corner. Along with these universal events came the hard-working Winters citizens, having reached the year’s end and taken action on long-planned projects, events, and celebrations.

We employees at Eagle Drug had caught sight of some Project Playground volunteers earlier this month. One charitable woman and two young girls, serving as Project Playground volunteers, walked about historic downtown Winters to collect the containers for Project Playground donations. For the fundraisers had come to an end and the volunteers put on their working boots.

To capture this long-planned project come to fruition, I snuck out early with my camera to see all the volunteers in action. Both men and women worked hard on erecting the new playground playset. Winters residents had given generously throughout this past year to Project Playground, meeting the project’s funding goal! Consequently, with these donated funds, the volunteers seemed to have hired a construction team. Wearing their construction hats, they operated forklifts and other machinery to build the playset.

Other local businesses showed up during the construction. Buckhorn Steakhouse showed up with their food catering crew, providing quality food for the hard workers. And Winters Friends of the Library had donated generously along with other local organizations, making the project possible. For everyone wants the town children to have a fun and safe place to play.

Winters Public Safety Festival, Chamber Mixer at the Palms, Funky Fall Formal, and Buckhorn’s Car Show

On October 7th, the Winters Police Department hosted the city-wide Public Safety Festival. Intended primarily for elementary students and their parents, the 2017 festival was reminiscent of previous years with their features and activities. Features included viewing Police Department and Fire Station equipment, meeting the town’s K-9 reinforcement, and learning from Government Departments in Yolo County. But I’m sure the kiddos enjoyed the refreshments and bounce house too!

Winters Chamber of Commerce commenced their monthly Chamber Mixer on Monday, October 9th. They enjoyed the night at the Palms Playhouse, listening to music, catching up with each other, and relaxing after all their hard work from last month. During this time, council members gathered for the town hall meeting at Council Chambers. Here they brainstormed questions about Californian Government for State Senator Bill Dodd. Unfortunately, the Senator never showed up to the event, due to his evacuation from the area’s roaring fires.

And – get ready for this – Winters High School Seniors celebrated their annual prom! October 14th was the day where the high school seniors donned their figurative blue jeans and flannel shirts and shook their boots at the Funky Fall Formal. Though the event’s theme indicated the students were nothing but some redneck hillbillies, the young men and women dressed their finest, enjoyed some refreshments, and danced long into the night.

Buckhorn Steakhouse hosted its last car event for the year on October 10th. Linda, who does a fabulous job at coordinating Buckhorn’s events, stopped by Eagle Drug to pick up some decorations. Purchasing a Happy Halloween sign and several dressed-up skeletons, she and her team performed their magic and made the event festive for the upcoming holiday.

Need to Know Information on Día de los Muertos for Winters Residents

Everyone who has spent a significant amount of time in the United States has a general idea about what the modern Halloween holiday is all about:

  • Ghouls, witches, vampires, mummies, and Frankenstein’s monster decorate the homes of those who celebrate the holiday.
  • People go out to purchase costumes to wear on October 31st, or the materials to make their own costumes.
  • Children roam the streets, costumed and carrying treat bags, to trick or treat for chocolate, candy, and other sugary treats.
  • Adults go to costume-themed parties, bobbing for apples, or they decide to stay at home, giving out treats and watching scary movies.

Día de los Muertos is a wholly different type of celebration, despite its nearness to Halloween. For while the celebration honors the dead, the atmosphere remains cheerful and merry for most people. Bittersweet for those who recently lost loved ones. And overall festive for the remainder who merely enjoy the traditional holiday, as celebrated predominantly in Southern Mexico and progressing North through Northern Mexico and into the United States.

Starting on the stroke of midnight on November 1st, the beloved children who have passed away will come back to enjoy 24 hours with their families. In the next 24 hours, November 2nd in total, people will celebrate with the adults who have passed on. Whether loved ones actually rise from the grave as spirits on these two days depends on who is asked.

To celebrate Muertos, families will clean and decorate the graves of their loved ones. Families will also set up a place for the deceased at their homes. Other than painting on a calavera (i.e. skull) face, families who celebrate this holiday will buy Calaveras de Azúcar (i.e. Sugar Skulls), bake Pan de Muertos, and pluck Flor de los Muertos. More decorations, baked goods, and festive treats involved in the celebration are easily found online.

Finding Ways to Help People Amidst the California Fires

Listening to the radio reports and keeping updated on CalFires.org, Winters residents keep a wary eye to the South where the flames fly high. Severe smoke covered the Winters area and other localities early in October, causing the mouth masks to fly off Eagle Drug’s shelves. The possibility of the fire spreading to Winters scared some. Many others worried more for people evacuated from their homes.

People in Winters are practicing active compassion toward those who have lost homes in the fire. Giving food, medicine, and clothing to those living in hotels or in their vehicles, many concerned citizens feel led to give to those in need wherever they see an opportunity. Consider mouth masks to protect the elderly, the ill, and the pregnant women from the hazardous smoke in surrounding area. Doing so may prolong someone’s life.

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