Paso Robles Press Magazine • #260 • December 2022

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INSIDE Hidden Springs Tree Farm Celebrates 60 Years in North County Victorian Christmas Showcase Returns for its 36th Year Prsrt Std US Postage PAID Permit 19 13Stars Paso Robles CA ECRWSS Local Postal Customer PARK CINEMAS Celebrates 25 Years DECEMBER 2022

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Springs Tree Farm Celebrates 60 Years in North
Hidden
County
For
years,
Springs
Paso Robles 36th Annual Victorian Christmas Showcase Returns by
There is no better way to get you in the holiday spirit than
stroll down Vine Street for the Victorian Christmas Showcase. 32 30
60
the Hidden
Christmas Tree Farm in Atascadero has been providing nostalgic memories for families near and far.
CAMILLE DEVAUL
a
Paso Robles Park Cinemas Celebrates 25 Years
34 FEATURES Issue No. 260 December 2022 6 | December 2022 Paso Robles Press Magazine 30,000 PRINTED | 26,700 DIRECT MAILED LOCALLY! Paso Robles 93446 • Templeton 93465 • Shandon 93461 • Bradley 93426 • San Miguel 93451 3,300 DROPPED AT HIGH TRAFFIC LOCATIONS IN SLO COUNTY Hotels • Wineries • B&Bs • Waiting Rooms • Restaurants • High-traffic Visitor Hotspots for advertising inquiries and rates email publisher @ pasomagazine.com, or contact one of our advertising representatives.
by CAMILLE DEVAUL
Back
in December 1997, John Roush and his family opened the doors to Park Cinemas in downtown Paso Robles, and in many ways it was also the beginning of the downtown we know and love today.
Paso Robles Park Cinemas owners and crew
ON THE COVER 28 24 36 26 Something Worth Reading 10 Publisher's Letter Round Town 12 Through the Grapevine 14 Paso Robles Main Street Association 15 The Natural Alternative 16 Paso Robles Area Historical Society 17 The General Store 18 San Miguel Happenings 20 Templeton: RE/MAX Success Charities Paso People 22 Paso Robles Press Team: Get to Know our Team Features 24 Coats for Kids: Celebrates 35 Years 26 Jack Creek Farm: From Pumpkins to Christmas Trees 28 Winter Solstice and Yuletide: Celebrating the Holidays 36 Agape Christmas Trees: Moves to a New Location Business 38 Specs by Kyla: Looking Through Rose Colored Glasses 39 Paso Roles Chamber: Here's to You '22! Oak Leaf 40 San Luis Office of Education: Apprenticeships Taste 42 The Farm Stand: Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash 43 Sip & Savor: The Originals 44 Taste of Paso: 'Tis the Season for Christmas Spirits Calendar 45 Calendar of Events: December 46 Service Listings: Government and Community Services 48 Worship Directory Last Word 50 Season's Blessing: A Prayer of Hope and Wellbeing 50 Directory of our Advertisers 8 | December 2022 Paso Robles Press Magazine CONTENTS
Photo by Nic Mattson
R E GU L A R P IC K U P SCHEDUL E F O R HOLI D AY S DECEMBER 26 TH - JANUARY 6 TH Paso Robles City Residents For no additional charge, you can place your whole (please cut trees that are taller than 6’) undecorated tree at the curb on your regular service day We are unable to accept flocked trees (fake snow), decorations, 805.238.2381 prwaste.com countr ydisposal.com pasoroblesmagazine.com December 2022 | 9

Happy holidays friends!

We are beyond excited to welcome back all of our old-time favorite holiday events that have been dormant for the last two years. Living in a small town such as ours, we love and cherish our community events. Getting out and seeing one another, catching up with old friends and colleagues, taking the time to be present and slow down long enough to make memories while enjoying the coldest time of the year.

As an annual tradition, our family cuts down a tree the day after Thanksgiving and hangs our lights on the house before the Thanksgiving weekend is over, all while “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” play on repeat. These are the days I will forever cherish. Our boys are now 10 and 8 and absolutely love the holidays as most kids do; however, we have started several holiday traditions to focus on the memories, family, and the time we all have together. We take time and recognize Winter Solstice and celebrate the changing of the seasons. Nic and the boys make Gingerbread Houses from scratch with the ingredients collected from our Elf on the Shelf no. 0599 (the name the boys gave him) brought with him to share with us from the North Pole.

Traditions such as these are the fabric of our family and have been created with the intention of being able to pass on for generations to come. As a child, I did not have many traditions to carry on, so it was essential to both Nic and me to create that for our kids.

Living in a community such as ours allows us to do that as well; attending the tree lighting and parades, walking around the lake, and driving around to see all the twinkling lights are a part of the tradition as well. We are grateful for a community who believes in keeping the magic alive by pulling us all in close so that even if we have a small or large family, we are all welcome.

We are grateful to all of you for keeping the spirit alive and reading our publications each month. We love our community and wish you all a very happy holiday season, no matter what you celebrate during this time of the year.

We hope you enjoy this month’s issue of Paso Robles Magazine.

Happiest of Holidays and much love, Hayley, Nic, and family

if thou wouldest win immortality of name, either do things worth the writing, or write things worth the reading.

— Thomas Fuller, 1727

This month’s edition of Paso Robles Magazine is brought to you by all the local advertisers that fill our pages. Thanks to them, we are able to bring you your local Hometown Magazine.

publisher, editor in chief Hayley Mattson business & product development Nic Mattson

content editor Camille DeVaul copy editor Michael Chaldu

ad design Jen Rodman

layout design Evan Rodda Neil Schumaker Benson Moore

community writer Christianna Marks

ad consultants Dana McGraw Jamie Self

company administrator Cami Martin | office@13starsmedia.com

contributors

Barbie Butz

BeeWench Farm

Blake Ashley Frino-Gerl

Gina Fitzpatrick

James Brescia, Ed.D Karyl Lammers

Paso Robles Area Historical Society & Museum Michelle Hido Mira Honeycutt The General Store

The Natural Alternative Sarah-Kate Duran

OUR NEXT ISSUE:

ROBLAN OF THE YEAR

NEW YEARS, FOOD & WINE JANUARY 2023

PUBLICATION DELIVERY DATE December 29, 2022

ADVERTISING DEADLINE December 10, 2022

For more advertising information, contact our advertising representatives above, or see our media kit at pasoroblesmagazine.com/advertise

(805)

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PROUD TO BE LOCAL!

Hayley Mattson Paso Magazine, Paso Robles Magazine and Paso Robles Press Magazine are trademarks of 13 Stars Media. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form by any means without written consent.

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OFFICE 5860 El Camino Real Ste G, Atascadero, Ca 93422 MAIL P.O. Box 427 Paso Robles, Ca 93447 PASOROBLESMAGAZINE.COM office@13starsmedia.com •
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Commentary reflects the views of the writers and does not necessarily reflect those of Paso Robles Magazine. Paso Robles Magazine is delivered free to
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Paso Robles Magazine is a local business, owned and published by local residents Nicholas &
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Through the Grapevine

They also partner with The Salvation Army to provide grocery gift cards for families in Paso Robles, San Miguel, Bradley, Creston, Shandon, and Heritage Ranch.

And after a two-year break, Coats for Kids will be returning to the Day of Giving. Coats for Kids distributes new and gently-used chil dren’s and adult’s coats, jackets, sweaters, and sweatshirts to those in need each year.

age range and for girls ages 6-8. If you cannot shop for a toy, the organization accepts mone tary donations, and volunteers will buy toys.

Toy Bank requires parents and families to register online at prtoybank.org starting November 1 through the end of November.

Toy Bank holding its 27th annual Day of Giving on December 10

The holidays are here, and so is the season of giving, and with that, the Toy Bank of Greater Paso Robles is preparing for its 27th annual Day of Giving on Saturday, December 10, at the Paso Robles Event Center.

The Toy Bank provides toys, games, play ground balls, stuffed animals, books, arts and crafts, and more for approximately 1,400 to 1,600 children each year on the Day of Giving.

Chair and Day of Giving Coordinator Amanda Bean expects to see a higher need for toys this year.

"I do anticipate that we would have more families than we've had in the past in the sense that everything is so expensive," Amanda explained. "People have less discretionary funds. So we are there to fill that need."

The Toy Bank will have registry lists available on its website, and as usual, it will have its dona tion boxes out in the community. Amanda says there is always a need for toys in the 9-12 years

New this year for the toy bank is the Toy Bank Show and Shine Fundraiser. The benefit is a car show presented by Daniels Wood Land, Golden State Classics, and Late Night Cruizers Car Clubs. The show is limited to 150 classic cars, trucks, and motorcycles. The 27 unique awards will be designed by the artists at Daniels Wood Land.

Proceeds from the show will help the toy bank purchase additional toys and expenses. The First Annual Show and Shine Show is Saturday, December 3, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Daniels Wood Land in Paso Robles.

Stay up to date on the Toy Bank of Greater Paso, by viting prtoybank.org.

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Gathering with family and friends to reminisce about the completed year and think hopefully about what’s to come. This is one of the busi est months when wherever you go, you’ll always feel the buzz of the holiday season and enjoy the feast provided for all five of your senses. It can be an expen sive month, so keep in mind Love is heavier than Gold!

Main Street has a fun-filled holiday agenda for Paso. We have a special Gift Card Tree, the tickets are $20 each, which puts you in line for the drawing on December 21, when you can walk away with over $1,000 worth of gift cards from downtown businesses. Whoopie!!! Just in time for holiday shopping! Tickets can be purchased at Bijou, Odyssey World Cafe, Kahuna’s and Jayde. You can also reach out to the Main Street office, call (805) 238-4103.

Our first event is on Saturday, Decem ber 3. It’s our 61st Annual Christmas Light Parade starting at 7 p.m. This year’s theme is “Deck the Halls.” The Parade starts at 10th and Spring Streets, goes up Spring, then right on 14th Street, right on Park Street, left on 12th Street, right on Pine Street, right on 11th Street, and ends at Park Street intersection. A special panel of Judges will present cash awards to the

winners. It’s guaranteed fun for the whole family all over town! Contact Main Street Office for details at (805) 238-4103.

On Saturday, December 10, one of our most popular events is back at 6 p.m. on

Ballroom from 2 until 4 p.m. Tickets go on sale December 5, $8 for children, $20 for adults. It’s an afternoon of music, singing, dancing, and entertainment. There are Teddy Bear tea cups to take home, gingerbread cookies, candy canes, pictures to color, and door prizes. Children are encouraged to dress up and bring their teddy bears. Get your tickets early, they

Now you’re ready to settle down and enjoy the reason for the season. In and around our favorite events we get to enjoy what nature has to offer.

Our December full moon is on December 8. This is referred to as the “Full Long Nights Moon.” Then on Wednes day the 21st, we celebrate the Winter Solstice with the shortest day of the year. Our days will begin to get longer until the Spring Equi nox in March. This has been considered a time of personal reflection and cleansing. A time to stop bad habits and save your strength for the winter ahead.

The year 2022 is coming to a close and 2023 is about to open. During this time of reflection, Dr. Seuss reminds us, “You ought to be Thankful, a whole heaping lot, for the places and people you’re lucky you’re not.”

We wrap up our Holiday Events on December 17 with our 32nd Annual Victorian Teddy Bear Tea at the Park

And “Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive that is you-er than you”. So enjoy the journey from past to future. “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” — Mahatma Gandi

Round Town • Paso
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Main Street Association
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Press Magazine
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NUTRITION CENTER

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A TALE OF HOT SPRINGS AND HOTELS

The original tourist attraction of Paso Robles

In 1889, a new hotel was proposed and would be called the El Paso de Robles Hotel and Hot Springs. The hotel property extended from 10th to 13th streets and from Spring to Vine streets. It featured sandstone arches, semicircular towers and fireplaces in each guest room — becoming known as the “hotel with a hundred chimneys.”

Today, it is wine that brings many tourists to Paso Robles, but in the mid-1800s, it was the healing properties of Paso Robles hot springs that brought people here by the hundreds, if not thousands. And it all centered around the Paso Robles Inn.

However, before the Paso Robles Inn became the central town grounds that we know today, there were several Paso Robles hotels that came before it.

In 1864, a wooden, 14-room “hotel” was built at the El Paso De Robles stagecoach stop and was named the Hot Springs Hotel. It was built adjacent to where the Paso Robles Inn stands today on Spring Street. The hotel was financed by a San Jose physician, Dr. Faliaferro Johnson. Dr. Johnson purchased one league of land, or 4,438 acres, for $20,000 from Daniel and James Blackburn and went on to spend $3,000 to build the Hot Springs Hotel and Bathhouse.

Dr. Johnson offered medical services at the local bathhouses so his patients could make use of the sulfur baths. Room and board at the Hot Springs Hotel was $9 per month and included unlimited free medical attention. By September 1864, Dr. Johnson returned to San Jose, and Daniel and James Blackburn became the owners of the Hot Springs Hotel and Bathhouses.

By 1868, the Blackburns raised Hot Springs Hotel rates from $9 per month to $12 per week. A new hotel was being constructed, and the old

one was being used as a hospital. The curative powers of the mud baths and hot springs were being developed and used as part of the hot springs resort. It was believed that the hot springs could cure ailments such as rheumatism, syphilis, gout, neuralgia, paralysis, fever, eczema, afflictions of the womb, and diseases of the liver and kidney.

The resort’s fame began to grow, and by 1883, the partnership of Blackburn and James had developed the Hot Springs Hotel into a cluster of small buildings, which included the wooden hotel surrounded on three sides by a dozen small, identical cottage bedrooms.

These cottages were used by the “first class” who enjoyed a private, separate dining room and the hotel now included amenities such as reading rooms, parlors, a barber shop, billiard hall, saloon, telegraph and post offices, first class livery stable, physicians’ office and bathhouse.

With the completion of the Southern Pacific Railroad route to Paso Robles in 1887, our little town began to receive an increased number of visitors who sought grander accommodations. So, the Blackburns and James began plans for yet another new hotel and hot springs resort.

A new Victorian-style bathhouse was built in 1888 at the same location of the original wooden bathhouse on 10th and Spring streets. However, even this was not nearly the last Paso Robles hotel to be built.

Over the years, notable guests such as Ignacy Paderewski, cattle ranchers Miller and Lux, “Fighting Bob” Evans, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the San Francisco Seals, and scores of European and Chinese diplomats came to the hotel to make use of the mineral and mud baths. Besides the bathing accommodations, the hotel staff arranged hunting parties for the guests or provided elaborate picnic lunches in the surrounding countryside. The clubhouse at the north end of the hotel grounds provided bowling, billiards and a movie theater for the guests’ enjoyment. The Hotel El Paso de Robles was often featured in Sunset magazine for its impeccable service and grand features.

On December 12, 1940, disaster struck the hotel when a fire started in one of the third-floor service closets and engulfed the building.

Before long, more than 3,000 Paso Robles citizens gathered on Spring Street to watch in horror and fascination as the fire consumed the huge building. Paso Robles volunteer firemen, aided by fire departments from surrounding areas, fought the fire valiantly, but were only able to save the bathhouse and the kitchen and dining room wing, known as the “Grand Ballroom.” The hotel burned to the ground within two hours.

Following the fire, good citizens of Paso Robles carried the hotel’s piano to safety while others mounted ladders to salvage personal effects from the employees’ dormitory over the dining room. Nearly 200 locals invited hotel guests displaced by the fire to stay in their homes that night and a local taxi service provided transportation to hotel guests free of charge.

The El Paso de Robles Area Historical Society and Museum are honored to be located in the historic Carnegie Library at the center of City Park. To learn more, visit pasorobleshistorymuseum.org.

Town
Round
• Paso Robles Area Historical Society
16 | December 2022 Paso Robles Press Magazine

It’s

About the People, Not the Things Celebrating

Favorites with

We love holiday music, but we don’t think “My Favorite Things” should count. It seems to focus on the goods, the big-gifty part of the holidays. And we own a store that most people asso ciate with gifts, so we should be just fine with that. But we aren’t. (“Well,” you might be thinking, “she’s about the worst salesperson. Someone else should write this column.”)

But it has never been about stuff for us. We don’t think a bigger gift equals more love. We think the best gifts are those chosen with intention. That’s why we start in July dreaming up a holiday vibe where it’s joyful to take your time, think about your people, and find things that are special and just right.

You have given us the great and profound joy of helping you express your thankfulness or love or comfort through the years, and we hope to see you this holiday season. We have such a wonderful crew of local makers whom we adore. And if we could rewrite the lyrics to that non-holi day song, it would be in honor of the people who make our favorite things: • Rito and Grace of Melzi Studios, the most charming family who make us custom coasters and tea light holders

• The crew at The Body Bean, who make a spruce-y JOY candle just for us

• Susan at Morning Glory, bringing that jammy goodness (gooooo Paso Pepper Jelly!)

• Josephine at Cook’s Vanilla, who somehow pulls off looking gorgeous while literally carrying 15 lbs of cookie vanilla in her arms

• Erin at Queen Bee Caramels (the CHURRO CARAMELS YOU GUYS), whose kids like us to come say hi in the car when she makes deliveries

We could go on and on, and actu ally will ... next year is our 10th anni versary, and we plan to sing the praises of our makers and partners the whole dang time. Until then, we’ll close out with some actual crooners: Lauren and Brandon from YES Cocktail Co singing us out on Christmas Eve with Kenny Loggin’s Celebrate Me Home. (No, really. They sent us a video last year after we told them we play this song as our last customer leaves the store on December 24, and their version will always be one of our favorite things.)

Happiest of Holidays

-The Team at General Store Paso Robles
our
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You

San Miguel Community Happenings

SAN MIGUEL LIBRARY

The San Miguel Library has closed temporarily. Longtime San Miguel librarian Judy Brown retired after 24 years of valued service and countless events she provided for the community. Events such as children’s movie shows, centennial movies, presentations, book discus sions, reading programs, crafting, seed exchanges, and so much more. Judy also provided the only public computer and copy service for the San Miguel community.

The closure of San Miguel’s Library has affected so many. When the library was open, it was available three and a half days a week. So it was great news to hear that not only will a replacement Librarian be hired, but the San Luis Obispo County Director of Libraries is extending the position to full-time. With that, they are asking for community feedback on the hours that the community would use the library and would like it to be open. Please visit their site at slolibrary.org/

SAN MIGUEL SENIOR CENTER [601 12TH STREET]

Quilting and crafting is open to the public every Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the San Miguel Senior Center. With a Quilting Retreat

happening from November 30 through December 4.

BINGO nights are back every 2nd and 4th Friday at 6 p.m. For more information, call the Senior Center at (805) 467-3445.

RIOS-CALEDONIA ADOBE [700 S. MISSION STREET]

The Adobe Museum is open on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 12 to 3 p.m. with free admission. Come learn about the T’epot’aha’ l (the People of the Salinan Tribe), the Stage Coach Days, period pieces, and local history, and walk through the gardens and on the original El Camino Real Road.

SAN MIGUEL COMMUNITY SERVICES DISTRICT

The monthly San Miguel Community Services District Board Meet ings are now held at the San Miguel Senior Center, 601 12th Street. Fire Chief and Interim General Manager Robert Roberson retired in October; Rob started with San Miguel Fire in 2008 and has been a firefighter since 1986.

While Rob has retired, he will continue to serve the San Miguel community as a volunteer firefighter. Thank you, Rob, for your dedicated service and care of the San Miguel Community.

The new General Manager for the San Miguel CSD is Kelly Dodds, who’s worked for the San Miguel CSD for over 15 years. The new Fire Chief is Scott Young. The remaining board meetings for 2022 will be on November 17 and December 15 at 7 p.m. For more information and meeting document packets, please go to sanmiguelcsd.org.

The San Miguel Advisory Committee meetings are on the 4th Wednesday of the month, starting at 7 p.m. at the Community Center at 256 13th Street. Agendas, Minutes, and additional information is available at sanmigueladvisorycouncil.com.

CALIFORNIA BROADBAND COUNCIL

In March, the California Broadband Council issued a “call to action” to get online high-speed internet service to 90 percent of all eligible low-income households by 2024. In San Luis Obispo County, 42,132 (40 percent) of community households are eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program, with only 13 percent (5,421 households) currently enrolled.

Affordable Connectivity Program is an FCC benefit program that helps ensure that households can afford the broadband they need for work, school, healthcare, and more. On August 27, SLO County had an enrollment event where 21 families qualified for the program, and 15 Chromebooks were distributed. To see how you can enroll, please visit internetforallnow.org/ or call (866) 935-1519.

THE SAN MIGUEL CEMETERY DISTRICT

Michael Sanders was appointed to the Board of the San Miguel Public Cemetery District; his term will be till 2024. Thank you, Michael, for faithfully serving the San Miguel community.

Round Town • San Miguel
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18 | December 2022 Paso Robles Press Magazine
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RE/MAX Success Charities

Gives Over $64,000 Back to the Community

This year, the RE/MAX Success Offices in Templeton, RE/MAX Sucess’s charity, gifted over $64,000 to six local organizations involved in helping seniors and veterans in the county and 36 individuals.

“We had some great organizations fill out some grants for us. Based on grant applications we received, we divvied out the funds. We raised over $64,000 at our event,” RE/MAX real estate agent Rebecca Repetto shared.

RE/MAX Success formed their nonprofit Success Charities two years ago so that they could give back to the community. This year their char ity event happened at Castoro Cellars in September. Over 200 people attended the event with a live auction. It was there that over $64,000 was raised.

“Last year, we were able to give back over $40,000 to local sports and youth sports in the area,” Repetto explained. “This year, we chose to select seniors and veterans because we feel like they’ve given so much to our community. It’s their time to give some love back from us.”

This year’s local organizations chosen after submitting grants were Honor Flight Central Coast, which received $10,000. Operation Surf, who received $10,000. Mighty Oaks, who received $5,000. Paso Robles Senior Center, which received $4,000. SLO Village, who received $2,500. SLO County Veteran Outreach, who received $1,000.

“We also had a lot of seniors apply individually, so we were able to

divvy out funds that way,” stated Repetto of the 36 individuals who also received donations.

“This is awesome. This will help us take 10 veterans back to Washington, D.C., so they can see the memorials that were built in their honor,” said Honor Flight Chairperson Bear McGill. “We’re just so thankful for Success Charities and Elissa Williams [owner of RE/MAX Success] for doing this because we wouldn’t be able to do this without them and without the rest of the people that donate to our organization to make sure that these veterans get the recognition that they deserve that they never got.”

The nonprofit Mighty Oaks, which is a faith-based program that supports and works with veterans, active duty military, and first responders, giving them post-trauma care also received a check.

“A donation of this size will sponsor two veterans or first responders to our weekly legacy programs. Our programs are 100 percent free to the participants,” said Mighty Oaks West Coast Regional Facilitator Jamie Warner.

Repetto added that one of the reasons she wanted to join the RE/ MAX Success team in Templeton was because of how much they give back to the community.

“It’s so nice to be able to put it [money] in the hands of people who are in need,” she added.

Round Town • Templeton RE/MAX Success Charities
20 | December 2022 Paso Robles Press Magazine
RE/MAX real estate agents Elissa Williams, JoAne Calderon, Scott Ehrke, Waylon and Teigan McGill, Bear McGill with Honor Flight, Hilary Krohn, Sue Kretzu, John Donaldson, Lorelei Komm, Brian Thorndyke, Laurie Miller, Rebecca Repetto and Success Charities board member Darryl Stolz. Photo by Quan Do
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Happy Holidays

from all of us at Paso Robles Magazine

Cami Martin

Date of Hire: October 2019

Position with the Company: Company Administrator

How do you spend the holidays? With family, listening to Christ mas music in front of a warm fireplace.

What do you like most about your job? I enjoy being a part of a company that is so involved in the community and thrives on always working towards producing the best possible publication for the people who are reading to enjoy!

Ben Moore

As we head into the holidays and the last month of the year, it is a good time to stop and reflect. For us, we get to look back on every issue, story, and community event and be able to have a visual account of the year in print.

Each issue, every story, has a quiet but mighty team behind it that, for the most part, go unseen. For the thousands of stories written, edited, laid out, and prepared for our communities—along with every ad designed and placed there is a team of professionals who help us put it all together and deliver each month directly to you.

Last year we started a new tradi tion, introducing the community to our incredible team behind the scenes of Paso Robles Magazine and 13 Stars Media. Month after month, each of them help “Make Communities Better Through Print” by writing unique stories, professional design and layout, quality advertising, and community support, all produced here locally in the North County.

We asked each of our team members how they like to spend the holidays and what they like most about their job, and here is what they shared.

Date of Hire: September 2022

Position with the Company: Layout Designer

How do you spend the holidays? I typically spend the holidays traveling to visit family and relaxing near the coast. What do you like most about your job? My favorite part of my job is probably how much I’ve gotten to learn and grow as a designer since starting here.

Jen Rodman

Date of Hire: December 2019

Position with the Company: Ad Designer How do you spend the holidays? Holiday time is spent with our family. Our two growing teenage kiddos and our wonderful moms. We are thankful for our health and happiness. What do you like most about your job? Ad designing for our many publications has given me creative growth and knowledge for our communities. Working with a wonderful crew and amazing clients!

Evan Rodda

Date of Hire: January 2022

Position with the Company: Graphic Designer

How do you spend the holidays? I like to spend the holidays in my pajamas watching movies and eating homemade Chex Mix. What do you like most about your job? The best part about being at 13 Stars is getting to work with an amazingly talented design team. They work tirelessly to get content into our community and always push me to be better.

22 | December 2022 Paso Robles Press Magazine Paso People • Our Team

Camille DeVaul

Date of Hire: December 2019

Position with the Company: Content Editor

How do you spend the holidays? Our holidays are full of hot cocoa and seeing how many times we can rewatch our favorite Christmas movies. But no holiday is complete without some of our favorite Italian Christmas tradi tions — most of which involve food, including my Great-Nonna’s soup (it heals everything).

What do you like most about your job? I love learning the stories behind the people and places in our area. We are full of interesting history and even more interesting people. I’m grateful to be able to share everything I learn with our community.

Neil Schumaker

Date of Hire: December 2021

Position with the Company: Layout Designer

How do you spend the holidays? Mostly I spend my time with family celebrating Christmas and New Year's, which includes spending time in Paso Robles and the Bay Area. I do a hybrid Christmas, where I celebrate Christmas Eve here in Paso, and on Christmas, I drive back to the bay where I celebrate Christmas with my Dad’s side of the family. It is a large amount of driving for the holiday, but it is nice to see everybody.

What do you like most about your job? I enjoy being a connected part of the local community by designing newspaper and magazine articles. It is nice to know what is going on around locally, and it is fun to see people enjoy the publications around town.

Dana McGraw

Date of Hire: September 2019

Position with the Company: Sales

How do you spend the holidays? We spend our holidays locally with our family and friends! There never seems to be a shortage of community events, gatherings and great food!

What do you like most about your job? The most enjoyable part of my job is building relationships with clients, not just professional, but personal. I love seeing my clients out and about enjoying what our community has to offer; whether it be community events, school functions, or sports!

Mike Chaldu

Date of Hire: January 2022

Position with the Company: Copy Editor/Reporter

How do you spend the holidays? I spend my holidays mostly with immediate family (my sister’s family being right next door makes it easier), opening presents, watching movies, and usually having a non-traditional Christmas dinner (tri-tip and chicken one year, spaghetti and garlic bread the next) and just looking forward to a new year. What do you like most about your job? My favorite part of the job is moving around the towns and seeing first hand what makes these communities tick, through numerous annual events, fundraisers, and sporting events.

Christianna Marks

Date of Hire: September 2021

Position with Company: Community Writer

How do you spend the holidays? As someone with an interfaith background it means not only do I get to pick out a Christmas tree, sit around reading holiday romances and binge-watch every cheesy Holiday movie released this year, I also get to eat my weight in latkes, spin dreidels, and light the Hanukkah candles. This year Christmas and Hanukkah overlap, so the party isn’t going to stop, and the family is constantly going to be around!

What do you like most about your job? I love being a hype-woman for the community. Being able to tell people’s stories and share their passions with our readers is amazing. There’s nothing like being able to make people feel seen.

pasoroblesmagazine.com December 2022 | 23

COATS for Kids CELEBRATES 35 WARM YEARS

Coats for Kids has been helping keep families warm for 35 years, and after two years of modified giving, they will be joining the Toy Bank of Greater Paso Robles for the “Day of Giving” on December 10.

The mission of Coats for Kids has always been to distribute warm items such as coats, jackets, sweaters, and sweatshirts directly to North County families, not just kids, in need.

Thirty-five years ago, in 1987, Coats for Kids began when Barbie Butz was president of the Los Niños Auxiliary of the Children’s Home Society. Members of the society were looking to begin a hands-on project to help the community. So they thought, “it’s cold out; how about coats?”

During their first year of distribution, Barbie and her fellow members handed out flyers outside of another toy bank, in the pouring rain, and offered people to come down and get a warm coat. That year they distributed around 40 coats.

After a few years, the Los Niños group decided not to continue the coat drive. But Barbie and her husband John decided they couldn’t let that be the end of the coats.

Together, they continued the operation and now have distributed over 3,000 coats.

“The reason I do it, is that I can’t not do it. And my husband is the same way,” said Barbie. “I don’t think anyone should be cold.”

The operation continued to grow each year, from their early days of using an enclosed trailer to the Armory in Atascadero and now to the Paso Robles Event Center.

Every year, volunteers gather, sort, and distribute new and gently used coats of all sizes, giving warmth to families in need across the Central Coast at absolutely no cost to them. In addition, the volunteers work with multiple local businesses and charities to serve over 750 families.

But, operations were slowed down the last two years due to covid-19 restrictions. Dedi cated to sharing the warmth in hard times, Barbie and her team of volunteers put together a drive-thru for the coats.

This year, the Coats for Kids operation will return with one full distribution day with the Toy Bank of Greater Paso Robles for the “Day of Giving” on December 10. Gently used and clean coats, sweatshirts, jackets, and sweaters

are needed for all ages.

The Rotary Club of Paso Robles has joined the Coats for Kids 2022 team and distributed collection boxes in November to some of the businesses in the Paso Robles area. They will have boxes in other North County communities to make it convenient for those who want to donate a new or gently used item.

Two North County dry cleaners, Plaza Cleaners in Atascadero and Paso Robles and Fashion Cleaners in Atascadero, are also drop-off locations for items needing cleaning or refreshing. They clean them free of charge. Just drop them off, say “Coats for Kids,” and a committee member will pick them up.

Barbie can recall many stories with Coats for Kids that have stuck with her throughout the years — specifically one that involves a very adorable pink coat.

“Most volunteers experience something that brings them back,” Barbie shares as she remi nisces on all the warmth they have shared with the community.

Drop-off locations and more information on Coats for Kids can be found at coatsforkidss locounty.org.

24 | December 2022 Paso Robles Press Magazine
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From Pumpkins to Christmas Trees

Jack Creek Farms Growing Trees for Your Traditional Christmas

Since the late 1950s, Jack Creek Farms has been a family tradition for many as they search for their perfect pumpkin come every October. Now, the family behind the farm is ready to become a part of another tradition — they have begun a Christmas tree farm!

The Barlogio family thrives on bringing families an authentic and wholesome experience, all with the goal of bringing people closer to agriculture.

“Since folks love getting to see where their food comes from, we thought it would be fun to get to see where their Christmas tree comes from,” said Becky Barlogio-Sumpter of her family’s newest adventure.

Becky and her family secretly introduced their Christmas trees last year, selling 27 trees that were grown right there on the farm. Now they are ready to formally welcome the community to come to the farm for hot cider, trees, and memories.

Talking about their first season with the Christmas trees, Becky says, “We had no idea what to expect, so we were thrilled there was any interest at all.”

Growing on the farm are Monterey Pine and Monterey Cypress trees that Becky has learned to trim and shape herself with some help from the Holloway family of the Holloway Christmas Tree Farm in Nipomo and the Calloway family behind Brookshire Farms in San Luis Obispo.

Between growing the trees from saplings to shaping them, the trees have been a new adventure and challenge for Becky. But with help from the whole family, the Barlogios are expecting to have close to 80 trees ready for families this year.

“I am happy with the crop this year,” Becky shared of their growing and thriving tree plot.

Being the last remaining original family to settle the area between Highway 101 and Old Creek Road, the Barlogios make it their mission to bring back old school tradition. So naturally, the Jack Creek Farm Christmas tree farm will be a “cut your own” experience.

Starting after Thanksgiving, Jack Creek Farms turns into Christmas town with a mailbox dedicated to letters for the North Pole, hot cider, and gifts for everyone on your list — gift wrapping included!

“We do our best to have a little something for everybody,” Becky explained. “We want to be a one-stop spot.”

Inside the Jack Creek General Store, the Barlogios carry unique and local goods from Leo Leo Gelato, homemade taffy from Mehlenbachers Taffy in Paso Robles, Chaparral Gardens Vinegar, honey from Hawaii, delicate chocolates, and more.

You can start sending letters to Santa from the Jack Creek Farms North Pole Mailbox on Friday, November 25, through Monday, Decem ber 19. Santa will send his elves regularly to pick up his official mail.

Just bring your letter to the farmstand, and someone will give you a special “North Pole Express” stamp and a candy cane to send it on its way! You can even print out a special letter to Santa template from jackcreekfarms.com to make your letter extra special.

Jack Creek Farms has a long history of family traditions. It’s not

uncommon for Becky to meet a family who has been coming to the farm for four generations or more. Becky and her sister Mandy are the fifth generations to live and work the farm, and Mandy’s son Callahan is now the sixth.

Miles Barlogio was the first of the family to plant pumpkins along the banks of Jack Creek, but the family’s history on the Central Coast starts with Miles’s father, James Barlogio, who immigrated to Green Valley near Harmony in 1889. James became a founding member of the Harmony Valley Creamery. The family grew beans and hay and milked dairy cows. James would always remark on how much the Harmony area reminded him of home in Switzerland.

Miles continued the family farm but eventually moved the family over the hill to ease his arthritis — a common ailment for dairymen. To soothe the pain, Miles would visit the therapeutic Paso Robles hot springs and mud baths.

Settling along Jack Creek, Miles raised his family in a little farmhouse that still stands, raising more generations of Barlogios.

As we said, Miles planted the first pumpkin seeds in the 1950s, and in

26 | December 2022 Paso Robles Press Magazine

1960, he opened his first roadside stand, the “Barlogio Pumpkin Center.” Before Highway 46 West, the main road, York Mountain Road, went right past the Barlogio’s property. Back then, the farm stand operated using the “honor system” until the construction of Highway 46 West was built in 1969, redirecting traffic away from the stand.

However, the new highway would not be the end of the Barlogio farm stand. Becky’s parents, Tim and Joy, reopen the farm stand along the now tourist-filled highway.

With the help of Becky and Mandy, the farm grew to include you-pick seasonal berries and fruit, eggs, pumpkins, and now, Christmas trees.

Keeping the legacy built before them, the Barlogios are always looking for new ways to expand the farm and educate people on how food is grown.

Jack Creek Farm has been an October family tradition for over 60 years. Now, the Barlogio family welcomes you to create a new family tradition with them for generations to come.

Find more information on Jack Creek Farms here: jackcreekfarms.com.

Grandson Callahan and Grandpa Tim on Great-Great Grandpa Miles Barlogio’s Caterpillar 30 checking out the trees. Miles purchased it brand new and had it de livered to the farm in 1932. Five generations of family have ridden on this crawler with hopefully even more generations to come. Callahan’s smile says it all, a very happy farm boy riding a tractor with his grandpa. Photo by Mandy Evenson Cabinet Refinishing, Wood Staining & Specialty Projects
pasoroblesmagazine.com December 2022 | 27
Happy Holidays from our Family to Yours!

Celebrating the Holidays with Winter Solstice and Yuletide

Cultures around the world have long held feasts and celebrated holidays around the winter solstice

During this time of year, there are so many holiday traditions that bring family and friends together.

Holiday shopping, festive events filled with snow, Santa Claus and reindeer, lights, candles, and cheer; however, one symbolic and richly traditional day will come and go, and most people will miss it.

Winter Solstice is the shortest day and longest night of the year. Cultures around the world have long held feasts and celebrated holidays around the winter solstice. Fire and light are traditional symbols of celebrations held on the darkest day of the year.

Since ancient times, people all over the world have recognized this important astronomical occurrence and celebrated the subsequent “return” of the sun in a variety of different ways. In addition, old solstice traditions have influenced holidays we celebrate now, such as Christmas and Hanukkah.

There is no better time of the year to feel and show your love than the holiday season. Though many people relate the month of December with Christmas, there’s so much more to be said about the month. From Hanukkah and Kwanzaa to showing selfless acts of love, this season is all about spreading joy and cheer during the coldest time of the year.

This year, Winter Solstice falls on Wednesday, December 21, and in the northern hemisphere, the date marks the 24 hours with the fewest daylight hours of the year.

Winter Solstice is considered a turning point in the year in many cultures. The day is held sacred and celebrates the new solar year’s

birth, also known as Yuletide.

Yuletide refers to the time around the Christmas season, traditionally recognized from December 21 until January 1, and dates back centuries. Though Yuletide’s rituals have changed dramatically over the years, some Yuletide traditions remain and have contributed to modern-day celebrations of the festive season.

Decorating an evergreen tree was a common Yuletide custom in ancient times, as was giving gifts to friends and loved ones. The Yule Log is another centuries-old tradition meant to symbolize the passing of an old year into a new one, with the promise of hope and happiness. The oak log is usually decorated with evergreen branches, sprigs of holly, bare birch branches, and trailing ivy vines. A more delicious alternative is the classic French Bûche de Noël, a decadent chocolate cake baked in the shape of a Yule Log and shared with family and friends at a Yuletide gathering.

Children and adults alike around the world find so much joy in the magic this season brings. No matter what you celebrate, may we find peace and love in celebrating together and showing kindness to one another.

May we remember that this season also brings with it the cold and isolation and prompt us to reach out and share our many blessings with others. It is important that we recognize that and know that the dark winter days bring the warmth of spring that heals and rejuvenates our souls and that the holiday season is so much more than gifts found under the tree.

“May you find peace in the promise of the solstice night, that each day forward is blessed with more light. That the cycle of nature, unbroken, and true brings faith to your soul and well-being to you. Rejoice in the darkness, in the silence, find rest, and may the days that follow be abundantly blessed.”

-Native American Solstice Blessing

28 | December 2022 Paso Robles Press Magazine
We wish you all the Happiest of Holidays and a wonderful New Year! Thank you for all your support! -The
Magazine Team pasoroblesmagazine.com December 2022 | 29
Paso Robles

Celebrates 60 Years of Holiday Traditions in North County

Nothing quite says Christmas more than cutting down your own Christmas tree with some hot cocoa or cider in hand to keep you warm. For 60 years, the Hidden Springs Christmas Tree Farm in Atascadero has been providing nostalgic memories for families near and far.

Hidden Springs Christmas Tree Farm has a life full of history. It began when Minnesotan Fred Frank moved to Atascadero in 1920 and met and married Kansas native Wanda Wiley. During that time, Fred became one of the first citizens to work at the Atascadero Fire Department and then second fire chief in 1929. Then in 1938, Fred and Wanda purchased the main tree farm property. While building their house, they farmed wheat and raised cattle, chickens, and rabbits.

At the convincing of their son Fred Jr., who went to Humboldt State for forestry, they turned part of their property into a Christ mas tree farm. Then in the late 1950s, they planted the first tree crop, mainly Monterey Pines, on three acres and opened for their first tree season in 1962.

“The tree farm has stayed in the family and is now run by the third and fourth generations, and the fifth was born this year," Fred’s granddaughter and farm manager, Auraly Dobbs shared.

Her father, Fred Jr., now 86, is still very much involved fixing equipment and chopping wood when needed.

Since the farm’s incarnation of three acres, it has expanded to 10 acres with now seven tree varieties.

Auraly shared “Customers no longer drive down the driveway to Fred’s house and honk the horn for a saw.”

There are more employees to help, tree service, and amenities like hot cocoa and popcorn.

“But one thing that hasn’t changed since the beginning is Grandpa Fred’s apple cider recipe, which we still offer free to our customers,” she said.

The 10 acres of farmland is spread over four lots.

Auraly explained “each lot has a slightly different micro-climate, and therefore, different varieties grow better in different lots.”

And while they have seven tree varieties, they are “always exper imenting to see what different varieties grow well.”

The only problem, she adds, “is it takes five to eight years to know how they turn out.”

Besides experimenting on the farm, even though the Christmas season comes and goes, the family works year-round. A sellable tree usually takes five to seven years to grow, but some may even take 10 to 15 years. The time manifests into a long-term process.

Fred Jr + Patricia Craig + Auraly Ryan + Olivia
30 | December 2022 Paso Robles Press Magazine

“Christmas trees are an agricultural crop — we plant in the late winter or early spring; usually two times the amount we sold the season prior, pruning in the spring, mowing throughout the year, maintaining and managing watering during the summer months, and pruning again in the fall,” Auraly said.

Then as soon as the selling season is over, they prepare for the next one. So even though everything leads up to their selling months in November and December, it is a long haul to ensure the crop meets the demand.

That being said, they “count every sellable Christmas tree on the farm to predict how many trees we can tag for sale,” and “some years we have more trees for sale and some years fewer,” she adds. Once the tagging is complete, “it’s full steam ahead!”

The farm is now run by Auraly and her husband Craig, who is the primary farmer, along with the help of their children Olivia and Andrew, as well as their significant others. The successful tree farm is full of uniqueness, implies Auraly.

She finds that even though not every tree can be perfect, they “have turned those imperfections into our misfit and rescue trees,” to which she adds that “customers have come to love this tradition, and we love that these trees get a second chance of sorts and a home for the holidays.”

Auraly and Craig love the “wooded oasis” of the farm but also thor oughly enjoy every November and December when they see the “joy that this place brings to others, and that really makes all the hard work worth it.”

Olivia relishes in the customers’ appreciation for the farm, “they love the beauty of the place and ask about the redwoods which my grandpa planted over 60 years ago.”

She understands that the customers have sentiments towards the farm just like she does.

“They talk about coming to the farm when they were children, and now they bring their own kids and families out,” Olivia shared.

To celebrate their glorious 60-year-old tree farm and business, there will be no cake for the farm, Auraly notes, but rather there will be a few giveaways. They are also working on a historical picture display, and there will be interactive displays for children and specific merchandise for their 60th.

As for the future, Auraly explained “while we don’t want to give away all of the potential happenings, we can share that we want to make the farm accessible throughout the year rather than just during the Christmas season — so maybe some sort of event for each season.”

The Dobbs family and Fred Frank Jr. want to continue the Christmas season memories and experiences with their customers and potentially more.

Hidden Springs Tree Farm is located at 3202 Monterey Road, Atascadero. Visit them online at hiddenspringschristmastreefarm.com.

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Paso Robles 36th ANNUAL

Victorian Christmas SHOWCASE Returns to Vine Street

There is no better way to get you in the holiday spirit than a stroll down Vine Street for the Victorian Christmas Showcase. Each year, thousands of people flock to Vine Street in Paso Robles for the annual event for Christmas Carols, performances on the street, hot chocolate, and to feel the epitome of festive.

The 36th Annual Vine Street Victorian Christmas Showcase will return to all of its festive glory this year as the roads are blocked off, and we fill the street between 8th and 21st Street. After two years of a modified event, we are all ready to get back to the true Vine Street magic.

Thirty-six years ago, our very own Holiday Cheer meister, Norma Moye, decided she wanted to have an old-fashioned Victorian Christmas. Her Vine Street Victorian home undoubtedly inspired her.

With the help of her neighborhood friend Grace Pucci, Norma came up with the Vine Street Victo rian Showcase, which made its first debut in 1986.

32 | December 2022 Paso Robles Press Magazine

“It’s been a dream,” says Norma as she looks back on her fond memo ries of the event.

Well over 10,000 people make it a point to visit the Victorian Showcase and have made it a family tradition. With snow, popcorn, hot cocoa, and grandma’s cookies, who wouldn’t want to take a stroll down Vine Street on this magical night?

There are a few more notable people who are ready to get back to Vine Street this December too.

Mrs. Claus wrote a letter to Paso Robles Magazine from the North Pole to tell us just how ready she is to be back in Paso Robles this December.

“I am very excited for Vine Street. I miss all the hugs and notes and letters from all my lovely children,” said Mrs. Claus.

Mrs. Claus and the big man in red himself will be at Vine Street this year and available to take photos and listen to all of your Christmas wishes.

On November 25, Mrs. Claus helped Paso Robles turn on the lights in the Downtown City Park, officially commemorating the Holi day Season. Now, she is thrilled to be coming back to Paso Robles for her favorite holiday event on December 10 — this time, she will have Santa Claus with her!

Normally, we won’t hear from the jolly Saint Nicolas until the Christ mas Light Parade. But we were lucky enough to receive a little note from him in Mrs. Claus’s letter. He too is ready to be back in person to greet all the children and families.

“It’s so nice looking forward to seeing the many children come by

that I’ve seen grow over the years,” says Santa.

The big man in red knows that things have been tough the last few years so he has been a little lenient. But he did leave us with the follow ing message:

“It’s been a tough year, I know, with the children having to home school and out of their normal routine of daily living, so it’s been easy for a lot of the children to be a little naughty. I just want them to know that Santa, as well as God, is a forgiving Santa, and just from now on, try to make sure you get on your A-game and behave and listen to mom and dad.”

And in case you are wondering, Scrooge will be back in all of his distasteful glory. Similar to his fuzzy green cousin, he will be just as charming as an eel and cuddle as a cactus as you remember him being.

He did, unfortunately, leave us with a message to relay to you all:

“I hate Christmas, and I hate you too.”

But don’t let old Mr. Scrooge discourage you. There will be plenty of holiday cheer to fill your heart at Vine Street this year.

“I’ll see you darlings soon when Santa and I come to Paso Robles for the parade and then for your beau tiful Vine Street,” said Mrs. Claus. “Until then, be polite and kind to all. Lend a helping hand when you can and above all else, keep the love and magic in your hearts! Bless you all.”

We all hope, Scrooge included, to see you at this year’s 36th Annual Vine Street Victorian Christmas Showcase on December 10 from 6 to 9 p.m.

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pasoroblesmagazine.com December 2022 | 33

25 Years CELEBRATES

It was December and the year was 1997 when the Park Cinemas opened its doors in Downtown Paso Robles. Premiering on the screens was the three-hour Academy Award-winning film, ‘Titanic.’ The smell of popcorn smothered in real melted butter filled the theaters as Paso Roblans sat to enjoy the first of many movies to come downtown.

Twenty-five years later, we are still debating on whether or not Jack could fit on the plank with Rose (answer: he could), but the Downtown Paso Robles surrounding the Park Cinemas in 1997 looks drastically different today.

In many ways, when the theater opened its doors, it was also the beginning of the Downtown Paso Robles we know today. It is hard to see it now when you visit the bustling downtown, but back in 1997, all that existed there was the City Park with the Carnegie Library, a newly built City Hall and Library on 11th Street, and a handful of storefronts.

With the Fox Theater on Spring Street closing in the 1980s, Paso Robles was in need of more screens. And with downtown Paso needing a people magnet, the city thought, ‘If you build it, they shall come.’ So when City officials and the Paso Robles Main Street Association heard local John Roush planned to open a new theater in Paso Robles, they saw an opportunity.

Starting his career with the Madonna Plaza Theater in San Luis Obispo, John worked his way up to general manager for several other SLO County theaters. He took ownership of Plaza Twin Cinemas in the late 80s, which he later remodeled into the Century Cinemas and then took ownership of the Oak Creek Cinemas in the 90s. Needless to say, the man knows the cinema business.

Executive Director of the Paso Robles Main Street Association, Norma Moye, recalls one day standing at the Paso Robles Inn and looking down 11th Street and saying, “Can’t you see a movie theater at

the end of the street?”

John and his growing family originally planned to build the new cinema on the outskirts of town near the newly opened Walmart. But the City and Norma convinced John to build the theater in Downtown Paso by agreeing to provide more than $200,000 for sewer and drainage improvements.

A March 1997 Telegram-Tribune article by Jeff Ballinger paints the picture of how Downtown Paso Robles was viewed then, “Many are counting on the cinema to bring a much-needed boost to an improving but still struggling downtown area.”

Norma remembers the excitement from all around town as the theater approached the opening day. To celebrate, Norma and the rest of the Main Street Association dressed up in costume to dedicate the new business to downtown.

“We put the theater in, and that’s when all the restaurants starting moving in,” says Norma as she looks back on the business that ignited the Downtown Paso Robles we know today.

For years, John along with his wife Browyn owned and operated the theater, hiring his sister-in-law Wendy McBane as his general manager. John’s daughters, Jennifer Roush Kloth and Catherine Alyce Roush, entire childhood was filled with memories at the theater. From working the concession counter, operating the projectors and managing, the two knew it all.

Following their mother’s passing, Jennifer and Catherine inherited the Park Cinemas in 2017 — continuing to keep the theater in the family. But don’t worry, John remains an integral part of the business.

“We are very family oriented,” explained Jennifer, “We are very community oriented.”

So while the cinema remains a family affair, it should be known the

34 | December 2022 Paso Robles Press Magazine

employees are just as equally a part of the Roush family. Including their General Manager, Miguel Nunez.

Miguel has been happily working for Park Cinemas since he was 18 years old. He was the first to take a credit card payment at the cinema in 2010 and knows the theater inside and out.

While Miguel has tried out jobs elsewhere, he says, “At the end of the day, I felt happier here.”

In fact, Miguel is so happy working at the cinemas you can hardly find him requesting a day off. While looking back at all of his fond memories at Park Cinemas, Miguel is thrilled about their 25th Anniversary.

“It’s that magic number where we are doing things on our terms now. That’s what I’m excited about, and it gives me goosebumps every time we talk about it,” says Miguel, “Now we can make an impact and leave another 25 years of legacy here.”

But getting to this milestone has not been easy for the sisters and their staff. Jennifer and Catherine began imagining and planning the renovations shortly after taking over — and then the covid pandemic hit the world.

A September 2022 New York Times article explains that more than 500 theater screens have permanently closed since the pandemic began in 2020. Unlike their neighboring businesses, the theaters weren’t able to take their business outside during mandated closures.

Jennifer explains they began selling popcorn and drinks in an effort to compensate for being closed along with everything they had to change to keep up with mandates and changing technology.

Unfortunately, theaters across the country have been struggling since before the pandemic. With constantly updating technology to new release movies becoming more available to stream from home, it hasn’t been easy for family-owned or commercial theaters to keep up.

But there is something that the Park Cinemas can offer that streaming can’t — an experience.

It is at Park Cinemas, where you can smell and taste the popcorn cooked in coconut oil and smothered in real melted butter. It is there where a friendly face hands over your cherry Icee and Milk Duds. It is where an enormous silver screen shows the entire scene, it’s not adapted to your TV.”

The Park Cinemas has given us 25 years of first dates, movie premiers, popcorn, and standing ovations with people you have never met but now have this indescribable understanding and bond with each other. There are experiences you can only have at a movie theater.

To celebrate 25 years in business, the family-owned and operated theater is celebrating all of those experiences.

In recent months the theater has undergone an extensive renovation featuring a locally inspired beer and wine bar, luxury recliner seats, an updated lobby, reserved seating, and a loyalty program — all opening just in time for those Thanksgiving and Christmas Day blockbusters. And they are excited to celebrate the new and reminisce on the old with the community during their Week of Celebration on December 2 through 8.

During the week of festivities, there will be daily drawings for prizes in partnership with other local businesses and activities for all ages to celebrate the theater and downtown. It may not be Santa’s list but don’t forget to check it twice for all of the daily activities at Park Cinemas.

The family behind Park Cinemas would like you to know that although times have changed, the industry has changed, and we changed along with it. But this time, change is an opportunity to bring you a “Bigger and Better” movie experience.

For more information on the Park Cinemas in Downtown Paso Robles, visit parkcinemas.com

pasoroblesmagazine.com December 2022 | 35
“The Park Cinemas has given us 25 years of first dates, movie premiers, popcorn, and standing ovations”

Most Wonderful It's the

Time of the Year: Agape Christmas Trees Moves to a New Location

As the weather turns cold, holiday decorations go up, and we've said goodbye to Thanksgiving, it's time to head to your favorite local Christmas tree lot and grab yourself, or your family, the perfect addition to your household for the

next month. That's where Agape Christmas Trees comes in.

In 2006, Rick Armet and his family started Agape Christmas Trees because they wanted to have an experience that was family and local-based. Then they decided on Christmas trees because of the business's festive nature.

"It just turned into something where we really enjoy it. It's really neat to see the repeat customers. Some of the kids that were coming with their parents are now coming with their kids as young adults," Rick shared. "It's really neat to see the family tradition that's been created and to see familiar faces and to be involved with the community in that way."

For the past 16 years, the Armet family's tree lot has been located on the corner of Del Rio and El Camino Real in Atascadero. While that land is now being developed, Rick Armet didn't let that break his 16-year stride; instead, he took it as a sign to purchase an 80-acre piece of land on 625 Templeton Road in Templeton and turn it into his own Christmas tree farm.

"We're excited to have much more of a destination Christmas tree experience, or Christmas experience rather," Rick explained.

The new lot will be keeping things simple this year while getting everything up and running. Of course, the well-loved bounce house will still be around, with the addition of a few small new elements sprinkled in. Rick said that in the future, he would love to include activities at the Agape Tree Farm, like slay rides and even, possibly, a sledding hill.

"I don't feel that we have an Avila Barn type experience [in the North County] where you can go and have a lot of festive experiences, and so it's going to allow us to expand and offer more to all ages," he added.

The Armet family purchased its new prop erty to be the permanent location of their tree business from here on out.

"Hopefully, by next year, we'll have our seedlings planted so that we can also offer a ‘you cut’ opportunity," Rick continued.

Agape Christmas Trees upped the percentage of fresh-cut trees they're import ing this year. The tree farm supplies over eight varieties to the area, including Noble Fir, Douglas Fir, Nordmann Fir, Grand Fir, White Fir, Silvertip Fir, Scotch Pine, and Norway Spruce, with fresh shipments coming in weekly.

"It keeps the supply very fresh. We have people year after year come back saying the trees easily last into January," Rick shared happily. "The fact of us having a fresh truck load each week not only keeps the inventory very fresh, but I can also adjust my orders accordingly if we're selling more or less."

The trees come from small business Christmas tree farms located in Oregon and Northern California. The Armets added that they love supporting and working alongside

36 | December 2022 Paso Robles Press Magazine

the farms where they get their trees. Most of the trees that Agape provides to the county are grown in higher altitudes and cooler climates, which is why these partnerships with out-of-state tree farms are so important.

Another thing that's important to the Armet family is being able to work with each other during the holiday season.

"We're very family-ori ented, family-based. We have four kids in our local schools, and they're very helpful at the tree lot. As soon as they can walk, they're out there carry ing the two-foot trees to help people. They love the experience. Often you'll see our kids up at the tree lot serving you hot chocolate or helping you via the checkout window," Rick explained.

He went on to add that the family started Agape Christmas Trees because Rick knew that he could serve the community in a different way than was already avail able. He prides himself on offering high-quality trees at a fair price,

good customer service, and a special experience for the local community. And after a couple of early years involving over-buying trees, Rick adds that Agape Christmas Trees has very little waste, and normally, they're sold out by December 22, which is the sweet spot.

"I have a feeling it's going to be a really good year. [There's] a lot of buzz. A lot of people are talking about it [the new location]. We've had our signs up there for over a month already," Rick said of the signs he put up in October.

Agape Christmas Trees received their first tree shipments the week before Thanksgiving and were officially open the day after Thanksgiving. They will continue to receive their weekly tree shipments, which will be available at 625 Temple ton Road until Christmas, or once they've run out.

For more information, visit Agape Christmas Trees' Facebook Page agapechristmastrees or call (805) 460-9161.

MONDAY Meatloaf TUESDAY Rosemary Chicken WEDNESDAY Eggplant Parmesan 19 Includes a side salad and glass of house wine pasoroblesmagazine.com December 2022 | 37

Looking Through Rose-Tinted Glasses

What happens when three powerhouse women with entrepreneurial instincts come together?

You get Traffic Way’s latest collaboration.

When Specs by Kyla’s owner Kyla Skinner started looking for an artist to team up with for the December 2 edition of the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce’s Art, Wine, & Brew Tour, she knew just who she wanted to work with. Enter Jenna Hartzell and Janet Wallace, co-creators and owners of Page of Art History.

Page of Art History is an at-home-printable coloring page subscription service featuring pages with everything from cave paintings to contemporary art created by best friends, and fellow art history majors Jenna and Janet during the height of the covid pandemic. The artistic subscription is a fun learning tool that officially started in January this year.

“Every single artwork that’s in our coloring pack is linked [on our online portal] to where the artwork exists in the world. There’s a full glossary; there are links to videos and art projects. We have “explore more” and “beyond the page” sections where people can really dive deep and learn more if they want, or they can just learn while they color through art’s greatest masterpieces,” added Jenna.

Together, all three ladies are blending their artistic busi nesses, giving back to the community, and spreading joy to the kids in the local foster system. Right now, Kyla is carrying a line of glasses in her Traffic Way eyewear boutique called 141. The glasses are made out of Ultem, the same stuff airplane cockpits are made from, which makes them super bendy, durable, and perfect for kids.

“The reason it’s called 141 is they give a frame for each that’s sold. So one for one. They’re based out of Portland, and the owner is an optician, she designed frames, and she feels strongly about giving back to the community. So, what I’m able to do is use this in our community,” Kyla added.

Kyla’s been looking into her own Foster Care records over the last year, and her husband encouraged her to work with 141 to donate pairs of glasses to the local foster care program. So now, Kyla has partnered with 141 and Dr. Chaffe to donate complimentary eye exams and glasses to foster kids

in the Kinship Center/Seneca Family of Agencies programs.

When Jenna and Janet found out what Kyla was doing for the local foster kids in the community, they also jumped on board and donated a free membership of Page of Art History to the Kinship/Seneca. Jenna, Janet, and Kyla will also be donating a percentage of their eyewear and art sales in December to the foster program.

“It takes somebody with an artistic eye [to pair frames with faces],” Jenna said when Kyla stated she wasn’t artistically inclined. “The first thing you learn in art school when you’re a studio art major is how to draw a portrait. How to look at somebody’s face.”

“I’m an eyewear artist,” Kyla proudly exclaimed.

It’s easy to see why Kyla, Jenna, and Janet work so well together, and the three women gave Instagram the credit for bringing them together.

“I just never understood how much art means for our community. You know, with the murals and with art and wine walks — people who have an appreciation for design and art and art history. I don’t know, there’s just something to it that builds community,” added Kyla. “I realize the tie-in of artwork and glasses being art for the face, too, and that’s why it works so well to collaborate with artists for me.”

You can find Specs by Kyla at 5808 Traffic Way or online at specsbykyla. com. To learn more or subscribe to Page of Art History, head to pageofarthistory.com.

Local Business • Business Spotlight
Jenna Hartzell (left), Kyla Skinner (right), and Janet Wallace (right) model Specs by Kyla.
38 | December 2022 Paso Robles Press Magazine
Photo by Christianna Marks

Here’s to You … ’22!

In the next few weeks, you’ll read countless articles that say goodbye to 2022 and hello to another new year. They will be filled with ruminations of the many things that this year has brought along with goals and prospects on the horizon. Well, guess what? I’m going to do that, too! There is something satisfying in recounting both the challenges and triumphs, looking back on what we’ve accomplished, and looking forward to what’s in store.

Membership. We embarked on the biggest change in our membership structure to happen in over 100 years. This is the 21st century and our Chamber needed to reflect the changes in our business climate. Segueing from an employee count to a tiered benefits dues structure allows us to focus on what each business is seeking from their Chamber affiliation. If you haven’t had a chance to really delve into what the Chamber can offer, please let us know. We would love to help you become more familiar and comfortable with your membership investment.

Paso Robles and Templeton Chamber Merge. Many of you are already aware of the merging of these two organizations, and you know that we have been requesting input to determine the needs of members in both communities. I must admit that when we started the process, we had no idea that it would take nearly 10 months to bring the merge to the point where membership could vote. For those of you who saw the vision and supported it, we thank you! In the upcoming months we will be able to integrate the two organizations in a more seamless

way. Let us know what you would like to see as we expand our sphere of influence with a broader reach. Events. This year brought the return of many of our beloved events. We hosted over 350 people at our Annual Gala and Board Installation Celebration in May where we honored our 2020 Roblan of the Year, Patricia Bland, and the 2021 Roblan of the Year, Brian Thorndyke. We awarded the Beautification of the Year to California Coast Beer Company and the Templeton Business of the Year to McPhee’s Grill. Wake Up Paso saw a new location, Park Cinemas, with the same format the community has come to know and love. Women in Business has continued each month at McPhee’s Grill in Templeton, allowing us to highlight many of the women of influence in our area and the businesses they own or positively impact.

Advocacy and Governmental Affairs. We brought on a dedicated advocacy and governmental affairs advocate to help keep abreast of issues in the local, county, state, and even federal level. Our members can rely on our diligence to stay aware of things that may affect their business and our commitment to keep them notified on these issues.

When you’re in the trenches, sometimes it’s hard to see the progress you’re making. It happens in Chamber life, too. But taking just a moment to reflect helps me, and hopefully, you, to see that we continue to grow, to improve, and to work towards a stronger and more unified organization. Hello ’23 … we can’t wait to see what you’re going to bring!

Gina Fitzpatrick
of
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pasoroblesmagazine.com December 2022 | 39

Apprenticeships, CTE, and Dual Enrollment

Career Technical Education (CTE) in each San Luis Obispo County school district provides students with the training, academic skills, and technical knowledge necessary to succeed in future careers. San Luis Obispo County schools not only promote “Future Careers, Locally Grown,” they support lifelong learning. CTE is the practice of teaching specific career skills to students in middle school, high school, and post-secondary institutions. Across the United States, nearly 12.5 million high school and college students enroll annually in CTE courses. CTE prepares these learners for the world of work by providing academic content, introducing workplace competencies, and exposing students to a hands-on context. The current high school graduation rate for CTE concentrators is approximately 90 percent, nearly 15 percentage points higher than the national average. CTE covers multiple career clusters and is an investment of tax dollars in our schools, yielding positive results.

The San Luis Obispo County Office of Education (SLOCOE) estab lished SLO Partners and the SLO CTE Foundation in 2014 to address college and career readiness among the county’s student population. SLO Partners’ mission is to engage business partners and educators. Engagement is accomplished by aligning workforce needs with career and college pathways and providing work experience opportunities to ensure our residents have the skills and knowledge necessary for success in the workplace. Local businesses report that skilled workers represent a sound, thriving, and sustainable economy benefiting everyone. In the eight years since SLO Partners founding, our commitment to collaborating with local businesses and education has continued to grow and serve the local community. Promoted programs provide residents practical training opportunities to grow and address today’s workplace needs.

Strong local businesses and a skilled workforce thrive when we work together. Collaborative efforts strengthen economies, families, schools, and communities. These modern boot camp training programs specif ically designed to fill the talent needs of local businesses are one of the objectives of the SLO Partners program. The partnerships between K-12,

Cuesta College, SLO Partners, and local business leaders are helping to bridge the gap between opportunities and reality for individuals in San Luis Obispo County.

I have previously highlighted programs in tech, digital media, and the trades. This month I am featuring our dual enrollment, pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeships, and employment success in Early Childhood Education (ECE). The Ticket 2 Teach program is an earn-and-learn apprenticeship program designed to support current and future educators by provid ing work-based learning opportunities at the high school, private, and public agency levels. These work-based learning opportunities pair with meaningful support and resources such as educational opportunities, skill development, and mentoring. We need Early Childhood Educators in San Luis Obispo county and the surrounding rural communities.

The San Luis Obispo County Childcare Planning Council (LPC) is working with multiple agencies in our county to address the issue. The LPC is an advisory body to the County Superintendent of Schools and the Board of Supervisors. The LPC plans for and promotes high-quality and accessible services for the care of all children and youth. Current opportunities include the Child Care Business Grant and Ticket 2 Teach programs. Upcoming grants available to the community include the Agency Expansion Grant, education scholarships, and mentor support. Program expansion is in partnership with families and the community through the LPC. Additional information is available on the San Luis Obispo County Child Care Planning Council website.

Early Childhood Education degrees and certifications are provided by Cuesta College, including dual enrollment classes for high school students. Students completing dual enrollment courses receive high school and college credits toward degrees and certifications. Students completing the Early Childhood Education dual enrollment courses, majors in Child Development and Family Studies, and other related programs prepare for careers working with children and their families. CTE dual enrolment courses allow high school students to engage in Cuesta College courses at their high school during their high school day and explore future careers.

San Luis Obispo County ECE pathway programs prepare students to work with children from infancy into middle childhood in various settings. Fiscal support for these CTE programs originated through local efforts of the school districts, the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education, Cuesta College, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors, and legislators such as Senator John Laird and Assembly Member Jordan Cunningham. It is an honor to serve as your County Superintendent of Schools.

“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” — Vince Lombardi

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Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

You need just 10 ingredients to make this deli cious Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash! Perfectly roasted squash is filled with sausage, farm fresh vegetables, and topped with parmesan. It’s a nourishing meal that’s quick enough for weeknights and a beautiful dish for company.

Ingredients:

• 3 medium acorn squash

• 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for brushing onto the squash

• 1 yellow onion, small diced

• 1 red bell pepper, small diced

• 2 stalks celery, small diced

• 1-2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme (or half a teaspoon dried)

• 3 cloves garlic, minced

• 1 lb mild or hot Italian sausage, casings removed

• 2 cups torn curly kale

• ¾ cup freshly grated parme san cheese, divided

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400° F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Slice a small piece off the top and bottom of the squash so it can sit upright, then slice the acorn squash in half widthwise (not through the stem). This will result in a pretty, scalloped edge. Scrape out the seeds.

3. Place the squash halves on the baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Turn upside

down (seed side down) and roast for 25 minutes or until the squash is fork tender.

4. Meanwhile, make the filling. Over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet. Add the onion, bell pepper and celery and sauté until onion is softened and turning translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Stir in the chopped fresh thyme, then add the minced garlic and sausage. Continue to sauté for another 8 minutes, or until the sausage is fully cooked.

6. Place the torn kale on top of the sausage mixture and cover the skillet to steam for 1-2 minutes. Stir and re-cover to continue steaming the kale, if necessary. Once the kale is wilted, stir in half the parmesan cheese, and remove the pan from heat.

7. Once the squash is done roasting, remove them from the oven and turn the heat up to broil. Flip the squash bowl side up and divide the filling evenly among them (pile it high, they’ll be overfull), then sprinkle on the remaining the parmesan cheese.

8. Broil for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is melted, making sure not to over-brown the squash.

Note:

To serve 6, use 3 acorn squash and divide the filling among 6 halves. Follow the remainder of recipe as written. You can also use ground meat of your choice instead of sausage and flavor it with your choice of seasonings.

Even in December, our farmers are producing an abundance of amazing produce. You can find all the produce needed for this recipe, and more, at the Paso Robles market on Tuesday morn ings. You might need to just visit the store for the Parmesan cheese. I love this dish and it paired well with a beautiful fresh salad topped with pomegranate seeds.

Our farmers market should have microgreens to top any dish, squash, radishes, green beans, carrots, Swiss chard, lettuce, tomatoes, herbs, baby squash blossoms, garlic, beets, peppers, kale, and beautiful pomegranates. There’s also fresh sourdough bread, cookies, and scones for a treat!

December is also time for tamales! Tamales are a family favorite this time of year and are tradition for many families here in our community. If you are like myself and not a tamale making pro, check out the amazing tamales from Viva Mexico Foods. They serve up fresh tamales at the Paso market every Tuesday and Saturday! Enjoy them hot and fresh or save them for a delicious dinner and get some chips and salsa

to go with them.

Our BeeWench Farm stand has sausage or ground pork and Italian seasoning packets from the Spice of Life to make this delicious recipe. This is the best time of year to cook up some whole chickens and make stock and broth to keep your warm and healthy, too!

Local olive oil farms are busy this month with harvest. There are so many great local olive farms, but Jennifer with The Groves on 41 is at the Paso market every Tuesday morning. She has samples of all their amazing olive oils and recipes to go with them. Their cinnamon olive oil is my favorite this time of year for cooking with and adding to my morning oatmeal.

We are so lucky to live in a place that grows amazing produce year-round. Check out your local farmers market to get the freshest ingredients for anything you are making this season. We all hope that you have wonderful holiday celebrations and are nourished well with delicious local food!

42 | December 2022 Paso Robles Press Magazine Taste of Paso • BeeWench Farm

The Originals

Most wine festivals generally draw crowds upwards of 2,000 people, McLennan noted.

“At large festivals people are rushing in like running of the bulls,” McLennan mused on the large crowds. “Nothing’s wrong with show casing the wines, but they sell too many tickets.”

Garagiste festival, on the other hand, is dictated by the venue and its intimacy.

“A place with character, no hotel ballrooms,” Minnick asserted, giving examples of the Solvang and Sonoma festivals, both held at Veterans Memorial Hall and the Los Angeles festival staged in the circa 1930s Glendale Memorial building.

“If we were interested in attendance and selling tickets, we would put out tents in a field,” Minnick laughed.

The flagship Paso is the largest festival held at the Event Center but still controlled under 1000 attendance.

At most festivals, McLennan noted, the participating wineries usually send their representatives but not the winemaker. “So you’re not making a direct connection with that wine, people want to have that interaction and they value that.”

To that extent, winery participation is capped between 50-55.

“We always have a waiting list. We turn them down,” said McLennan, who founded Sharpei Moon Wine with his wife Michelle.

McLennan was inspired by the garagiste concept when he read a piece in Robert M. Parker’s Wine Advocate journal where the wine guru spotlighted few of Bordeaux’s lowly winemakers producing wine in their garages - and so the name garagiste.

A light bulb sparked and McLennan and Minnick were the first to shine a light on the American garagiste winemaker launching their festival in 2011.

According to Wines Vines Analytics reports, the number of small, limited-production wineries along the Central Coast has more than doubled (61 percent) to 753 since 2010, with the number of limit ed-production wineries (under 1,000 annual-case production) having grown a whopping 73 percent.

Is the Central Cost the heartbeat of the small lot production, I ask Minnick?

“There’s no more a diverse region between Santa Barbara and Paso in the world,” Minnick answered.

Call them the original garagistes: Stewart (Stew) McLennan and Doug Minnick have a come a long way since 2011 when they launched their first festival at Paso’s Windfall Farms. From a 25-winery participation the festival has grown to some 50 wineries, yet the attendance is kept well under 1000.

Celebrating its 11th festival in November 2022, Paso’s homegrown wine festival has been on a trajectory spotlighting the micro-winery movement powered by small lot artisanal winemakers, now dominating the Central Coast wine scene.

The key to the festival’s success lies in its intimacy.

“One of my big thing was let’s not grow too deep, its not really a good event when people who come here are not able to talk to the winemakers,” McLennan told me when I met him to explore the arc of this runaway success. In the last few years, the festival has branched out to Solvang, Sonoma and Los Angeles.“Our primary goal is to give the wineries of that region a presence, keep it local.”

The growth has been organic. It’s not so much the large attendance but the number of small production wineries showcased at these festivals that reflects the success of the movement.

“A more relevant number would be that we have more than 750 wineries in our orbit,” Minnick commented in a phone conversation from his Hoi Polloi Winery tasting room in Newhall.

An abundance of grape varieties give the experimental winemaker an ability to craft small lots.

“This festival is the best place for people to learn about wine in one day because of the range of wines,” Minnick noted. “This is our 40th festival, and I’m still finding new varieties.”

The festival kicked off at Pavilion on the Lake in Atascadero, with a Rare Reserve Tasting, featuring 50 special wines. Following day, the festivities began at the Paso Robles Event Center with a morning seminar titled “The Many Sides of Syrah” moderated by McLennan.

Why the focus on Syrah? Because of all the Rhône varieties syrah is the master of Rhône, McLennan noted. “Syrah is to Rhône what cabernet is to Bordeaux.”

McLennan shared that syrah is one of his favorite wines especially when blended with cabernet sauvignon.

“There’s a lot of Paso wine that is cab syrah blend, but it began in Australia,” remarked the Aussie.

The post-seminar Grand Tasting brought together over 50 winemakers pouring 200 plus wines produced from some 20 wine grape varieties. In addition to local Paso wineries, other participants included Napa and Sonoma wineries.

Proceeds from the festivals support the Garagiste Festival Scholarship fund of the California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo Wine and Viticulture Department.

Sip & Savor • Taste of Paso
pasoroblesmagazine.com December 2022 | 43
Stewart McLennan and Doug Minnick, founders of the Garagiste Festival Championing the Micro-Winery Movement

Barbie

Butz

‘Tis the Season for Christmas Spirits

Noel Spritzers

Ingredients

• 2 cups chilled dry white wine, nonalcoholic wine or apple juice

• 1 cup chilled cranapple juice cocktail

Directions

• 1 cup chilled sparkling water

• Thin apple slices for garnish

• Fresh mint for garnish

Mix wine, juice drink and sparkling water. Serve over ice in a wine glass, a cham pagne flute, or other small festive glass.

Garnish with apple slices and mint. Makes 6 servings (3⁄4 cup each)

Note

Try your favorite juice flavors, or investigate a more unusual blend such as guava-pineapple in this refreshing mixture of wine and sparkling water. This recipe can be doubled or tripled. Wine is always a year-round favorite. Enjoy it served straight from the bottle, or embellish it with fun results. Try a “wine cooler my mixing equal parts of white wine and fruit juice as suggested in the recipe above, or add a shot of fruit-flavored liqueur. Add honey and spices such as cinnamon, cardamom and cloves to red wine, then heat slowly for a mulled wine.

The next two recipes are from an Assis tance League of Santa Barbara cook book titled Victuals and was published in the 60s.

n doing my research for the columns I write, I often come across some delightful, and sometimes funny little “add-ons” to recipes written by the authors of the cookbooks. In this instance I was scanning through a book simply titled “Christmas.” It includes ideas and musings for decorations, feasts, gifts, and traditions.

In the feasting section, it was suggested that a delicious Christ mas drink is mulled cider with Calvados, a dry apple brandy made in France and considered one of the best. Instructions were as follows: “In a stainless steel pot, combine apple cider, brown sugar to taste, a little allspice, and freshly ground nutmeg, 4 or 5

Merry Christmas and happy 2023, Cheers!

whole cloves, a couple of cinna mon sticks, and a peeled and sliced apple. Simmer this mixture for 15 minutes and add some of the apple brandy to taste. When it’s hot, pour it through a sieve into mugs and enjoy!”

Another offering suggested, “A good Christmas whiskey punch is easy to make. Mix 1⁄4 cup of brown sugar and 2 cups of whiskey. Heat just enough to dissolve the sugar, and pour into mugs. Put a slice of lemon and 3 or 4 whole cloves in each mug and add hot water to taste.

Another book of holiday recipes offered this next recipe for holiday celebrations. Remember, the rule is “everything in moderation.”

MangoSmoothiePumpkin

Ingredients

• 4 ice cubes

• 1 cup mango juice or other 100 percent fruit juice

• 1 cup vanilla yogurt

• 1/3 cup canned pumpkin (unsweetened)

Directions

Simple Wassail

Wassail is always a popular holiday beverage and can be made a couple of days ahead of a planned gathering

Ingredients

• 2 quarts apple juice or cider

• 2 cups pineapple juice

• 2 cups orange juice, frozen and diluted

Directions

• 1 cup lemon juice

• 1 cup sugar

• 1 tablespoon whole cloves

• 1 stick cinnamon

Mix ingredients and simmer 10 minutes. Pour into punch bowl and serve. Rum or bourbon can be added just before serving. The amount depends on your taste. This is simple, but festive and smells like the holidays!

And, how about serving a mango pump kin smoothie to your holiday brunch guests! Try this recipe and see how easy that would be.

• 1 ripe mango, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks or 1 cup frozen mango pieces

• 1 tablespoon sugar

• 1 /4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Place all ingredients in blender and purée until smooth. Taste and adjust flavorings if needed. Serve icy cold.

MulledNectarApricot

Ingredients

• 1 (46 ounce) can apricot nectar

• 1 /2 cup orange juice

• 1 /2 lemon, sliced

• 2 tablespoons honey

Directions

• 10 whole cloves

• 6 whole allspice

• 2 or 3 cinnamon sticks

Combine ingredients in large sauce pot; cover and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 30 minutes. Reheat, strain, and serve hot. Makes 11⁄2 quarts. I wish you and your family a joyous Decem ber. Please party smartly and be safe so that you can enjoy all the season offers.

Taste of Paso • Taste of Americana
44 | December 2022 Paso Robles Press Magazine

Light Up the Downtown Holiday Celebration

SUNKEN GARDENS, DOWNTOWN ATASCADERO

5:30 - 8pm

Soon after the lights come on, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be arriving via an antique Model-A fire truck to the tune of “Here Comes Santa Claus” performed by the Atascadero Fine Arts Academy. You will then be invited to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus at the North Pole entrance located at the back of City Hall that faces Atascadero Middle School.

61st Annual Christmas Light Parade

DOWNTOWN PASO ROBLES

7 - 9pm

Join Santa and Mrs. Claus while enjoying a parade featuring an array of light spectacles from local businesses. A variety of awards will be also be given for best in show. This year’s theme is Deck the Halls

Trail of Lights Tour

ATASCADERO

5 - 8pm

See decorated local homes, guaranteed to get everyone in the holiday spirit. Residents and businesses show off their homes and storefronts, and families can enjoy a safe and fun activity driving through town to check out all the wonderful outdoor lights.

Winter Wonderland

SUNKEN GARDENS, IN DOWNTOWN ATASCADERO

5 - 9pm

With over 75 tons of snow, this year’s snow-themed event includes Joe’s Little Train, two Euro bungee jumps, an obstacle course, gladiator joust, bounce houses, face painting, caricature artist, and of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus

sun dec 11

Santa’s Pop-Up Reindeer Farm

CHARLES PADDOCK ZOO

10am - 4pm

Santa is sending two of his reindeer to visit the Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero before Christmas.

saT dec 17

Mid-State Fair Market

PASO ROBLES EVENT CENTER

12 - 4pm

Local crafters and artisans from throughout San Luis Obispo County selling handmade and unique items.

36th Annual Vine Street

Victorian

DOWNTOWN PASO ROBLES

6 - 9pm

Main Street and Historical Society invite you to bring your family to drive down Vine Street for this annual community Christmas party tradition.

saT dec 17

Holiday Magic

CHARLES PADDOCK ZOO

10am - 1pm

The zookeepers have stepped in as Santa’s Elves to prepare gifts for the animals. Santa will be at the Zoo to help welcome visitors and deliver gifts to the animals.

Atascadero Community Band Holiday Concert

PAVILLION ON THE LAKE

2:30 - 4:30pm

The Atascadero Community Band presents its Holiday Concert, with old favorites, some surprises, and an audience favorite, the Christmas Sing-Along!

sun dec 25

San Miguel Christmas Lights Parade

MISSION STREET

6pm

Locals join together for the 32nd Annual Christmas Lights Parade presented by the San Miguel Firefighters Association.

32nd Annual Teddy Bear Tea

PASO ROBLES INN BALLROOM

12 - 4pm

Bring your Teddy Bear, dress him up. Santa, Mrs. Claus, the Snow King, and Queen, as well as Santa’s Elves, will be there for the fun at the Park Ballroom. Tickets are $8 for children and $20 for adults. Bring your camera!

jan

Polar Bear Plunge

AVILA BEACH PIER

12pm.

Christmas

The 11th annual Avila Beach Polar Bear Plunge is a celebration of fitness, nature, a New Year, camaraderie, and still having dessert.

Polar Bear Dip

CAYUCOS PIER

12pm

Take the plunge at their 43rd Annual Carlin Soule Memorial Polar Bear Dip. Join them late morning for festivities that include music, dancing, prizes, and participant certificates.

Paso Robles

11TH & SPRING, PASO ROBLES, CA 93446

9am - 11am

Atascadero 6505 EL CAMINO REAL, ATASCADERO, CA 93422

3pm - 6pm

Templeton

CROCKER ST & 6TH ST, TEMPLETON, CA 93465

9am - 12:30pm

Paso Robles: County Farm & Craft Market

11TH & SPRING, PASO ROBLES

9am - 1pm

Wednesdays Saturdays Tuesdays Saturdays
DECEMBER
EVENTS TO:
SUBMIT UPCOMING
editor@13starsmedia.com sat dec 10
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pasoroblesmagazine.com December 2022 | 45

AT THE LIBRARY BUSINESS & NETWORKING

Paso Robles Library

1000 Spring St. • (805) 237-3870 • Mon-Fri 9-7 and Sat 9-4

Children’s Library Activities

• The Paso Library will be closed on Friday 11/11 in observance of Veterans day and also from Thurs. 11/24 -Sat. 11/26 in observance of Thanksgiving

Tuesdays

• For all ages, Try It! Tuesday craft kits are available starting Tuesdays (while supplies last) to take home and create.

• Cuentos y Crafts with Cristal at 4-5pm -A special bilingual Story Time and Craft program at the Library Study Center.

Wednesdays

Join Miss Melissa at 10am in the Story Hour Room for ages 3-6. Enjoy stories, movement, music, and a craft activity.

Fridays

Miss Cappy is back with Toddler Story Time on Fridays! Join her for a story or two and a simple craft activity at 10:00 am. Library will be closed Fri. 11/25 for Thanksgiving holiday

Creston Library

6290 Adams St. • (805) 237-3010

Santa Margarita Library 9630 Murphy Ave • (805) 438-5622

San Miguel Library

254 13th St. • (805) 467-3224

Shandon Library

195 N 2nd St. • (805) 237-3009

GOVERNMENT

Paso Robles

• City Council

1st and 3rd Tuesday, 6:30 p at Council Chambers • 1000 Spring Street

• Senior Citizens Advisory Committee

2nd Monday, 1:30 p at the Paso Robles Senior Center • 321 S. Main Street #C, Templeton, CA 93465

• Parks & Rec. Advisory Committee

2nd Monday, 4:00 p at Centennial Park Live Oak Room • 600 Nickerson Road

• Planning Commission

2nd and 4th Tuesday, 6:30 p at the City of Paso Robles Library Conference Room • 1000 Spring Street

• Paso Robles Democratic Club 3rd Wednesday, 6:30 p

at Centennial Park White Oak Room • 600 Nickerson

• Library Board of Trustees 2nd Thursday, 9:00 a at City of Paso Robles Library • 1000 Spring Street

• Airport Commission

4th Thursday, every other month, 6:30 p at 4900 Wing Way, Paso Robles

For general info, call City Hall M-F 8:00 a - 5:00 p at (805) 227-7276. Visit prcity.com for virtual & up to date meeting info.

Santa Margarita

• Area Advisory Council

1st Wednesday, 7:00 p at Santa Margarita Community Hall • 22501 I St. Visit: smaaconline.org for more information.

Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce pasorobleschamber.com • (805) 238-0506 1225 Park St., Paso Robles, CA 93446

Templeton Chamber of Commerce templetonchamber.com • Open Thursdays and Fridays 11-3pm (805) 434-1789 • 321 S. Main Street #C, Templeton, CA 93465

HEALTH & WELLNESS

Cancer Support Community

Providing support, education and hope 1051 Las Tablas Road, Templeton • (805) 238-4411 • Visit: cscslo.org for more info Cancer Support Helpline • (888) 793-9355, 6 a.m.- 6 p.m. PST.

Special Programs

Email programs@cscslo.org for Zoom links

• Every Wednesday

• Tai Chi Chih | Virtual via Zoom• 10:00 - 11:00a

• Mindfulness Hour | Virtual via Zoom • 11:30a - 12:30a

• 1st & 3rd Wednesday of each month

• Grief Support Group | Virtual via Zoom 1:30p - 2:30p

• 2nd & 4th Wednesday of each month

• Adv. Cancer Support Group | Virtual 10:00 - 11:00a

North County Parkinson’s Support Group

Providing support, education and hope

2nd Monday of each Month from 6-8pm

Atascadero Bible Church Library, 6225 Atascadero Ave, Atascadero Vic Breault vjbreault@gmail.com Or 951-663-9841

• 2nd Wednesday of each month

• Caregiver Support Group | Virtual 10:00 - 11:00a

• 2nd Thursday of each month

• Cancer Patient Support Group | Virtual 11:00a - 12:00p

• 2nd Tuesday of each month

• Young Survivor Support Group | Hybrid 6:00 - 7:30pYoung Survivor Support Group | Virtual 1:30 - 2:30 p

SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS

Optimist Club

Paso Robles Club #14668 • (805) 238-2410

• Meeting — 2nd & 4th Wednesday, 6:30 p

American Legion Post 50

240 Scott St., Paso Robles • (805) 239-7370

• Hamburger Lunch | Every Thursday, 11 a - 1 p, $6 Post Meeting | 4th Tuesday, 6:30 p

Veterans of Foreign Wars

Paso Robles #10965 240 Scott St. • (805) 239-7370

Elks Lodge

Paso Robles Lodge 2364 • 1420 Park Street • (805) 239-1411

Kiwanis International

Paso Robles •1900 Golden Hill Road • Culinary Arts Academy

• Meeting — Tuesday, 12:00 p

Rotary International

Paso Robles Sunrise Courtyard by Marriott, 12 S Vine St.

• Meeting — every Thursday, 12:00 p

Paso Robles Republican Women Club

All meetings held at the Broken Earth Wine tasting room.

Meetings held the 3rd Monday each month.

• Day meeting January, February, November, December at 11:30 am.

Evening meetings March, April, May, June, September and October at 5-7 pm.

Dark July and August. For information prrwfmembership@gmail.com.

Almond Country Quilt Guild

Meetings held the 1st Monday each month

• Social hour from 6:15-7:00PM followed by a general meeting and a planned program

46 | December 2022 Paso Robles Press Magazine Events • Service Listing
(323) 413-7416 TherapistEricBurke@proton.me CaliforniaTherapyThatWorks.com Need a Therapist? Julie Seden-Hansen is happy to announce Eric Burke, AMFT, APCC has joined her trusted Central Coast practice. “Eric is an amazing therapist that I’m thrilled to work with. He is trained in trauma-sensitive, culturally-affirming, and spiritually-integrative techniques. He offers video therapy to California residents.” We accept CenCal Insurance for Medi-cal. Eric Burke, MA, AMFT, APCC Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist #125608 Registered Associate Professional Clinical Counselor #9610 Supervised by Julie Seden-Hansen, LMFT #45607, LPCC #77 REED GULOVSEN (805) 440-3635 DRE #01492724 NMLS #236065 STEVE ALLEN (805) 674-6608 DRE #01381225 NMLS #234167 TODD EVENSON (805) 610-3128 DRE #01331322 NMLS #332696 TONY GASPAR (805) 423-1816 DRE #01375483 NMLS #264636 Merry Christmas Merry Christmas pasoroblesmagazine.com December 2022 | 47

Houses of worshi P

(805)

ATASCADERO

“ABC” Atascadero Bible Church 6225 Atascadero Mall

Atascadero (805) 466-2051

Sunday 8am, 9am, 10:45 Thursday 7pm, Celebrate Recovery

Pastor Jeff Urke

Awakening Ways Spiritual Community 9315 Pismo Ave.

10:00 a.m. at the Pavilion

Rev. Elizabeth Rowley Hogue awakeningways.org (805) 460-0762

Congregation Ohr Tzafon

“The Northern Light” 2605 Traffic Way Atascadero, CA 93422

Friday Night Service 7:30 PM (805) 466-0329

Cornerstone Community Church 9685 Morro Road 8:45 & 10:45 AM

Pastor John Marc Wiemann (805) 461-3899

cornerstoneca.org

Hope Lutheran Church 8005 San Gabriel Road, Atascadero 9am Sunday (in-person and livestream on YouTube)

Pastor: Aaron Smith (805) 461-0340 ourhopelutheran.net

CRESTON

Creston Community Church 5170 O’Donovan Road Service: 9:00 a.m.

Pastor JD Megason

LOCKWOOD

True Life Christian Fellowship

Lockwood/Jolon Road, across from the school in Lockwood Service: 9:30 a.m.

Pastor Erick Reinstedt (805) 472-9325

NACIMIENTO

Heritage Village Church

At The Don Everingham Center Heritage Ranch Service: 10 a.m.

Pastor Brad Brown (805) 712-7265

Hilltop Christian Fellowship 2085 Gateway Drive

Heritage Ranch Service: 10:30 a.m.

Pastor Perry Morris & Jerry Gruber (805) 239-1716

Oak Shores Christian Fellowship

2727 Turkey Cove Rd., at the Oak Shores

Community Clubhouse Service: 8:30 a.m.

Pastor Jerry Gruber (760) 304-2435

PASO ROBLES

Apostolic Assembly of the Faith of Christ Jesus 2343 Park St

Bilingual Services: Services: Thursday 7 p.m. Sunday 2 p.m.

Pastor Miguel Alvarado (805) 610-2930

Bridge Christian Church Centennial Park Banquet Room 600 Nickerson Dr. Service: 9:30 a.m.

Pastor Tim Mensing (805) 975-7178

Calvary Chapel Paso Robles

1615 Commerce Way Service: Sunday at 9 a.m., Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Pastor Aaron Newman (805) 239-4295

Christian Life Center

1744 Oak St. Service Time: 9:30 a.m.

Home Groups during the week

Preschool: Christian Life Early Learning Ctr.

Pastor Guy Drummond (805) 238-3366

Christian Science Services 17th & Chestnut Streets Service: 10 a.m. Sunday & 2nd and 4th Wednesdays 7 p.m. (805) 238-3833

Church of Christ 3545 Spring St. (Corner 36th & Spring) Service: Sunday, 11 a.m.

Evangelist Bob Champion (805) 286-5875

Sam Hogan (310) 602-9516

Delbert Arthurs (805) 238-4412

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 1020 Creston Rd. Service: 10 a.m. (805)-406-8910

Missionaries: (805) 366-2363

Covenant Presbyterian Church 1450 Golden Hill Rd. Service: Sunday, 10:30 a.m.

Pastor Dan Katches (805)238-6927

covenantpaso.com

Belong Central Coast 905 Vine St. meets @ NCCF

Service: Sunday 3 p.m.

Senior Leaders: Pep & Angie Robey (661) 205-7853

Family Worship Center 616 Creston Rd. Service: 10 a.m.

Pastor Patrick Sheean (805) 239-4809

First Baptist Church 1645 Park St.

Pastor Michael R. Garman Services: 8:30 a.m. & 11 a.m. Discipleship 10 a.m. (805) 238-4419

First Mennonite Church 2343 Park St.

Service: 11 a.m.

Pastor Romero (805) 238-2445

First United Methodist 915 Creston Rd. Service: 11 a.m.

Pastor Josh Zulueta (805) 238-2006

Grace Baptist Church 535 Creston Rd.

Service: 10 a.m.

Pastor Gary Barker (805) 238-3549

Highlands Church Corner S. River and Niblick | 215 Oak Hill Services: 9-10 am & 10:30-11:30 am

Pastor James Baird (805) 226-5800

Live Oak 1521 Oak St. Service: 10 a.m.

Pastor John Kaiser (805) 238-0575

New Day 1228 11th St (east off Paso Robles St) Services: Sunday 10 a.m., Wednesday 7 p.m.

Pastor Brad Alford (805) 239-9998

New Life Tabernacle 3850 So. Ramada Dr. Ste. D Service: 10 a.m.

Pastor Efrain Cordero North County Christian Fellowship 421 9th St. Service: 10 a.m.

Pastor Steve Calagna (805) 239-3325

Paso Robles Bible Church 2206 Golden Hill Rd. Service: Sunday 9:30 a.m.

Pastor Mark Wheeler/Pastor Dave Rusco (805) 226-9670

Paso Robles Church of the Nazarene 530 12th St. Service: 10:30 a.m.

Pastor Charles Reece (805) 238-4300

www.pasonaz.com

Paso Robles Community Church 2706 Spring St. Service: 9:00 a.m.

Pastor Shawn Penn (805) 239-4771

www.pasochurch.com

Plymouth Congregational Church, UCC

Thirteenth & Oak Street Service: 10 a.m.

Rev. Wendy Holland (805) 238-3321

Poder de Dios Centro Familiar 500 Linne Road, Suite D Services: Sun. 4:30p.m., Wed. 7p.m.

Pastors: Frank and Isabel Diaz (805) 264-9322 / (805) 621-4199

Redeemer Baptist Church

Kermit King Elementary School 700 Schoolhouse Circle Service: 10:30 a.m.

ADELAIDE INN 1215 Ysabel Ave (Just off 24th near Hwy 101 and 46 East intersection) Paso Robles, 805-238-2770

Pastor Christopher Cole (805) 238-4614

Second Baptist Church 1937 Riverside Ave. Service: 11 a.m.

Pastor: Gary Jordon (805) 238-2011

St. James Episcopal Church 1335 Oak St. Services: 8 a.m. (Rite I), 10 a.m. (Rite II)

Reverend Barbara Miller (805) 238-0819

St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church 820 Creston Rd.

Daily Mass- 8:30 a.m. Saturday 8 a.m. Tues. 7 p.m. Spanish Saturday 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Spanish Vigil Mass Sunday 8 a.m. & 10 a.m.; Spanish Mass at 12:30PM

Father Rudolfo Contreras (805) 238-2218

The Revival Center 3850 Ramada Dr., Ste. A-3 Service: 10 a.m.

Pastor Gabe Abdelaziz (805) 434-5170

The Light of the World Church 2055 Riverside Ave.

Services: Everyday, 6 p.m. Sundays 10 a.m. & 5 p.m.

Pastor Bonifacio Robles (612) 990-4701

Trinity Lutheran Church 940 Creston Rd. Worship Service: 9:30 a.m. (805) 238-3702

Victory Baptist Church 3850 Ramada Dr. Ste D4 Sundays - 10 & 11 a.m. Wednesday - 6:30 p.m.

Pastor Bruce Fore (805) 221-5251 vbcpaso.org

Victory Outreach Paso Robles 2919 Union Road, Paso Robles, CA Services: Sunday, 10:30 a.m. Thursday, 7:00 p.m.

Pastor Pete Torres (805) 536-0035

TEMPLETON

Bethel Lutheran Church

295 Old County Rd. Service: 9:30 a.m.

Pastor Amy Beveridge (805) 434-1329

Celebration Worship Center Pentecostal Church of God 988 Vineyard Drive

Pastor Roy Spinks Services: 10:30 a.m. & 6 p.m. (805) 610-9819

Central Coast Center for Spiritual Living 689 Crocker St. Service: 10 a.m.

Rev. Elizabeth Rowley (805) 242-3180

Family Praise & Worship

Located at Vineyard Elementary School 2121 Vineyard Dr, Templeton Service: 10 a.m.

Pastor Vern H Haynes Jr. (805) 975-8594

Templeton Presbyterian Church 610 S. Main St. Service: 10 a.m.

Reverend Roger Patton (805) 434-1921

Higher Dimension Church 601 Main St.

1st Sunday: 1:30 p.m.

2nd - 5th Sundays 12:30 p.m.

Pastor Charlie Reed, Jr. (805) 440-0996

Life Community Church 8:30 & 10:30 Sundays

3770 Ruth Way, Paso Robles, CA 93446 (805) 434-5040

hello@lccpaso.org

Pastor Brandon Hall

Solid Rock Christian Fellowship 925 Bennett Way Service: 10 a.m.

Pastor Jeff Saylor (805) 434-2616

Seventh-Day Adventist Church Templeton Hills 930 Templeton Hills Rd. Services: Saturday 9:30 & 10:30 a.m. Pastor Zac Page (805) 434-1710

Vineyard Church of Christ 601 So. Main St. Service: 10 a.m.

Evangelist: Steve Orduno (805) 610-4272

Vintage Community Church 692 Peterson Ranch Road Services: 9 & 11 a.m.

Coaches: Aaron Porter, Dayn Mansfield (805) 296-1120

SAN MIGUEL

Iglesia Fuente De Agua Viva 301 13th St. Services: 10 a.m. & 7 p.m. Pastor Mike Duran (805) 467-5500

Mission San Miguel Parish 775 Mission Street

Daily Mass: Monday – Friday, 8:00 am Saturday – 4:00 pm (English) Sunday – 7:00 am (English) 10:00 am (Bilingual) 12:00 pm (English) 5:00 pm (Spanish)

Father Lucas Pantoja (805) 467-2131

SHANDON

Shandon Assembly of God 420 Los Altos Ave.

Spanish Service: Sun. 5 p.m., Thurs. 7 p.m. Pastor Jim Mei (805)226-9737

PASO

ROBLES MAGAZINE

P.O. Box 427

Paso Robles, CA 93447 Phone: 805-237-6060 or office@13starsmedia.com

The following listing of area houses of worship is provided by the partnership between Adelaide Inn and PASO Magazine. We hope to include all houses of worship in the Paso Robles, Templeton, San Miguel, Shandon, and Bradley areas. Your congregation is welcomed to send us updates and information to make our list complete and accurate. If you have information, please send an email to office@13starsmedia.com or call 237-6060. Please include your name, address, phone, service times, and name of spiritual leader of your congregation. Thank you, and stay blessed.
DIRECTORY OF LOCAL
pasoroblesmagazine.com December 2022 | 49

Season’sBlessing

As much as we wish it would be, I know that the holiday season isn’t always a Hallmark movie. Far from it sometimes. If not us, we know of many people for whom this year, in particular, brings the one-year anniversary of something traumatic and can bring to us the looming remembrance of loss. That’s hard. I get it. I really do. But let me bring to your attention that you have made it through 100 percent of the things you have gone through. That’s a pretty good track record. That’s something to celebrate.

Maybe you’re the one reading this who is still going through it. But that’s the keyword, isn’t it? Though, if you’re going through hell — don’t stop. If you catch hell — don’t hold it! Be encouraged — God has an individual

destiny and plan for your life. There’s only one you. Be yourself — everyone else is already taken. You are important. You are needed to do the assignments that God has planned for you to do. Don’t be fooled into thinking someone else can or will, do it. God tells us in the book of Jeremiah that He knows the plans He has for us; plans of peace and well-being, not for disaster, to give us a future and a hope.

Maybe you’re wondering, “Where’s this Christmas spirit I am supposed to feel?” I am highly convinced that the Christmas spirit we so often hear about and mention is the blessing of God on us this season. I find a supernatural phenomenon every Christmas as we all sing sacred carols, even with those who sing them who wouldn’t admit that they even believe. As we participate in this expected tradition, the Almighty seems to bless us with His presence in the manifestation of joy and peace. I propose it’s because we’re all in unity singing about the Savior’s birth and bring ing glory to Him. This year, be intentional to bring that Christmas spirit with you wherever you go. When it manifests, take notice of this Divine Christmas Spirit.

We’ve all been through a lot as of late. You know as well as I do that certain outside sources have been trying their hardest to bring division everywhere we look. As a community, let’s be determined to not let that negativity have any place or that division any attention in 2023. This is your sign to go into the new year with a clear conscience. Resolve those things that have been nagging in the back of your mind. Reconcile that broken relationship. Make that phone call. Send that text. Forgive that person. What are you really waiting for anyway? Life is too short to live with unforgiveness and bitterness. When you hold onto it, it only poisons you. It has little effect on the other person, doesn’t it? So, let it go before the ball drops on New Year’s Eve. My prayer for you, my community, in going into 2023 is that all of God’s dreams for you come true. Do not forget: His plan for you is good.

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance on you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26

With all my heart, I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Last Word • Season’s Blessing
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