By Diane Y. Welch
Music, merriment, munchies and free merchandise are just a few of the attractions that will be part of the family-friendly Del Rayo Village Annual Holiday Concert and Festivities.
This is the second year that the businesses in Del Rayo Village have opened up their doors to everyone and offered complimentary treats.
"It's a way to combine entertainment and holiday cheer for the residents of Rancho Santa Fe with a 'thank you' to our customers," said Tim Cusac, who has again spearheaded the festive event that drew crowds last year despite it being one of the chilliest nights of 2008. "This year we have planned ahead and have ample space heaters throughout the center."
Live pop, blues, country and holiday music will be provided by local entertainers including the Tim Holcombe Band, and the EC Project, led by Cusac's wife Ellen, who is a professional soprano.
"And if the crowd is in the mood, I will lead a sing-along of a few well-known holiday chestnuts," said Cusac, an accomplished guitarist and singer, but best known in Rancho Santa Fe for his Caffe Positano and Rancho Sandwich businesses. Lyric sheets will be on hand with some of the favorite holiday songs and classic carols, and there will be some surprise musical guest appearances, said Cusac.
"Also this year the event will benefit two local charities," said Charles Covello, the leasing agent for the center. "When guests take part in the raffle, Del Rayo Village Shopping Center will donate $10 to the Salvation Army and $10 to the San Diego Rescue Mission."
As guests visit each merchant in the village center, their raffle card is stamped, and when the card is filled up it goes into a drawing that evening for some great prizes.
"With every completed raffle card the charities benefit," said Covello. "The beauty of this is that it is free, requires no purchase, and all the people have to do is to come and have some fun!"
There will also be a separate raffle for children with child-appropriate goodies and gifts, he said.
The card includes each merchant's information along with their free raffle item and any special offers available during the evening's event, said Cusac.
"Leucadia Pizzeria has a special festivities price of $24.99 for a 16" pizza, spaghetti and meatballs, full Caesar salad, with garlic bread and a box of cookies. And at Caffe Positano we are offering special prices on our freshly roasted Rancho Roast Coffees and gourmet syrups."
Each business has donated gifts for the raffle. Throughout the village center free food and drinks will be available.
Complimentary beverages offered by merchants include hot cider, punch, Georgian wine, coffee, hot wassail beverage, and champagne.
To take part in the free Del Rayo Village Annual Holiday Concert and Festivities all you have to do is show up, said Cusac. "Dress warmly, bring your good vocal pipes and holiday spirit, and be prepared for some festive, family fun."
Del Rayo Village shopping center is located at 16079 San Dieguito Road in Fairbanks Ranch and is just 10 minutes or less from anywhere in Rancho Santa Fe. There is ample free parking and reservations are not required.
If you're going
Del Rayo Village Holiday Concert and Festivities
Thursday, Dec. 10
4 to 8 p.m.