santa claus at costa mesa market place


Santa Arrives at Orange County Market Place

Santa Visits Saturdays & Sundays Nov. 28 - Dec. 20, 2009  10 a.m. - 2 p.m.



Costa Mesa, Calif.-Santa Claus arrives in a red 1929 Ford Roadster at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 28 to kick off the holiday shopping season and begin his annual stint at the Orange County Market Place. During the same weekends of the toy and clothing drive, Santa will be posing for photos and listening to wishes from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bring a new toy or new clothing (unwrapped) for free admission, and a free 4X6" photo with Santa on day of your visit.

“Twinkie the Elf”, aka Mimi Becker of La Habra who made her debut at the Market Place last year returns for four weekends to help Santa and do what she enjoys most: putting smiles on people’s faces. Becker, who works full time at Target in Fullerton the rest of the year, takes advantage of her 4’ stature by elfing during the holiday season, which started about 18 years ago. Celebrity Christmas party gigs have included Jim Carrey and Pamela Anderson parties. She has appeared in the movies El Matador (2003) and Tip Toes in 2002 and on television on CSI: Criminal Scene Investigation and Man vs. Beast in 2003. A few years back, Becker played Theodore in an Alvin and the Chipmunks stage show at Universal Studios.

Other entertainment will be offered during the holiday season including the Mitchell Marionettes Puppet Shows, which will be featured the weekends of November 28 and December 20. All shows are free and will be held at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. near the Santa photo operation.

The Orange County Market Place, in its 40th year, is open every Saturday and Sunday, except during the annual Orange County Fair in July and early August. Nearly 1,000 merchants offer a variety of products and services.

Hours are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $2 and kids 12 and under are free. Free parking is also available. Preferred parking is $5. For more information on the Market Place and its events, or call (949) 723-6616.

Location: Orange County Market Place,88 Fair Drive - Orange County Fairgrounds, Costa Mesa, CA 92626


Toy & Clothing Drive at Market Place -- Bring Unwrapped Toy or Clothing


The Orange County Market Place, the weekend swap meet at the O. C. Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, has teamed up with the Community Action Partnership of Orange County (CAPOC) to help bring new toys and clothing to those in need this holiday season. Those bringing a donation of a new and unwrapped toy or clothing item any Saturday or Sunday from November 28 through December 20 will receive free admission ($2 value) to the swap meet. In addition, coupons will be handed out for a free 4” x 6” photo with Santa valid the same dates. ($10 value).


“We feel strongly about the spirit of giving all year. During the holidays when we have promotions for freebies and special entertainment aimed at our shoppers, we also want to help those who might not be able to shop, “said Jeffrey Teller, president of the O. C. Market Place. “The toy and clothing drive is a great way for us to do that and are honored to be one of the partners with the Community Action Partnership of Orange County.”

For more information or to coordinate a food, clothing or toy drive, please call Hope for the Holiday Coordinator, Marleen Morrill at (714) 897-6670 ext 3404 or [email protected] or visit the website

According to CAPOC, a nonprofit organization which has been helping to eliminate and prevent the causes and effects of poverty for more than 44 years, the holidays bring an increased financial burden for those who are already struggling. The cost of living in Orange County is 58% above national average, and over 10% of Orange County’s families are living in poverty.

Though donations will be accepted for children ages newborn to 18, the greatest need is gifts for ages 11 to 16 years. Many families request clothing items such as undergarments, jacket and shoes.

Earlier this year the Orange County Market Place coordinated a food drive with CAPOC for the Orange County Food Bank during a spring and fall concert series. More than 2 ½ tons of food was collected at 16 concerts events which offered free admission for the donation. "We are so grateful for the partnership with the O.C. Marketplace. We could not feed the hungry in Orange County without great partners like the Market Place," said Kristin Kvesic, Donated Food Program Manager.

Other Orange County Market Place Events:

Costa Mesa Market Place Halloween Hearse Car Show and Parade

Pigs, Popcorn & Polkas--An OC Super Fair Review

Costa Mesa Pet Fair Annual Event at Orange County Market Place





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