One of the biggest successes of this year’s Pacific Palisades Holiday Ho!Ho!Ho! celebration was the inaugural pet contest.
People were asked to post a photo of their pet on Nextdoor Palisades and the top three winners were selected based upon “most likes.”
The “top dog” was a cat, Mr. Man, owned by Ramona Trent. First prize was a $50 gift card to Luxxe Café on Sunset, courtesy of Gary Chau, who owns Oillie, the Samoy who serves as the cafe’s mascot.
Chau wrote, “This is so wonderful and thoughtful for our neighborhood to share such a heartwarming occasion during this challenging period of our lives. Thank you!”
Trent wrote on Nextdoor, “Mr. Man wishes you all happy holidays! We rescued him in March and have had him all to ourselves through this crazy year. We are happy to introduce him formally to the Palisades community.”
Second place went to Hoover, a dog, and his engaging, toothy smile. Owner Janie Coolidge will receive a $25 gift card to Collar & Leash Palisades on Palisades Drive.
Third place was shared by dogs called “Brothers,” owned by Mitchell Quaranta, who received a $20 gift certificate to Collection Antiques and Accessories on Antioch. While there, Quaranta will be able to meet Abby, a dog rescued by Jeff Ridgway.
Organizer Lisa Glantz said that two honorable mentions were chosen for their uniqueness. One was Adrian Grant’s Olive, the sophisticated lady, for Best Dressed. Grant will receive a $20 Cinque Terre West gift card.
The honorable mention was Minnie, the Luckiest Duck, owned by Glory Designs. The prize was a $10 gift card to Palisades Garden Café.
Leslie Campbell, who has worked tirelessly for an off-leash dog park in the Palisades (a multi-year effort by now) wrote on Nextdoor, “The fun has been in the trip not the destination on this fun post. Thank you, Lisa Glantz.”
Bianca Gomez said, “Thanks for this. We had such fun! Our family went through and looked at the photos on Christmas. So much fun!”
Victoria Lynch-Knight expressed the feeling that many felt after being isolated because of Covid-19. “So fun! Thank you for bringing us together and for making us smile!”
Anna Vayne summed it up by saying, “It is great how many people are sharing their pet pictures! I think this contest is something like a balsam on your soul, a healing happy effect. Especially during this time.”
When the contest closed on Christmas Eve morning, Glantz (who received a Golden Sparkplug from the Community Council for her efforts to keep the Ho!Ho!Ho! tradition alive), wrote: “It’s been wonderful. Thanks everyone for all the fantastic photos and all the love shown. May the Ho!Ho!Ho! and the Pet Photo Contest be around another 71 years.”
In 2018, the cherished tradition of having Santa Claus make a one-night stop to visit children in Pacific Palisades was suddenly abandoned by the Chamber of Commerce, which had organized the festivities for nearly 70 years. The reason given to halt the free event was “it didn’t have anything to do with business.”
In response to the Chamber’s action, a band of Palisades residents led by Glantz and Lou Kamer decided not to let this December tradition disappear. They worked furiously to organize a highly successful replacement Ho!Ho!Ho! at the Palisades Recreation Center in less than two weeks.
These residents replicated their efforts in 2019, with plans to reprise the event this year. When Covid-19, made all in-person gatherings impossible, organizers came up with replacement ideas, such as a “drive-by” Santa in Temescal Canyon and the pet contest. Ho!Ho!Ho!