On December 7, residents and neighbors flocked to Riverside Drive for Toluca Lake’s annual Holiday Open House. Local businesses opened their doors or set up booths on the sidewalks with special offerings for passersby, including refreshments and other giveaways.
Among those spreading the cheer was Amy Fishburn, owner of Prosecco Trattoria, who distributed truffles outside the restaurant. She said she enjoys the festive atmosphere, and not just because it’s one of their busiest nights of the year. At the inaugural open house, the restaurant “won for best decorations,” she noted, gesturing to the garlands, ribbons and twinkling lights adorning the exterior.
The event also featured live music, decorations, games, opportunities to pose for photos with Santa Claus and the Grinch, and a tree-lighting ceremony.
“We just love this evening, because it shows the heart and soul of Toluca Lake,” said emcee and honorary mayor Fritz Coleman. “It shows such a great spirit, all the wonderful shop owners and all the fantastic residents.”
In honor of the season of giving, the Toluca Lake Chamber of Commerce made donations to Toluca Lake Elementary School, the Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firemen’s Fund and the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program. The latter was presented by actor and longtime resident Joe Mantegna, who thanked first responders and the military for “helping to make the dream of a safe community come true for all of us.”
The Chamber and Councilmember David Ryu also presented proclamations honoring Cinema Secrets founder Maurice Stein, who passed away in 2018, and his family members who are continuing his legacy. Reminiscing about his own children’s tradition of choosing their Halloween costumes at Cinema Secrets each year, Coleman said, “The Stein family has been such a huge part of what makes us Toluca Lake and why we’re a legendary little community.”
In closing, Coleman summed up the significance of the celebration: “There have been lots of dark clouds in our country this year, but I hope this evening and the start of this holiday season re-instill your faith in your neighbors. This is what’s important.”