Members of the community drive through a Light Parade in the parking lot at Dana Hills High School during the second annual event, put on and run by students, on Monday evening, December 6, 2021. Photo by Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer
Dana Hills lights the night with drive-through event
By Greg Mellen
Last year, with their school shuttered, students at Dana Hills High refused to let the pandemic rob them of their holiday cheer.
Instead, the school began what it hopes will become a tradition with its Holiday Lights Drive-Through spectacle. The parking lot at Dana Hills High lit up into a technicolor holiday-scape for residents to meander through in their cars.
This year, 107 students from the school’s Leadership Class, more than 25 clubs, and a phalanx of parent and adult volunteers gathered to repeat the feat. And once again, residents showed up in droves of vehicles to enjoy the festivities.
“We want to increase it each year,” said Dr. Brad Baker, Dana Hills High Principal. “It’s great to see the holiday spirit.”
Clubs hustled to erect various holiday scenes and sets, such as the tunnel of light, while music played, cheerleaders cheered, and hot cocoa was dispensed on a chilly night.
“We did it out of necessity, because we couldn’t hold in-person or indoor events,” Baker said of the inaugural event. What evolved was a bit of a holiday miracle.
“We wanted to draw people that wouldn’t normally come on campus to see all the great things we do,” Baker said.
The results exceeded expectations as a line of cars snaked through the Dana Hills High lot for two hours.
“We got a lot of positive feedback from families and the community,” Baker said.
Baker said the cities of Dana Hills and Laguna Niguel have also pitched in to help with traffic direction, lights, and generators, making it a true community event.
“This is our gift to the community,” Baker said. “It’s unique. I don’t think any other school is doing this.”