This post is also available in: Spanish

Last Friday December 7th, Altos de Chavón was alive with friends and families awaiting the very anticipated Christmas Lighting Ceremony that officially opens Casa de Campo’s merry holiday season! This is the 8th consecutive year that Altos de Chavón and Casa de Campo have been celebrating the festivities with various activities here in Chavón and each year it just gets better! For a second year in a row, Santa came back to his house in the Caribbean located right in front of the main Gallery. Starting at 6:00 pm, little ones received a beautiful Magic Pass to Santa’s House when they donated a new toy or brought a cash donation for the Hogar del Niño and Fundación MIR charities. This has been a very special addition to the holiday program that teaches our kids the importance of giving to those in need. They were also able to meet a group of kids they would be helping make their Christmas merrier. The Fundación MIR brought to this special occasion some of their students who we saw were in awe of all the decorations and activities going on in Chavón. Once inside, the jolly Santa Claus and all his elves received Christmas wish lists and good-hearted children who sat atop Santa’s lap for photos. As night fell, the Chavón Plaza buzzed with holiday cheer with more than 400 members from the Casa de Campo and La Romana communities. Acting as the Mistress of Ceremonies was one of Casa de Campo’s own, Renata Soñé, otherwise known as Miss Dominican Republic 2005 and runner-up of Miss Universe. After welcoming the many guests, Renata turned the stage over toAndrés Pichardo, President of Casa de Campo Resort, Juan Velázquez, Vice President and Administrator of Costasur Dominicana, and Mr. Eduardo Selman Minister of Culture of the Dominican Republic who welcomed Casa de Campo’s villa owners and guests and expressed their happiness and gratitude to all present for helping Altos de Chavón continue such a beautiful yearly tradition. They invited the children in the audience and a group of kids from the Fundación MIR to come up on stage and help them countdown the start of Christmas! The kids happily complied and everybody in the Plaza joined in. The grand button was pressed and Altos de Chavón lit up with all the lights that had been installed throughout the week. It is a truly magical and breathtaking moment and one that for us in Casa de Campo signified the beginning of Christmas! Following the display of lights, a Christmas concert with the Juan Pablo Duarte symphonic orchestra, directed by Prof. José Luis Ureña, had us all singing along with traditional Christmas carols. The holiday schedule in Altos de Chavón continued with the traditional ballet presentation by the students of the Elizabeth P Zeller dance academy and on Thursday at the Gallery with the opening cocktail for the art exhibition, “One day at a time” by a group of Dominican artists. Find this year’s complete calendar of activities here! The following photos were taken by Dariana Soriano at Santa’s house on Friday, December 9th in Altos de Chavón: And by Mairobi Herrera during the lighting ceremony: [nggallery id=3176]