What does an outdoor holiday party look like?
At the inaugural "First Friday" event downtown, the Bullis Charter School Choir sang the streets, Santa listened, and the Train, powered by the "Forty and Eight," clanged its way in a gaily lit loop around State Street and Main Street.
Girl Scouts handed out maps of the events and 20 participating businesses that stayed open later.
Inside , the State Street flower and gift shop that is now filled with holiday hostess gifts, owner David Wales was offering up hot soup. Visitors could choose between pumpkin bisque topped with lingonberry creme fraiche, or a broccoli and ham soup with mesquite-chipotle creme fraiche.
had story-telling hour, had hot cider set up at the gate, and many businesses had special discounts that night. Santa was taking young callers at .
And on the street corners, Santa-hatted guides answered questions about the First Friday effort, including Joe Eyre, a member of Los Altos Forward, who confided he'd always wanted to ride the American Legion train.
Concerned about downtown's vitality, the group has been meeting twice a week to generate ideas to "promote vibrancy within the community." The group is trying to complement the efforts of other institutions such as the Los Altos Village Association. Eyre described its goals as three-fold: to foster a vision, work for parking, and build community.
Eyre's tackled the latter, as the leader of social activities. First Fridays is one of them. "Meet Your Neighbors" is our general tagline, said Eyre, who the First Fridays will take place in even-numbered months.
The next event is in February.