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Point Reyes Station merchants held their 10th annual Path of Lights Friday, culminating in the lighting of the town Christmas tree. The tree is on the main street between the parking lots of the Bank of Petaluma and the Palace Market.

Sponsoring the event were the West Marin Chamber of Commerce, Point Reyes Books, Rotary Club of West Marin, Point Reyes Surf Shop, and Bank of Petaluma.

100_6033.jpgMost retail merchants in Point Reyes Station took part and as always placed luminaria in front of their businesses.
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For the benefit of readers elsewhere around the world, here’s how The American Heritage Dictionary defines luminaria: A “Southwestern US” custom that consists of “a votive candle set into a small… paper bag weighed with sand and placed in a row with others along a walkway…”

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100_6026.jpgPlaying her guitar in front of the Bank of Petaluma, singer Harmony Grisman of Inverness led caroling at the West Marin Senior Services tree-lighting ceremony.

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Breezes were light enough that candles could be kept lit by the crowd gathered in front of the Point Reyes Emporium Building across the street from the carolers and the town Christmas tree.

Other events Friday evening included Santa Claus’ arriving to a yuletide gala at Toby’s Feed Barn and the annual Dance Palace Craft Fair, which continued on Saturday and Sunday. In addition, numerous merchants held a scavenger hunt and drawing.

Friday’s events encouraged West Marin residents to buy their Yuletide gifts from local craftsmen and merchants. In an advertisement in The West Marin Citizen, sponsors told residents: “Studies have shown that independent retailers provide substantial benefits to the local economy by contributing $68 of every $100 back into the community…. supporting economic and social growth.”