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Santa Monica's Miramar Hotel Hosts Holiday Community Gathering Sunday


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By Lookout Staff

December 6, 2017 -- On Sunday, hundreds of Santa Monicans are expected to once again gather under the Miramar Hotel's iconic fig tree to kick off the holiday season and help the beach city's less fortunate.

Sponsored by the hotel's owner, MSD Capital, "Meet Me Under the Fig Tree" -- which takes place from 2 to 5 p.m. -- offers a chance to play in the snow, take picture with Santa and enjoy food offerings from Fig Restaurant.

The annual event, which draws nearly 1,000 participants, is also an opportunity to donate non-perishable food to what has become city's largest annual food drive and toys to the Santa Monica Police Activities League (PAL).

Miramar fig tree
The Miramar Hotel's iconic fig tree (Courtesy of the Fairmont Miramar Hotel)

“Meet Me Under the Fig Tree has become the true annual kick-off to the holiday season in Santa Monica” said Ellis O’Connor of MSD Capital’s Hospitality Group.

“It is a great time for the community to come together during the holiday season, and we are extremely proud of how the community rallies around this event to give back to those most in need,” O'Connor said.

Over the past five years, Santa Monicans have donated more than 50,000 pounds of nonperishable food during Meet Me Under the Fig Tree, with more than 11,000 pounds donated last year.

The food is collected for The People Concern, formerly OPCC, Santa Monica's largest homeless agency.

"We expect this year’s event to generate even more donations of nonperishable foods which will be given to deserving individuals and families in our community," hotel officials said.

The Miramar also is donating a portion of room rates booked by Santa Monica residents under a special Meet Me Under the Fig Tree promotion to PAL, which serves children between the ages of 6 and 17.

“We are excited to be partnering this year with Santa Monica PAL, which runs extremely successful after-school programs for Santa Monica children," said Miramar's general manager Matthew Lehman.

Planted in 1898, the hotel’s signature Moreton Bay Fig tree is the second biggest fig tree in the state of California and is of special interest as a non-native species.

Its sprawling canopy has become perhaps the most identifiable feature of the nearly century-old hotel, which has hosted the likes of John Muir, Mark Twain, Greta Garbo, Marilyn Monroe, U.S. presidents and royalty.


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