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Miramar's Meet Me Under the Fig Tree Offers Holiday Cheer, Chance to Help Most Needy


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By Lookout Staff

December 4, 2018 -- In what has become an annual tradition, Santa Monicans will once again gather under the Fairmont Miramar Hotel's iconic Moreton Bay fig tree Sunday to usher in the holidays and help the city's most needy.

The community gathering, which started more than a decade ago, will once again feature live music, snow, a petting zoo and the chance to snap pictures with Santa, as well as enjoy food and drinks from the hotel's highly-regarded FIG Restaurant.

2017 Meet Me Under the Fig Tree
Last year's event drew more than 1,000 people (Photo courtesy of Fairmont Miramar Hotel)

The annual gathering also gives Santa Moncans a chance to share in the spirit by helping their most needy neighbors by contributing non-perishable food items and clothing.

“Meet Me Under the Fig Tree has become an annual gathering for the community to start the holiday season in Santa Monica,” said Ellis O’Connor of MSD Capital’s Hospitality Group, which owns the Miramar.

“We all look forward to enjoying a magical afternoon underneath the Moreton Bay Fig Tree to celebrate the season together and, most importantly, help those in our community who are most in need.”

This year's clothing drive --which benefits Chrysalis-Santa Monica, a job placement agency for the poor and homeless -- is part of a new initiative launched by Santa MoniCARES, a coalition of Santa Monica Travel & Tourism (SMTT) representatives and community partners.

Attendees are encouraged to bring new or gently worn business clothing and accessories for Chrysalis clients re-entering the work force in Santa Monica, said Matthew Lehman, the hotel's general manager.

Santa MoniCARES is "seeking to harness the hospitable nature and generosity of Santa Monica’s tourism industry to provide support to the city’s local nonprofit agencies," tourism officials said.

Meet Me Under the Fig Tree has also become the largest annual food drive in the City, collecting more than 60,000 pounds of food over the past six years.

Last year's event drew more than 1,000 people and collected more than 11,000 pounds of food for The People Concern, Santa Monica's largest homeless service agency.

It also raised more than $5,000 for the Santa Monica Police Activities League (PAL), which serves youngsters between the ages of 6 and 17.

Recent Meet Me Under the Fig Tree festivities have included award winning musicians, seasonal crafts, animal adoptions, bounce houses and games for the entire family.

The annual event "has become a wonderful Santa Monica tradition,” Lehman said.

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