Fun with Mario Bros.
NorthPark Community Church holds fifth annual Christmas Cafe event
NorthPark Community Church opened its doors for families across Santa Clarita to join its fifth annual Christmas Cafe on Sunday.
Attendees walked to the second floor of the church, where homemade appetizers, desserts and hot chocolate were offered and presented by Stephen Petree and Tommy Snider, dressed as the video game characters Mario and Luigi. Between their comedic interactions, they presented multiple musicians affiliated with the church before their own respective performances.
Musicians played various Christmas songs, both secular and more Christian-themed throughout the night.
“We did a big service New Year’s Eve, and we really tried to blow it out and I didn’t feel comfortable doing that that close to Christmas,” said Petree, who’s also a music director at the church.
He believed the show should be more simple, organizing the event to take place in early December. The setting was intended to feel more like a cafe than a sanctuary, Petree said.
Petree then reached out to young music students, as well as musicians he’s worked with before, beginning with Emily Jaye.
Petree and Jaye toured together years ago working under Universal Records, and he invited her to perform. Shawn Klaiber was Petree’s mentor, so he was asked to play music. Closing the show was local artist Desiree Hope, with whom Petree also has worked, as a producer.
For Liza Purdy, her first Christmas Cafe left her impressed with the variety of talent in the area and specifically at the church. Visiting with her family, their life in Santa Clarita began after moving from Pittsburgh in January.
“If we had an event (in Pittsburgh) it would be like, ‘Oh, OK. That was nice,’” she said. “But this is awesome, they do such a good job. Everyone’s super talented.”
Petree said the plan is to keep going with Christmas Cafes in the years to come.
“As long as people still love it and make room for (the) community, make room for people to talk to one another, and also we invite the whole city, so it’s not just a church thing,” he said.
For more information on that and other upcoming events, go to northpark.com/#top.
“What’s more Christmas than Mario Brothers?” asked Tommy Snider, left, to fellow presenter Stephen Petree during the fifth annual Christmas Cafe at NorthPark Community Church, which took place Sunday.