A Very Merry brandy Christmas Comes to HolidayLights at CALM 

Monday December 11, 2023

The California Living Museum (CALM) decked out their halls this weekend to prepare for an appearance by multi-platinum, Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, and actress Brandy to celebrate her first-ever Christmas album. This unique collaboration between the CALM and Brandy began on Friday, December 8 and runs until Tuesday, December 12. The partnership, called “A Very Merry brandy Christmas,” features a tree light show synchronized to music from Brandy’s first-ever Christmas album, Christmas with Brandy, out now via Motown Records. Teen Challenge is also on hand selling Brandy-inspired sweet treats.  

During her visit on Saturday, Brandy held an exclusive meet and greet with 50 lucky fans at CALM’s new event venue, The Willows. Afterwards, she toured the zoo and took the time to say hello to fans who were excited to meet the star.  

CALM’s Volunteer and Community Engagement Facilitator Elizabeth Graff worked with Josh and Vicki Barnett, the owners of Lightasmic!, to create a warm and inviting space for Brandy when she arrived. However, Graff quick to give credit to the entire CALM staff and several volunteers who helped ensure the event was successful. 

“It was a whirlwind couple of weeks preparing for the partnership, but it would not be possible for the amazing group of individuals who spent countless hours making it happen,” said Graff. “Brandy and her team were so kind and truly enjoyed their time while at CALM.”  

CALM’s Volunteer and Community Engagement Facilitator Elizabeth Graff (right) shows Brandy around HolidayLights at CALM.

According to Meg Maitland, CALM’s director, the Kern County community’s response to the partnership was so successful that Saturday’s HolidayLights sold out within the first 30-minutes of opening the doors. In total, close to 10,000 guests visited HolidayLights over the past weekend. However, the festivities aren’t over. A “Very Merry brandy Christmas” is still happening today and tomorrow from 5:30 – 9:00 p.m., although Brandy will not be in attendance for these two days.  

Tickets are on sale and should be purchased in advance online at www.calmzoo.org or at the CALM gift shop. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors (ages 65+), $12 for children ages 3 – 12, and $10 per ticket for CALM members, seniors, and military. Children 2 and under are free.   

Josh and Vicki Barnett, owners of Lightasmic!, are CALM’s longtime partners and created this Brandy-inspired light display, which serves as a photo backdrop for guests.

By Jennifer Bryan

By Jennifer Bryan

Jennifer Bryan joined Kern County Superintendent of Schools in 2021 as a Communications Specialist. As a creative and motivated marketing communications specialist, she has a special knack for storytelling and content creation. Born and raised in Kern County, Jennifer has worked in major industries within the region such as agriculture and oil and gas before she made the transition to education.