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Layer Up

By Lauren Saint Valdez

It may not seem necessary to layer clothing when living in California.  We may have a late start to cold weather in the later seasons and it may seem rare to see conditions lower than 70º.  Even so, everyone should know how to keep themselves warm, even in California cold.  Though many think layering is equivalent to wearing a nylon-cotton hoodie or a leather coat on top of a thin tee, going only as far as a coat on top of a single layer in 60º or lower is not going to keep you concentrated on anything other than the goosebumps on your arms.  

When you think about staying warm, the first thing that may come to mind might be your core, arms, legs, possibly ears or neck. However, despite these ideas, most heat is lost from your head. Feet also play a vital role in the discomfort you may be feeling from the cold, because our feet contain a large amount of blood vessels—similar to our hands—by allowing more heat to flow out of them rather than collecting. Since they are at the end of our limbs, this also makes them prone to cooling down quicker due to containing exceedingly less heat-producing muscles. So the next time you’re cold, remember that it’s probably due to your bare hands or feet and try putting on a warm pair of mittens or a thicker pair of socks.

Although layering is very important for your wellbeing, we do still live in California, meaning you don’t need to layer up for as much as you may think. So to make sure you aren’t overheating, when dressing, remember the 3-layer rule: a base layer, middle layer, and an outer layer, according to The Washington Post. Base, meaning a thin, sweat-proof layer that could be a pain polyester fabric t-shirt or long sleeve, or something separate from any undergarments, meaning a long/short sleeve polyester top. As for the middle,a warm sweater—preferably cotton, cashmere or even wool fiber on colder days. And finally the outer—this layer is meant to protect you from rain or even hail, meaning it should be waterproof. These can get expensive, so some more affordable brands like Tentree or Nau, both of which are sustainable brands that use organic fabrics to manufacture their clothing, might be preferable. However, if it’s not raining, going as far as a waterproof outer would just be uncomfortable, so just a thick coat would do the trick.

On colder days, you may even need to layer your bottom layers. For girls, this is already pretty common, such as leggings like thermal wear underneath sweats or jeans, or fleece-lined mesh leggings under dresses or skirts. For guys, however, this is something only to really occur when skiing. However, there are times when it’s too cold to just wear a pair of jeans or cotton  sweats on their own. Thermal wear, such as compression tights under your outer layer, would help a lot with cold discomfort. The Under Armor coldgear is a great option; good for days where you want to be layered up but not overheating.  Because we live in California and never think about the real cold, we don’t feel the need to be educated on things like layering on a day-to-day basis. But being cold is not a concept, and we need to get used to it, even if we don’t see this because we live in a warmer weather state. But that doesn’t mean you’re always gonna be naturally warm.  So don’t be afraid to layer up because it does truly help to put and keep you in the right mindset. And if you get too warm, you’re wearing layers for a reason.

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Holidays Downtown

By Brooke Killgore and Will Jones

Tree Lighting

Walnut Creek’s annual tree-lighting and downtown parade is back (and colder than ever) on December 1, 2022. According to Broadway Plaza’s website, community members can stop by anytime from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. to enjoy several activities during the festival with live music, food and drink and guest appearances, such as Santa Claus himself. The “Holiday Parade of Lights & Tree Lighting” has been a way to kick off the holiday season for years on end and a truly special part of bringing the community together. Executive director of the Walnut Creek Downtown Association, Kathy Hemmenway, discussed some of the upcoming downtown events that are available for all to enjoy. 

“[The tree lighting and parade] is a great holiday tradition where community organizations participate with floats, music and bands. The ice rink will have a Zamboni rolling around with ‘Frosty the Snowman’ and the night ends with the tree lighting,” Hemmenway said.  

More is to come within the month of December, such as the December 3 “Sip, Shop and Stroll” event. “We’re going to have live entertainment … sprinkled throughout the downtown area. Vendors will be selling their arts and crafts at Waterlight Plaza and a lot of businesses and restaurants will be open for guests to grab a map to shop and dine.”

The holiday season means a lot for Walnut Creek residents, with events allowing the community to come and celebrate together. For Las Lomas freshman Nimisha Chowdhury, the downtown events are a way to bring back a sense of her previous home, which she described as constantly snowy. “I used to live in snowy places so [there is a lot of joy] in the events. I love everything from the trees to the fake snow and the dancers,” she said in an interview with The Page. 

If you are looking for more information for the downtown events, you can visit www.walnutcreekdowntown.com or visit their Instagram: @walnutcreekdowntown. 

Ice Skating

         For this 2022-2023 winter season, Downtown Walnut Creek will host its very own “Walnut Creek on Ice”. Walnut Creek on Ice is returning for the 17th year back to Civic Park for its exciting 5-week stretch. The ice skating rink will be located in Civic Park and will remain open from December 9th all the way to January 16th. Ice skating allows skating for private ice rentals, along with other private parties at any time. General Admission for skates is $20 per person for a 90-minute time period. Children under the age of 3 are free with a paid skating admission.            

While the Ice Skating rink is mainly used for beginner skaters and people just going for fun, there is a frequent pass for more serious skaters for $179 for 10 visits. 

           Walnut Creek on Ice is a great place to bring your family and friends. It is walking distance from Broadway Plaza and near many other fun attractions and locations found in Downtown Walnut Creek. Many families from all over will fill the Walnut Creek skating rink after shopping at Broadway Plaza or spending the day in Downtown Walnut Creek. Even if you are not the best skater, Walnut Creek on Ice can still be a blast as you can practice by starting on the rails. If you really want to learn how to skate or even become a better skater, the Rink offers Ice Skating lessons from experienced instructors. Along with Ice skating, Walnut Creek on Ice features Great Music, and tasty treats such as warm hot chocolate in the Snack Shack.

Hemmenway said that the ice rink is “the biggest holiday tradition in Walnut Creek and we have a couple new programs that we’re excited to provide during this winter season.”

The Walnut Creek on Ice Seasonal Event adds to the winter spirit and adds more fun things to do in Walnut Creek with friends and family.