It’s holiday time, so things are getting lit in Calabasas again.
The immersive Holiday Road event, with a nearly 1-mile walking trail featuring thousands of lights and massive installations that are correctly billed as “larger than life,” is back for its third year at King Gillette Ranch. And this family-friendly, star-studded extravaganza, which has been visited by Billie Eilish, Charlize Theron, Matt Damon, Dwayne Johnson, Jamie Foxx, Miley Cyrus, Megan Fox, Hailey Bieber, Demi Lovato, Kylie Jenner and (of course) Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian among many others, is also a terrific place to eat and drink.
Popular food trucks on Holiday Road, many of which are often booked well in advance for the holidays, including Shark Tank alums Cousins Maine Lobster and Baby’s Badass Burgers. Hungry Holiday Road revelers can also grab dinner at the Vivace Pizza, Heritage LA, Salt N’ Pepper, Middle Feast, Flamin Hot Chicken and Wise Barbecue trucks. For dessert, there’s Beignet Box (cofounded by actress/singer Christina Milian) and Dreamy Creations (a two-time winner on Food Network’s Cupcake Wars).
And because Holiday Road aims to be fun for the whole family, and families include moms and dads, the bar setup is similarly impressive. Don’t be surprised if you see Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston at Holiday Road one evening. the Breaking Bad actors have their own Dos Hombres mezcal brand, which is being poured in Holiday Road’s Merry, Merry, Mezcal Paloma. Other libations that will get grown into the holiday spirit include the spiked Ho Ho Ho Cocoa, Rudolph’s Margarita and Naughty Hot Cider. There’s a 100-person VIP bar that can be reserved for private parties.
Holiday Road cofounders Ben Biscotti and Tony Schubert are veterans of the entertainment and events industry who know that food-and-beverage shouldn’t be an afterthought when you bring in big crowds for a festive gathering. Biscotti’s father (Forbes contributor Louis Biscotti) works in food-and-beverage accounting. Biscotti has family members who manage and operate hotels. So he understands the value of hospitality at both Holiday Road and also his annual Halloween-themed Nights of the Jack event at King Gillette Ranch.
“Coming from this background, the F&B and the hospitality side of these events are so important,” Biscotti says. “People think of the F&B and hospitality side as ancillary, but they’re the main focal points for us. Having quality food and beverage your family can enjoy only adds to the quality of the overall experience. So we curated a group of top-tier food trucks in LA that were booked many months in advance. They came out for us because it’s such a great experience and because of the volume of people.”
Holiday Road, which takes up about 60 acres of King Gillette Ranch, is attended by about 2,500 to 4,500 people per night. (“It’s a lot of people that come through, especially in the peak of the season, but it doesn’t ever feel overly crowded because the grounds are so expansive,” Biscotti says.) The guests often include a slew of celebrities and influencers who are taking selfies and photographing the walking trail just like the rest of the crowd.
“Being out in Calabasas was really kind of fortuitous for us because a ton of celebrities and athletes and tastemakers live between Malibu and Calabasas,” Biscotti says. “And it kind of grew organically into this destination for them. The Kardashians live a few miles away. The Rams have their training facility nearby, and a lot of players live around there. Hidden Hills is very close. We also have personal relationships with many celebrities and athletes and people who are on social media and have a lot of influence. They help move the needle. They come out, they post and tag for us. It’s really a big part of our allure out there.”
Holiday Road runs through December 30.