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Davis, California

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Warm up for winter with Downtown Davis holiday festivities


Ugly sweater contest, live music, movie specials, carriage rides, to celebrate the arrival of the holiday season.

On Thursday, Dec. 3, Davis will welcome the holiday season by hosting the 34th Annual Downtown Davis Holiday Celebration, which consists of the Holiday Tree Lighting, the Children’s Candlelight Parade and sponsored events throughout downtown.

Numerous downtown businesses and organizations will be hosting small events for residents to celebrate the holiday with festivities. Parking will be available at the free public parking structure on 4th and G St., behind the Regal Davis Cinema Stadium 5 Theater.

“A lot of the event is sponsored by local businesses and the city of Davis coordinates everything. We bring together businesses, local organizations and volunteers to pull this off,” said Bob Bowen, Public Relations Manager for the City of Davis.

Holiday parade participants will line up at the Davis Food Co-op at 620 G St. and will take off at 6 p.m. The Co-op, which has sponsored the parade for more than two decades, will also be providing free candles to children participating in the event.

With the season of giving upon us, the Davis Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a Toys for Tots drop-off station and handing out hot chocolate at their office at 604 3rd St. during the parade.

The Davis Children’s Chorale will perform on the E St. Plaza stage at 6 p.m., followed by the Davis High School (DHS) Jazz Choir. The stage will be sponsored by Watermelon Music and the City of Davis.

At 6:30 p.m., the parade will come to its end at E St. Plaza, where Davis City Council members will traditionally count down to lighting up the holiday tree. People will be able to dispose of their candles in red recycling containers, specifically provided for this reason, at the end of the parade.

According to Bowen, the 25-foot tree is provided by the West Coast Arborists and is decorated by the Twinkle Light Crew, a volunteer organization dedicated to keeping Downtown Davis bright year-round, and by the DHS Cheer teams who are also in charge of taking down the decorations in January.

In exchange for putting up decorations, members of the DHS Cheer Team are allowed to fundraise for their team’s expenses during the event at E St. Plaza by selling snacks and refreshments at the concession booth sponsored by Whole Foods Market.

After the tree lighting, the DHS Madrigal Choir will perform on the main stage of E St. Plaza and Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus will greet visitors at the E Street Salon at 212 E St., where visitors will be welcomed until 8:15 p.m.

Santa’s location is sponsored by Leslie Johnston, owner of the E Street Salon, and A Grand Affair Party & Event Rentals.

In addition to the event at E St. Plaza, the Varsity Theater at 616 2nd St. will be offering free screenings of the classic, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

“Our theater seats 267 people and it usually gets pretty packed,” said Caitlin Andrews, shift leader at the Varsity Theater.

The Grinch TV cartoon specials last about half an hour each. Showings will begin at 6 p.m., 6:40 p.m., and 7:20 p.m. and Grace Valley Carolers will perform outside the theater from 6:45 to 8 p.m.

According to Megan McKay, Varsity Theater’s Assistant Manager, this has been a tradition for years.

“[The free screenings] have been around since 2006, possibly longer,” McKay said.

Davis Downtown will also sponsor a free photo booth from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. At the photo booth, people will also be able to participate in Davis Downtown’s Ugly Sweater Contest. Winners will be awarded Davis Downtown gift cards worth $150 for “Most Creative,” “Funniest” and “Ugliest” sweaters. The photo booth will be located at the corner of 2nd and E St. next to the Hunt Boyer mansion.

John Brinley Properties will sponsor free horse-drawn carriage rides departing every 10 minutes  from the front of Armadillo Music at 207 F St.

The Holiday Tree Lighting event marks the beginning of the holiday celebrations, but Downtown Davis will continue to share the holiday spirit throughout the rest of the season.

Written By: Carla Arango – City@theaggie.org


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