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Davis, California

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Davis Candlelight Parade and Holiday Tree Lighting returns for 38th year

Community gathers together to celebrate holiday season

The annual Candlelight Parade and Holiday Tree Lighting, one of Davis’ oldest community traditions, returned for its 38th year on Dec. 5. The parade, which has been sponsored by the Davis Food Co-op for over two decades, started at the Co-op at 620 G St. and ended at the E Street Plaza in Downtown Davis.

The holiday tree this year was sponsored by West Coast Arborists, and the Davis High Cheer Team and the Twinkle Light Crew assisted in decorating the tree, according to a press release published on the City of Davis’ website.

Carrie Dyer, a management analyst for the City Manager’s office, said most parts of the event remained the same as in past years, but the stage for the performance was different.

“Usually, the stage was in the E Street Plaza parking lot,” Dyer said. “But it was actually in the street this year, and we closed down E Street between the second and third for the entire event.”

The holiday celebration included a variety of activities: free horse-drawn carriage rides, a downtown window decorating contest and an ugly sweater contest. Meanwhile, multiple music bands and choirs — including the Davis Children’s Choir, the Davis High School Jazz Band and the Davis High School Madrigal Singers — performed at the event.

Nancy Jacobson from Castro Valley, Calif. visited Davis for the event with her husband.

“We love Davis and the family feel here,” Jacobson said. “Our son is a Davis resident, and he is playing Santa Claus at the event.”

Jacobson described the event as fabulous and traditional.

“It just reminds me of a good old-fashioned family Christmas,” Jacobson said. “Everyone is out here having a good time. The kids are adorable, and the families are precious.”

Alex Bugni, who has lived in Davis for about 10 years, joined the downtown holiday celebration for the third time this year to see her son play in the band.

Davis High School cheer team members also sold homemade holiday treats and refreshments at the event. Proceeds from the fundraiser will support the cheer team’s future expenses.

“We have been preparing for this [fundraiser] for probably a few weeks now,” said Aly Dolcini, a sophomore at Davis High School. “Every year we do it, we try to make it better and better.”

 Dyer said the Davis City Council had put a great amount of work into this event — from parade logistics and street closures to securing all of the entertainment and decorations, as well as the installation of the holiday tree.

“There are lots of details that go into planning this event,” Dyer said. “But we really just hope that the community can come together to celebrate and enjoy it.”

Members of the Davis City Council led participants gathered around the holiday tree in a countdown. The tree was illuminated at 6:30 p.m. in the E Street Plaza. 

Written by: Rui Ding — city@theaggie.org 


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