Holiday Events in Stanislaus County
BY SARAH KAY HANNON
Holiday season is in full swing! Along with the cozier weather comes a fresh list of family-friendly festivities throughout all of Stanislaus County. The county is jam-packed all season long with wonderful holiday events, so mark your calendars and enjoy the festivities this season.
Modesto on Ice
This seasonal ice rink opens Nov. 17, with tickets going on sale starting Nov. 1, and stays open into the new year. This timeless, classic winter activity is the perfect opportunity for Central Valley families to get a taste of a winter wonderland.
NOVEMBER 17 – JANUARY 31
$15 Kids (Ages 3-12), $12 Adults (Ages 13 & Up ) – Includes Skate Rental
Downtown Modesto, 1131 I St.
Breakfast with Santa
November is just the beginning to an even busier December. And December means Santa is coming to town. Share a pancake breakfast with ol’ St. Nick at the Senior Citizens Center, and let him know what is on your list!
8 – 11:30 a.m.
Senior Citizens Center, 211 Bodem St., Modesto
Dickens Faire Festival
A holiday staple for Modesto, the Dickens Faire Festival is held at The McHenry Mansion, which boasts an exemplary ambiance for the era depicted. Strolling carolers, carriage rides, street vendors and children’s activities are just a handful of the many activities available.
8 a.m. – 3 p.m
McHenry Mansion, 906 15th St., Modesto
Celebration of Lights Parade
Come marvel at incredible light-covered parade entries as the sights and sounds of the holiday season converge in Modesto, kicking off this annual holiday tradition.
5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Festival of Lights
One of the biggest holiday celebrations for Turlock, this year will mark the city’s 19th Annual Festival of Lights, which includes a parade, tree lighting, and street faire.
Operation Blue Santa
Also known as “Santa Cop,” Operation Blue Santa sets this jolly season apart from others by assisting those in need through generous donations, and also helps to keep kids safe. But, Santa Cop isn’t the only other profession Santa holds in Turlock. Back in his red suit, he also volunteers with the Turlock fire department, riding around on a fire engine through various neighborhoods during a good portion of December. Why? He simply wants to spread his good cheer and jolly hellos, of course!
To refer a family, sponsor a family, or to find out where “Santa Cop” will be making appearances this year, please contact:
Christmas Tree Lane
Dubbed the region’s largest nightly neighborhood display of lights and decorations, Christmas Tree Lane is a spectacular event which includes trolly and carriage rides, live entertainment, an appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus, and a parade to follow.
Open through rest of season: 5:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Moffett Road at Smyrna Park
For those of you who live a bit further east in the county and do not feel like traveling far, Oakdale hosts a delightful holiday affair— the Oakdale Old-Fashioned Downtown Christmas. The event will be celebrating its 10th year this year. Amongst all the merriment will be unique and local vendors, holiday carolers, and the opportunity to get a photo taken with Santa. Wagon rides are also available for $1/person or one canned food donation item.
4 – 9:30 p.m.
N. 3rd Ave, Oakdale
This year will mark the 26th Annual Cowboy Christmas hosted by the Oakdale Cowboy Museum. Featuring over 40 exhibitor booths, you are bound to find all things western! Plus, Cowboy Santa will be riding in on horseback on
Saturday around 11 a.m.
NOVEMBER 23 & 24
Nov. 23: 5 – 8 p.m.
Nov. 24: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
110 S. 2nd Ave, Oakdale
Christmas Parade and Craft Fair
2018 will go down in the books as Riverbank’s 50th Annual Parade and Craft Fair! This occasion will be comprised of local craft vendors and a holiday parade, directly followed by parade awards and a tree lighting.
12 – 8:30 p.m.
Plaza Del Rio
Other holiday events in the county include the Escalon Christmas on Main, Denair Christmas tree lighting, Hughson Christmas Festival, Waterford Holiday Parade, Nativity Festival in Modesto and Modesto’s Miracle on Tenth Street amongst much more! So, no matter how the festive holiday season is celebrated, our wonderful county events are bound to bring cheerful smiles to faces of all ages.