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What: Festival of Lights
Who: Placerville Downtown Association
Where: Main Street between Bedford Avenue and Sacramento Street in Placerville
When: Friday, Nov. 23
Cost: No charge
Information: placerville-downtown.org or 530-672-3436
The place to be after Thanksgiving is Main Street in Placerville.
The holiday season gets officially turned on with the Festival of Lights on Friday, Nov. 23.
Before the sun goes down and the trees light up, the Merchants’ Open House starts with extended hours on Friday, Nov. 23 and Saturday, Nov. 24.
Many of the shops not only have wonderful gifts but shoppers can find good cheer and coffee, cider and seasonal goodies.
Festive decorations, enchanting window displays, the 12 Days of Christmas shopping program at participating merchants will even help the Grinch get into a happy mood.
Davey “Doc” Wiser and the crew continue giving shoppers the gift of a wonderful memory with rides on the Wiser Overland Express. The entertaining sojourn on Main Street starts at the Belltower and will take place in good weather on Friday, Nov. 23, from 4 to 6 pm and then Saturday, Nov. 24; Saturday, Dec. 1; Saturday, Dec. 8; Sunday, Dec. 9; Saturday, Dec. 15; Sunday, Dec. 16; Saturday, Dec. 22; and Sunday, Dec. 23 from noon to 4 p.m.
On Friday at 5:30 p.m. the welcoming ceremony starts on Main Street. Between Bedford Avenue and Sacramento Street the street will be closed to traffic to host performers in several different venues.
The performances will take place at the Courthouse, the Belltower, and other spots along the main thoroughfare.
Among the performers scheduled for this year’s festival will be the Placerville Gold Rush Chorus, the El Dorado High School Brass Band, Jammin’ Dance and Fitness, Cantare Chorale and several other local, talented groups and individuals sharing some holiday cheer.
Holiday tunes from Hammond’s Hits will also be featured on Friday and throughout the shopping season.
In addition to the entertainment, the Placerville Downtown Association is bringing back the popular Children’s Games Booth in front of 320 Main St. for the festival. Children can try their hand at bean bag toss, frisbee throwing, conk the can and more fun games with small prizes for each participant.
Also back by popular demand is the Jingle Beverages booth that will be selling hot cocoa and coffee near 447 Main St.
These booths help raise funds for the downtown association’s community events and activities presented throughout the year on Main Street.
The highlight of the festival is the lighting of the big tree on the corner of Bedford and Main streets and the trees along Highway 50. The countdown at 6 p.m. by El Dorado Rose, Sharon McDavid and her Rose Court will signal the lighting of the tree.
The lights and installation for the big tree are being donated by Western Sign Co.
The trees along the freeway are part of the El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce’s Adopt-A-Tree Program with businesses, organizations and individuals decorating trees donated by the El Dorado County Christmas Tree Growers Association.
Following the countdown, Santa Claus arrives. He will be at River City Bank, 348 Main St., from 6:15 to 7:30 p.m. to listen to wishes. Photos will be available from Robert Hall Photography for a fee, but are not required to visit Santa.
Santa knows that there are a lot of nice children in El Dorado County and he plans on being available not only on Friday but on Saturday, Dec. 1 at the Kiddlywinks Toy Store, 262 Main St. from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and at Candy Strike Emporium, 398 Main St., on Saturday, Dec. 8 and Saturday, Dec. 15 from 1 to 4 p.m.
For more details visit placerville-downtown.org or call 530-672-3436.
With Main Street closed to traffic during the event, 5 to 8 p.m., look for parking in public lots outside the street closure.
The holiday events are sponsored by the Placerville Downtown Association.