What’s the best way to get into the holiday spirit? Just bring the whole family down to the Placerville Downtown Association’s Festival of Lights on Friday, Nov. 25. Bundle up in those winter hats, scarves and mittens for an evening of entertainment, shopping, tree lighting and good cheer.
The merchants on Main Street in Placerville are ready to open the holiday season with a night of special magic.
The big holiday welcoming ceremony starts around 5:30 p.m. on Historic Main Street.
Clear, cold and dry weather is on the wish list for this year’s festival. The event will feature a street closure between the Bedford Avenue and Sacramento Street to host performers in several different performance locations on Main Street.
That way, as you stroll along Main Street, there will be multiple chances to enjoy the entertainment and the shops.
The performances will take place at the Courthouse, the Belltower, and other locations on Main Street.
In addition to the entertainment, there will be stagecoach rides from Davey “Doc” Wiser and the Wiser Overland Stage crew. Th stagecoach rides will run from 4 to 6:30 p.m. near the Belltower.
Friday, Nov. 25, is also the first day of the Merchants Open House, where visitors can enjoy holiday goodies from the merchants and view beautifully decorated windows and roof lines.
There will be holiday specials making this a great time to buy gifts for everyone on your list. Main Street merchants are sure to have what you need and are always ready to help you find it.
Among the performers at this year’s festival will be the Placerville Gold Rush Chorus, the El Dorado High School Brass Band, Jammin’ Dance and Fitness, Cantare Chorale, Betsy Moore, Anne Marie Fielding and several other talented groups and individuals.
Adding to the holiday cheer will be seasonal music by Hammond’s Hits.
The Placerville Gold Rush Chorus will bring songs to life in the barbershop style of harmony.
The El Dorado High School Brass Band is excited about participating this year and will feature its own interpretations of traditional holiday music.
Jammin’ Dance and Fitness will be presenting several dance routines. This group has been actively performing at events in the community for many years and has choreographed a crowd pleasing routine to delight festival goers of all ages. The troupe ranges in age from 5 years old to adults.
In addition to the entertainment, the Placerville Downtown Association is bringing back the popular Children’s Games Booth in front of annieberrie, 320 Main St., during the festival.
Children can try their hand at bean bag tossing, frisbee throwing, conk the can and other 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 Tony Matthews, 447 Main St. Proceeds from the beverage booth help raise funds to support the many great, community events and activities that the Placerville Downtown Association puts on throughout the year on Historic Main Street.
The shining moment of the evening is the lighting of the big tree on the corner of Bedford Avenue and Main Street.
The countdown starts 6 p.m. and will be led by El Dorado Rose, Mary Ann Harper and her court, along with a local family selected at random to help with the countdown.
Following the illumination, expect a visit from Santa Claus. He will set up his headquarters in River City Bank, 348 Main St., from 6:15 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday. Photographs will be available from Robert Hall Photography for a fee, but are not required to visit with Santa.
The Placerville Downtown Association has planned a wonderful night of free activities and invites everyone to come to town for this annual event.
With the street closure from 5 to 8 p.m. look for parking in public lots outside of Bedford Avenue and Sacramento Street. The Center Street Parking Garage will be available, but usually fills up fast during this big, community event.
For more information visit placerville-downtown.org or call 530-672-3436.