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Cambria Christmas Market to be open only to inn and restaurant guests

cambria christmas market 2018.jpg
Posted at 6:22 PM, Nov 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-10 20:41:04-05

The Cambria Christmas Market opens in a little more than two weeks but we're learning about some new changes for those who want to attend.

The popular holiday event runs from November 26 to December 23.

Similar to last year, this year, the event is only open to hotel and restaurant guests at the Cambria Pines Lodge and their two other inns.

The Cambria Christmas Market is a big draw to the North Coast year after year.

It features 2 million twinkling Christmas lights.

Last year's event was reimagined with a one-way path and spaced-out groups.

"It's nice that we're able to enjoy it safely," said an attendee in 2020.

In July, market organizers began promoting the return of the market for this holiday season with tickets already on sale and the possibility they'd also be available at the door.

Now with a couple of weeks to go until opening night, according to their website, tickets are sold out.

It says you can still attend by making dinner reservations at Cambria Pines Lodge or by booking a hotel stay at the lodge, the Sea Otter Inn, or the J. Patrick House Inn.

The market needs permitting from the county to allow members of the general public to attend.

It was tentatively approved by the Planning Commission in October but that decision was appealed and the event permit halted until the Board of Supervisors can take action. County officials say that due to scheduling timelines, that won't happen in time for this year's market.

In a Facebook post, organizers said, "All guests who have purchased Eventbrite tickets have been converted to restaurant reservations."

Meanwhile, local attorney Russell Read of Cambria says he's one of three people that filed appeals against the county planning commission's decision to allow the market to operate.

"We live in a natural resource area that is protected by the coastal zone and it's got a lot of limitations when you look at the coastal zone ordinance in terms of illumination, noise, time, traffic, you name it, and the Christmas Market is simply in violation of the coastal zone act," Read said.

He also started a petition to stop the market due to the influx of visitors amid the community's Stage 4 Water Emergency and the ongoing pandemic.

"As well as being, at this point, a super spreader event for COVID. COVID has not been eliminated and with a throng of people all pressed together, you have a very serious COVID situation," Read said.

Gates open at 5 p.m. and close at 8:30 p.m. each night of the market.

KSBY News reached out to Cambria Pines Lodge for an interview but our request was denied.