It's the most wonderful time of the year and the Central Coast community has several options to choose from for holiday festivities this weekend.
Starting in Santa Barbara County, here is a list of *some holiday events happening:
- City of Lompoc Children’s Christmas Parade on Friday, December 2 at 6 p.m. This year's theme is “Holiday Nights, Lights & Sights.”
The parade will begin at Pine Avenue and H street, then will head south on H Street.
After the parade, participants and spectators are welcome to meet at Centennial Park, at the corner of Cypress and H Street, where parade winners will be announced.
The lighting of the community Christmas tree at Centennial Square will take place after the parade, and there will be free hot cocoa and cookies.
- Goleta's Old Town Holiday Parade Saturday, December 3 at 6 p.m. is *rescheduled*. Due to potential rain, the parade will now take place on Dec. 10 at 6 p.m. The parade will travel from Hollister Ave from Orange to Kinman. The parade will feature local schools, nonprofits, youth sports teams, friends, families, and other organizations. The final decision on if the parade will take place will be made at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
- Solvang Julefest parade runs until January 6 but on Friday, December 2 the community is invited to Solvang's annual Tree Lighting Friday night. The lighting will take place at Solvang Park (First Street and Mission Drive), in the heart of Downtown Solvang. The parade will take place downtown on Saturday, December 3 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. These events in Solvang will take place rain or shine.
- A Cowboy Christmas takes place on Friday, December 2 through Sunday, December 4 in Buellton from noon to 8 p.m.
This is an immersion of holiday magic for all ages hosted at the stables of SYV Horse & Pony Rides at River View Park.
Guests of all ages will enjoy an array of magical experiences that include Christmas hayrides, Santa meet-and-greets, holiday animal experiences, carnival games, an obstacle course, a food truck, drinks and more.
- Buellton's annual Winter Fest is on Sunday, December 4. Start the day at "Breakfast with Santa" in the Buellton Rec Center from 9 to 11 a.m., followed by a neighborhood parade. The parade starts at Jonata Middle School around noon and goes up Second St. around Oak Valley and back to Jonata. The afternoon brings the Holiday Village at Village Park located behind Tractor Supply. (20 tons of snow, vendors, music and live performances, beer/wine/spirits.) This runs from 4 to 7 p.m. with the tree lighting at 7 p.m.
- Santa Ynez Valley Botanic Garden's Enchanted Garden Holiday Lights Festivalkicks off Friday, December 2 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Satna Ynez Valley Botanic Garden at River View Park in Buellton. Tickets are $25 for adults, $10 for children 12 and under, and children two and under are free.
- Nativity scene drive-through at Solvang's Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is available for the public to view from 6 p.m. until 7 a.m. at 2627 Janin Way.
- Santa Maria Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Friday, December 2 at the City Hall Courtyard, located on the corner of Cook Street and Broadway (Highway 135). The free festivities begin at 4:30 p.m. and include refreshments, festive crafts for youth, holiday caroling by the Coastal Voices Choir, pictures with Santa, and the grand illumination of the 24-foot Christmas tree. Join Santa, honored guests, and families from the Elks Recreation Golden Circle of Champions to welcome in the holiday season.
- Santa Maria’s Parade of Lights on Saturday, December 3 from 5:20 to 8 p.m. on the corner of Broadway Street and Stowell Road. Parade officials and organizers will decide on the day if the rain is a reason to cancel. The Festival of Lights will be a drive-thru event along the paths and roadways of the fairgrounds. The Jingle Mingle Holiday Market is a craft fair showcasing local artists and crafters.
- C.A.R.E.4Paws Howliday Donation Drive-Thru on Saturday, December 3 in Santa Barbara at Earl Warren Showgrounds from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The event raises resources for pet families in need to keep pets safe, healthy and homebound. Supporters can drive through and drop off dry or canned dog or cat food and monetary donations with the C.A.R.E.4Paws team to support the organization’s intervention services.
- Santa Barbara's Christmas Tree Lighting & Block Party is on Friday, December 2 from 5 to 8 p.m. on 1300 State Street. Enjoy live entertainment, holiday festivities, photos with Santa Claus, and the joyous lighting ceremony of the State Street Christmas tree by the Holiday Prince & Fairy.
Moving on to San Luis Obispo County, here is a list of *some holiday events happening:
- Paso Robles Christmas Light Parade on Saturday, December 3 from 7 to 8 p.m. in the downtown area. This event will happen rain or shine.
- Morro Bay Lighted Boat Parade is *rescheduled*. It was originally scheduled for Saturday, December 3, but will now take place on *Saturday, December 10 at 6:30 p.m.
- Morro Bay's Rotary Santa's House once again be welcoming families at the giant chess board on the Embarcadero.
That will take place on Friday the second and Saturday the third from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. and Sunday the fourth from noon to 3 p.m.
- Atascadero’s “Light Up the Downtown”Holiday Celebration takes place on Friday, December 2 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in the downtown Sunken Gardens.
Enjoy an Art, Wine & Brew Tour, and gather at 6 p.m. for the lighting of City Hall. Soon after the lights come on, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be arriving via an antique Model-A fire truck to the tune of “Here Comes Santa Claus” performed by the Atascadero Fine Arts Academy. There will be lots of complimentary hot chocolate while supplies last. The Glow, Shine & Sparkle Reverse Parade at Atascadero High School is canceled.
- The 46th annual Downtown San Luis Obispo Holiday Parade takes place on Friday, December 2 from 7 to 9 p.m. This event will happen rain or shine.
This holiday tradition will feature over 80 decorated floats, marching bands, vehicles, dancers, and more, representing all kinds of organizations.
The three parade categories are: Most Entertaining, Most Creative, and Best in Theme.
- Christmas decorating & Cal Poly caroling on Saturday, December 3, from 6 to 6:30 p.m. at Saint Andrew Greek Orthodox Church in San Luis Obispo located at 232 E. Foothill Blvd.
This is a free event and is open to the public. There is free parking. Homemade Christmas cookies and hot cocoa will be served.
- Cal Poly’s annual poinsettia sale kicks off on Saturday, December 3 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Poly Plant Shop. The plant shop is located on campus off of Via Carta Road.
Prices range from $10 to $100.
- 13th Annual Celebration of Trees Fundraiser on Saturday, December 3, from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Elks Lodge #322, in San Luis Obispo.
The fundraiser will include a live auction, silent auction, Christmas tree/holiday vignette raffles, and an opportunity drawing for a $500 VISA Card.
Tickets for the event are $85 per person and include a plated dinner prepared by The Elks Lodge.
This fundraiser is hosted by Altrusa International, Inc. a non-profit service organization. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- San Luis Obispo's Holiday Pet Parade on Sunday, December 4 at 4 p.m. Tickets are not required for the pet parade. Leashed and friendly dogs are welcome to walk in the parade from El Chorro Dog Park to SLO Botanical Garden. This event will happen rain or shine.
- Grover Beach's 55th Annual South County Holiday Parade & Santa’s Workshop is on Saturday, December 3 at 10 a.m. Santa's Workshop will immediately follow the parade at Ramona Garden Park. A determination regarding cancellation will be made by 8:30 a.m. on parade day.
The parade will begin at the corner of 16th Street and Grand Avenue and then proceed west to 9th Street. It will turn north on 9th Street and disband on Ramona Avenue at the Ramona Garden Park where Santa’s Workshop will be happening from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., concluding with the Holiday Tree Lighting. Come and enjoy homemade crafts, food, and fun for the entire family with entertainment. Santa will be on hand with treats and will be available for photos.
- Arroyo Grande's 2022 Holiday Parade on Sunday, December 4 at 5 p.m. New to the event this year will be the Jingle Bell Dash for youth, ages preschool through 6th grade, which will begin at 4 p.m. on Branch Street near 114 West Branch Street.
- Olde Towne Nipomo Family Christmas event Sunday, December 4 from 2 to 8 p.m. at 110 North Thompson Road.
The event will have a parade starting at 5:30 p.m., live music beginning at 2 p.m., a tree-lighting ceremony at 6:15 p.m. and a sing-along. In Candyland Village, families can visit Santa and Mrs. Claus, a Santa’s Workshop (Arts & Crafts), Christmas-themed bounce houses, evening snowfall events and more. The Christmas Marketplace features dozens of vendors offering a variety of homemade crafts, Christmas gift items, and an array of food fare. The Christmas Marketplace is a featured area in the Olde Towne Nipomo Family Christmas festival and kicks off at 2 p.m.
- The Tree Lighting Pismo Beach Ceremony is on Friday, December 2 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. with the tree lighting beginning around 6 p.m. Kids will have fun with fresh snow, and there is live music, crafts and cookie decorating. Participants can enjoy hot drinks and listen to carols as the tree is lit.
There will be some road closures for the holiday parade events. For information on that, click here: Several road closures are planned for local Christmas holiday parades (ksby.com) or you may visit the individual parade's websites.