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Downtown Davis Holiday Celebration

35th Annual Downtown Davis Tree Lighting and Holiday Opening Begins at 6:00 p.m.

  • Date: December 01, 2016 6:00 pm  

The 35th annual downtown Davis tree lighting and holiday opening will take place on Thursday, December 1, 2016 beginning at 6:00 p.m. The community is invited to take part in one of Davis' oldest community traditions which includes the children's candlelight parade, the holiday tree lighting in the E Street Plaza, Santa and Mrs. Claus greeting guests, performances by local musical groups, horse-drawn carriage rides and free showings of "The Grinch" at the historic Varsity Theatre.

Parade: The annual Children's Candlelight Parade has been sponsored by the Davis Food Co-op for over two decades. Parade participants will begin lining up at 5:30 p.m. at the Co-op at 620 G Street and the parade steps off at 6:00 p.m. following a Unitrans double decker bus and a fire truck. Walkers, strollers, wagons and bicycles are welcome and festive holiday lighting on parade entries is encouraged.

It is recommended that families who drive to participate park in the free public parking structure behind the Signature Stadium 5 Theatres at 4th and G streets. No parade parking is available in the Food Co-op parking lot on G Street.

Free candles with safety drip cups will be provided to children participating in the holiday parade courtesy of the Davis Food Co-op. Voluntary donations to the Wallace & Vannucci Women & Children's Shelter will be gratefully accepted at the Food Co-op prior to the parade.

The parade will end at the E Street Plaza where the holiday tree is traditionally located in downtown Davis.  Special red recycling containers for the candles will be available at the end of the parade.

The holiday tree will be illuminated at 6:30 p.m. in E Street Plaza by members of the Davis City Council. The tree this year is sponsored by West Coast Arborists with additional decorating support from DHS Cheer teams and the volunteer downtown Twinkle Light Crew (TLC).

Entertainment: The Davis Children’s Chorale under the direction of Tania Mannion will perform on the E Street Plaza stage at 6:00 p.m.  The Davis High School Jazz Choir will perform immediately prior to the tree lighting. The Davis High School Madrigal Choir will perform onstage after the tree lighting. Other performers will include: UC Davis Aggie Marching Band-uh, “Poprocks” Dance Team, DMTC Young Performers Theatre and “Jazzamatazz” Jazz Band.  The main stage at the E Street Plaza is sponsored by Watermelon Music and the City of Davis.

Santa: Beginning at 6:40 p.m. Santa and Mrs. Claus will greet visitors at the E Street Salon at 212 E Street located next to the entertainment stage.  They will receive visitors until 8:15 p.m. Santa’s location is sponsored by Leslie Johnston, the E Street Salon and A Grand Affair Party & Event Rentals. Other holiday costumed characters will entertain downtown visitors during the evening.

Movie: Free screenings of the classic "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" television broadcast and video will be shown at 6:00 p.m., 6:40 p.m. and 7:20 p.m. at the Varsity Theatre, 616 2nd Street. The Grace Valley Carolers will perform outside the Varsity Theatre from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.  The movie is sponsored in part by the Varsity Theatre and Downtown Davis.

Carriage Rides: Free horse-drawn carriage rides will depart every 10 minutes from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. from the curb in front of Armadillo Music at 207 F Street. The carriage rides are sponsored by Browman Development.

Refreshments: Davis High School Cheer Team members will be assisting with the downtown event and also selling holiday treats and refreshments during the event.  The concession booth will be located on the E Street Plaza and it is sponsored in part by Whole Foods Davis. Proceeds from the fundraiser will support the DHS Cheer Team’s ongoing expenses.

Toys for Tots: The Davis Chamber of Commerce will host a “Toys for Tots” drop-off in their 604 Third Street office (on the corner of Third and E Streets) during the Candlelight Parade on December 1st. All new, unwrapped toys and funds donated will help the U.S. Marines Toys for Tots Foundation provide toys for children who would go without a gift on Christmas morning. A uniformed member of the Marines is scheduled to assist with the toy drop-off and Chamber staff will be providing candy canes to good boys and girls of all ages.  The Chamber will be collecting toy donations until December 16.

Holiday Songs with 'Shakespeare Claus': The Hallmark Inn at 110 F Street (F Street at First Street) will host a holiday event at 110 F Street featuring a Shakespearean Santa Claus. The special event will feature live music, costumed characters from the Davis Shakespeare Ensemble, cider, and cookies for kids and wine tasting for adults from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. The event supports the performances and programs of the Davis Shakespeare Ensemble.

Downtown Windows:  Davis Downtown is holding their 5th annual Window Decorating Contest starting November 25, 2016. The public is encouraged to vote for their favorite downtown store windows.  The list of participating merchants and information about online voting is available at downtown Davis stores and also at

More Music: A free-for-all-ages "Thursday Live Holiday Music Show" will begin at 7:30 p.m. (the doors open at 7:00 p.m.) at the Odd Fellows Hall, 415 Second Street. Donations for artists will be gratefully accepted and donations will help send local children to Davis summer programs. The evening will include a variety of local groups performing their holiday music selections and a special appearance by Santa Claus.  This year’s line-up includes: Me & Him, According to Bazooka, Claudia Russell, and The Cups.

This concert is supported by The Davis Odd Fellows Music & Concert Committee and KDRT Radio.  For event information find the Davis Odd Fellows on Facebook or on the web at

For more information about the Davis Downtown Holiday Opening & Tree Lighting event, contact the City of Davis City Manager’s Office at 530-757-5602.

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