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Downtown Davis Holiday Celebration

38th annual Candlelight Parade and Holiday Tree Lighting will take place on Thursday, December 5, 2019

  • Date: December 05, 2019 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm  

The annual Candlelight Parade and Holiday Tree Lighting will take place on Thursday, December 5, 2019 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 historic fire engine. Walkers, strollers, wagons and decorated bicycles are welcome and festive holiday lights are encouraged.

It is recommended that participating families 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 in downtown Davis. 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 the Davis High School Cheer Team and the volunteer downtown Twinkle Light Crew.

Entertainment: The Davis Children’s Choir, The Davis High School Jazz Band, The Davis High School Madrigal Singers, Mariachi Del Valle, Davis Musical Theatre Company Young Performers Theatre and the Watermelon Music Jazz Cats Band directed by Celia Cottle and Tom Peron.

Santa: Beginning at 6:40 p.m. Santa and Mrs. Claus will greet visitors at the E Street Salon at 212 E Street. The Claus’ 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.

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 Development as well as four Davis city employee associations: Program, Administrative and Support Employees Association (PASEA), Davis City Employees Association (DCEA), Davis Police Officers Association (DPOA) and the Davis Firefighters Local 3494.

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. Proceeds from the fundraiser will support the DHS Cheer Team’s ongoing expenses.

Downtown Windows: Davis Downtown is holding their 8th annual Window Decorating Contest beginning in late November. The public is encouraged to vote for their favorite downtown store window. The list of participating businesses and information about online voting is available at downtown Davis stores and also online at

Photos: Capture that perfect Holiday picture. Free holiday photos with props in a retro VW van will be available next to Armadillo Music at 205 F Street and near the carriage rides from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. The Tahoe Photo Bus Booth is sponsored by Davis Downtown.

Ugly Sweater Contest: Get some mileage out of that embarrassing sweater that has been hiding in your closet for years. The Ugly Sweater Contest will take place on the entertainment stage near the E Street Plaza at 6:40 p.m. Prizes provided by Davis Downtown. For more information, visit:

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. 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.

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.

Download a copy of the Event Flyer (PDF).

For more information about the Candlelight Parade & Tree Lighting event, please contact the City of Davis City Manager’s Office at 530-757-5602 or

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