There are at least nine holiday parades and processions scheduled in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties beginning Black Friday, and chances for wet weather are forecast to coincide with the first events in Sonora and White Pines.
Nov. 23 : Sonora
The 35th annual Historic Downtown Sonora Christmas Parade is scheduled from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday with a route planned from the Red Church down Washington Street to Grocery Outlet.
The parade lineup this year totals 61 entries, several more than last year, according to organizers with the City of Sonora. There will be two groups on horseback, an unannounced grand marshal, and the worship rock band Emberstate presented by Sound Extreme.
Washington Street and numerous side streets are expected to be shut down for the parade by 5:30 p.m., according to organizers with Sonora Police Explorer Post No. 364.
People who want to attend the parade, and other people who will be trying to park downtown or get through downtown Sonora, will need to plan ahead due road closures on Washington Street, also known as Highway 49; at South Washington Street and Hospital Road near Highway 108; on Restano Way; at Stockton Street, also known as Highway 49, and Green Street, and at Snell Street at Bonanza Street. Those closures are scheduled at 5:30 p.m.
School Street between Washington Street and Snell Street will be closed at 3:30 p.m. Parking restrictions are expected to begin at 4 p.m. on multiple streets on and near the parade route.
According to Sonora Police, parking violators will have their vehicles towed. People who want to watch the parade are urged to arrive downtown before 5 p.m. People with questions about street closures and temporary no parking zones can call Sonora Police at (209) 532-8141.
Tuolumne County Transit will be on a special schedule with added pick-up locations for parade spectators. A primary pick-up spot will be in The Junction shopping center between Mono Way and Tuolumne Road. For more information about public transportation before and after the parade, call (209) 532-0404.
Nov. 23 : White Pines
Also on Black Friday evening, the fourth annual Christmas in White Pines Parade of Lights is scheduled from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Blagen Road in White Pines near Arnold.
Organizers say Santa and Mrs. Claus will be in the Linebaugh Gazebo for photos, with youngsters giving out candy canes.
The Carlin family and Arnold Auto plan to serve free popcorn, and the Ladies of the Moose will sell hot chocolate and coffee. The event is timed to begin after the Avery Christmas Tree Lighting.
As of Monday this week, forecasters say there are chances of rain showers in Sonora, White Pines and Angels Camp on Wednesday and Thanksgiving, as well as Black Friday and Saturday Nov. 24.
Nov. 24: Angels Camp
The 28th annual Angels Camp Parade of Lights and the Downtown Angels Holiday Open House event are both scheduled for Saturday.
The Parade of Lights is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. Angels Camp residents Joan and George Loomis, known for their foster parenting and volunteer efforts, will be grand marshals.
The Loomises have advocated for children since they opened Calaveras County’s emergency foster home in 1983, said Dwayne Garcia, president of the Angels Camp Business Association.
The association hosts the parade and the annual Downtown Angels Holiday Open House event.
Dec. 1: Valley Springs
The 2018 Valley Springs 36th annual Downtown Christmas Parade, hosted by Valley Springs Area Business Association, is scheduled to begin on Daphne Street at 10 a.m. Dec. 1.
Organizers say the parade is expected to begin promptly at 10 a.m. The baseball field/clay pits parking lot will be used for animal staging. Spectators and participants are advised to arrive early to find parking.
Free youth participation ribbons can be collected that morning at the Judges Stand at Daphne Street and Cedar Street. Organizers say Santa is expected to make a special trip from the North Pole for the Valley Springs Downtown Christmas Parade.
“So no other Santas please!” organizers said.
The parade will proceed down Daphne, turn right at the Veterans Hall, then right at Sequoia Avenue, where it will disband. Parade applications must be returned no later than Friday.
Dec. 7: Murphys
The Murphys Lighted Parade and Holiday Open House, also known as the kick-off for the Holiday Festival of Wines, is scheduled from 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 7, the first Friday in December.
Organizers say there will be street carolers, blazing fire pits, and roasted chestnuts and other treats, and Main Street shops and wine tasting rooms will stay open late. Admission is free, and streets will be closed to celebrate the season.
Santa is expected to arrive with the parade and light the Christmas Tree on his way to the Native Sons Hall for photos with the kids.
Dec. 7: Twain Harte
The Twain Harte Christmas Parade, also known as the Twain Harte Winter Wonderland Parade, hosted by the Twain Harte Chamber of Commerce, is scheduled from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Dec. 7.
Applications are being accepted for people to take part in the Twain Harte Christmas Parade. Parade organizers expect to have people on tricycles and on tractor trailers. There will be marching bands, small dogs, big dogs, horses, cowboys and cowgirls. Organizers say, “Everyone is welcome but there is only one Santa Claus!! Santa does it on his own this evening.”
There will be carolers and the Christmas Carol Sing-a-Long is expected to begin under the Twain Harte Arch on Joaquin Gully Road at 5:30 p.m. The town tree will be lit, and the parade will start at 6 p.m. with Santa’s arrival concluding the parade. The parade route is expected to include Fuller Road and Meadow Lane.
Residents and visitors are urged to come out early. Parking will be available at Twain Harte School on Manzanita Drive. Santa will stay long enough to visit with all children in town and pose for photos at Twain Harte CSD Fire Station, 18781 Cedar Drive.
Anyone who wants to be in the parade can contact All That Matters at (209) 586-1976 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Dec. 8: Tuolumne
The Tuolumne Park and Recreation District Christmas Parade & Craft Fair will be held Dec. 7 and 8 in downtown Tuolumne.
The parade is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. Dec. 8. Craft Fair hours are 4 to 8 p.m. Dec. 7 and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 8.
Organizers say vendor booth costs will be $10 per day for each 10-by-10-foot space available. Call (209) 928-1214 for more information.
Dec. 9: Columbia
The Columbia All-Equestrian Christmas Parade, sponsored by the Mid Valley Unit, Backcountry Horsemen of California, is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Dec. 9, the second Sunday in December, in Columbia State Historic Park.
Everyone is urged to bring an unwrapped toy for a gift drive to benefit ATCAA's Housing Families Program.
The equestrian parade is open to all ages of equine riders and drivers. The parade chairwoman is Jody Rumsey, who can be reached at (209) 532-2680 or email@example.com . The parade organizer is Doug Dollarhide, who can be reached at (209) 838-7630 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Later that same day in old Columbia, the 36th annual Las Posadas Nativity Procession is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. Organizers at Columbia State Historic Park say Las Posadas means “The Inns” in Spanish, and it is the name of a religious festival celebrated in towns and cities across Mexico. The procession is intended to re-enact the Biblical story of Mary and Joseph’s search for shelter in Bethlehem on Christmas Eve.
Other December happenings at Columbia State Historic Park include Victorian Feast and Miner’s Christmas events. For a schedule visit http://friendsofcolumbiashp.com/events.html online.
People at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park in Jamestown will offer hour-long Polar Express train rides to the North Pole with hot chocolate, cookies and Santa from Nov. 23 to Dec. 16 with coach seating $50 per person and first class seating $70 per person. Children younger than 2 are free, and each toddler who rides free must be seated on an adult’s lap.
The Polar Express schedule includes train rides on Friday Nov. 23 and Saturday Nov. 24, then each Friday, Saturday and Sunday from Nov. 30 to Dec. 16.
For more information, call (209) 984-3407, or email email@example.com .
Contact Guy McCarthy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 588-4585. Follow him on Twitter at @GuyMcCarthy.
This story has been edited to correct the date of the Tuolumne parade and times of the craft fair.