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Holiday Activities in State Parks 2013

To commemorate the 2013 Holiday season, California's state parks continue to uphold the tradition of creating memories for the whole family.  Check out the numerous holiday events throughout the month:

Throughout December: Hearst San Simeon State Historic Monument: While there are no specific Christmas tours at the Castle, Christmas at Hearst Castle is an event that is not to be missed. Beginning Thanksgiving weekend through the end of December, the main house and guest houses are decorated just as they might have been at Christmas time in the 1920s and 30s, creating an impressive sight and a special atmosphere that is sure to make the season bright.

The Grand Rooms Tour and the Evening Tour are excellent ways to see many of the holiday decorations during this special time of year. The Castle is open daily from 9 a.m. tickets are $25 for adults and $12 for children.  For information go to http://www.hearstcastle.org/plan-your-trip/christmas-at-the-castle/.


December 6-8: State Capitol Holiday Music Program: California State Capitol Museum: Get ready for some holiday fun on your next visit to the California State Capitol.  To set a festive stage and spread holiday cheer, beautiful vintage decorations create a lovely backdrop for a variety of diverse and amazing live holiday musical performances in the Capitol Rotunda each day. 

Visitors will enjoy live musical entertainment that includes a Salvation Army brass quintet, the Caltrans and CalPERS choir (made up of a spirited group of state workers), world and baroque music, bell-ringers, a harp circle, Broadway-style song and dance, Argentine tango, talented school choirs and many more. The performances are free and are in the first floor Capitol rotunda 10th Street between L & N Streets, Sacramento.

This special holiday experience is made possible by the State Capitol Museum and California State Parks in association with the California State Legislature Joint Rules Committee, the Governor's Office and the Department of General Services who have worked collaboratively to preserve holiday traditions inside the Capitol.  For more information about scheduled performances, call (916) 324-0333.
                                              

 12/6 (Friday)           
11:00 High Voltage (Broadway Cabaret-Style Youth)
12:00 Cosumnes River College Chamber Choir

 12/7 (Saturday)
11:00 Parker Whitney Elementary School Choir
12:00 Weimar Academy Choir
1:00 Vivance String Orchestra
2:00 Sacramento Valley Concert Choir

 12/8 (Sunday)
1:00 Girls Girls Girls (Female Banjo Band)
2:00 Symphonic Wind Ensemble
3:00 West Sacramento Community Singers

December 6: Holiday Open House: Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park:  The house will be decked out for the holidays. December 6 is an open house sponsored by Bidwell Mansion SHP, Rebecca Lodge and Chico Woman's Club. This event is free to the public. Refreshments will be offered hourly in the Bidwell Mansion SHP Visitor Center followed by a viewing of the first floor of the house and then a musical performance from one of the many local music groups. The time slots fill quickly so call to reserve your free tickets. Information about other holiday activities and events planned in December and information and reservations is available at the Visitor Center by calling 530 895-4104.

Dec. 8: 31st Annual Las Posadas Nativity Procession: Columbia State Historic Park :  This Event begins at  5 p.m. Las Posadas is a Spanish tradition that re-enacts the biblical story of Mary and Joseph's search for shelter in Bethlehem on Christmas Eve. Since 1983 the people of Columbia have put on their own version of Las Posadas each December--with a distinctive 1850s flavor. Characters in this re-enactment include Mary and Joseph and their donkey, the three Wise Men, the tax collector and innkeeper, and miners and musicians and other costumed townspeople.  Columbia's Main Street is decorated for the Christmas season, and luminaire light the way for the procession, while on-lookers hold candles and join in singing Christmas carols.  For more information, call 209-536-1672.

December 10: City Hotel Victorian Feast: Columbia State Historic Park: Thirty years running this yearly tradition held at the historic City Hotel Restaurant, includes a five-course meal and fine wines with each course, and a dinner theatre show between each course. The night begins with Christmas carols and champagne toast in the hotel parlor. Also featured in the night's play are local and guest musicians and characters from the mid 1800's time period, such as Mr. and Mrs. Morgan and Mark Twain. Formal attire is requested and period dress is the tradition. Purchase your tickets for Feast and lodging via phone at the City Hotel 209-532-1479, view the menu and invitation online at www.cityhotel.com, Tickets are $100 per person for the feast.

Additional dates: Wednesday, December 11, Thursday, December 12, Friday, December 13, Saturday, December 14, and Sunday, December 15, 2013.

December 9-15: State Capitol Holiday Music Program: California State Capitol Museum: Get ready for some holiday fun on your next visit to the California State Capitol.  To set a festive stage and spread holiday cheer, beautiful vintage decorations create a lovely backdrop for a variety of diverse and amazing live holiday musical performances in the Capitol Rotunda each day. 

Visitors will enjoy live musical entertainment that includes a Salvation Army brass quintet, the  Caltrans and CalPERS choir (made up of a spirited group of state workers) world and baroque music, bell-ringers, a harp circle, Broadway-style song and dance, Argentine tango, talented school choirs and many more. The performances are free and are in the first floor Capitol rotunda located at 10th Street between L & N Streets, Sacramento.

This special holiday experience is made possible by the State Capitol Museum and California State Parks in association with the California State Legislature Joint Rules Committee, the Governor's Office and the Department of General Services who have worked collaboratively to preserve holiday traditions inside the Capitol.  For more information about scheduled performances, call (916) 324-0333.

 12/9 (Monday)        
11:00 Sun City Singers
12:00 Resurrection Brass

 12/10 (Tuesday)     
11:00 Sheldon High School Concert Choir
12:00 Cantare Chorale

 12/11(Wednesday) 
11:00 Lodi Seventh Day Adventist Elementary Ensembles 
12:00 Davis Advanced Treble Choir

 12/12 (Thursday)
11:00 Folsom Lake Youth Chorus
12:00 Vocal Art Ensemble

 12/13 (Friday)         
12:00 Capital City Harpers

 12/14 (Saturday)
11:00 Camellia City Flute Ensemble
1:00 Catherine Cheshire and guests
2:00 Renaissance Choir of Sacramento

 12/15 (Sunday)       
1:00 Sacramento Recorder Society

December 12-15: Holiday Evening Tours: Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park: Bidwell Mansion will be conducting evening tours. Tickets can be purchased at the Bidwell Mansion Visitor Center. Wander through all three floors of the house at your leisure while hearing interesting facts about the Bidwells from our costumed staff and volunteers. Bidwell Mansion has a large number of other holiday activities and events planned in December and information and reservations is available at the Visitor Center by calling 530 895-4104.

December 13: 7th Annual Merry Merchants: Columbia State Park: The Columbia Chamber of Commerce and the Merry Merchants invite you to enjoy an evening of old fashioned Christmas charm in Columbia.  Shop in the tradition of times gone by without the hustle and hassle of malls or traffic jams.  As you stroll through the Columbia State Historic Park on this enchanted evening, listen to the sounds of -Christmas carols and songs performed by local children and stories told by storytellers.  Delight in traditional tastes such as roasted chestnuts, hot gingerbread, and more. Warm yourself from the inside out with cups of delicious hot holiday beverages.  Enjoy a free carriage ride on decorated Main Street.  Call 209-536-1672 or visit columbiacalifornia.com.

December 14-15: Santa By Daylight: Railtown 1897 State Historic Park: Santa is taking some time out of his busy schedule to make special daytime appearances in Jamestown this holiday season. Popular "Santa By Daylight" train rides also continue this year December 14 & 15. With Santa on board, a holiday-lit vintage steam Sierra No. 3 locomotive will pull the trains. Trains run hourly from 11a.m. to 3 p.m. and cost $15 for adults, $8 for youths, and free for children 5 and under (and for members).Advanced tickets are strongly recommended and are available online at www.railtown1897.org or by calling the depot store at 209-984-3953.

December 14: Christmas at the Ranch: Anderson Marsh State Historic Park: An Old-Fashioned Christmas Open House at Anderson Marsh State Historic Park with docents in period dress, music and other activities. The event is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

December 14: Holidays on the Homestead: Antelope Valley Indian Museum: Visit the Antelope Valley Indian Museum from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. for an old-time country holiday celebration. The museum, which was built as a homestead in the 1930's, will feature a chili cook-off, country craft boutique, homestead-era holiday decor, and cowboy songs and poetry from out on the range performed around a blazing bonfire. Explore the unique hand-built museum and soft, warm lighting of the whimsical historic grounds, with the wintery night sky sparkling over the desert. Traditional cowboy songs and poetry are tales of life on the range that were composed by cattlemen during their journeys across the old west, passed on at the end of their long workdays around the campfire. Cowboy performer Michael Tcherkassky will be bringing the romantic imagery of this folk pastime to life under the stars.

Participants are being sought for the chili cook-off and craft booths; contact Jean Rhyne at (661) 946-6900 or Jean.Rhyne@parks.ca.gov for an application. 

Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for ages 6-12, and ages 5 and under are free. Only cash or checks will be accepted for event admission and boutique purchases. Profits from the event will help keep the museum open. Please come out for this special holiday event, rain or shine, and support the museum.

December 14: Holiday in the Park: Old Town San Diego State Historic Park: Live action performances, caroling around the fire, music, dancing, and more. All of the State Park stores and restaurants, represented by Old Town Park Merchants Association, will be open and richly decorated. Enjoy special holiday treats, activities, and extended shopping hours.

December 14: A Simple Emigrant Christmas and Candlelight Tours: Sutter's Fort State Historic Park: To help get Fort visitors in a festive holiday spirit, Sutter's Fort State Historic Park has two interactive and fun "Hands on History" events scheduled on one very special day in December.  Throughout the day, Fort visitors will step back in time to holidays past with festive, hands-on activities such as dipping candles, making cornhusk dolls and crafting holiday ornaments as part of special "Simple Emigrant Christmas" activities.  

Friends and families are encouraged to visit the Fort to enjoy docents in period attire as they interpret and demonstrate a variety of early holiday traditions and cultural activities similar to what early emigrants did in the 1840s.  Then, when darkness falls and lends a bit of mystery to the Fort, guests will see Sutter's Fort in a new light -- by candlelight! Providing an alluring new perspective for visitors, Sutter's Fort offers evening tours by candlelight.  Guides will lead small groups of visitors into the Fort's more intimate rooms for intriguing glimpses into the private lives of those who uprooted their families for a better life in early California. 

A Simple Emigrant Christmas is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cost is $7 per adult, $5 per youth (ages 6-17), free for children 5 years and under. The Candlelight Tours are from 6:30 to 9 p.m. and the cost is $17 per person (Includes pie, coffee/cocoa and a souvenir cup at the conclusion of the tour.) To purchase Candlelight tickets please visit: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/511612. For more information please call 916-445-4422 or visit www.suttersfort.org.

December 14: Will Rogers State Historic Park: Will Roger's Parade of Lights: The Will Roger Ranch Foundation, Westside Riding School and State Parks are presenting an evening equine parade of horses decorated in holiday lights beginning at 5:30 p.m.  Special Christmas Tours of Will Roger's Ranch House will be available.  

December 14-15: Miner's Christmas: Columbia State Historic Park: Sit around a campfire drinking hot cider or coffee and join in conversations with miners as they roast chestnuts.  Children can make some favorite crafts of the 1850s and keep an eye out for Father Christmas as he wanders the streets looking for good boys and girls.  For more information, contact Columbia State Historic Park at 209-588-9128. Also on Saturday, December 21, and Sunday, December 22.

December 14-15: Christmas in Coloma: Marshal Gold Discovery State Historic Park: This is an annual craft fair where local vendors sell their homemade goods. We will have wagon rides, wreath making, kids' crafts, food vendors and Santa Claus. Each day the event goes from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Parking is $8 but admission to the event is free. For more information please call our museum at (530) 622-3470.

December 15: Special Holiday tours of the Adamson House: Malibu Lagoon State Beach: Special tours of the house decorated for the holidays with family memorabilia on display exclusively for the Holiday Tours.  There will be holiday music, refreshments, and a wrapped gift. Prepaid reservation $20 adults, $10 children 12 and under. For reservations and information email: AH.events@parks.ca.gov. Or by phone: (310) 456-8432, 7#.  The tour is also on December 22 and December 29.

December 15: Las Posadas: Old Town San Diego State Historic Park: Based on the biblical journey of Mary and Joseph, this event has been part of Old Town San Diego's celebration of Christmas for many years. Sponsored by the Park Merchants Association and others. . For more information call 619-220-5422.

December 15: Las Posadas: Old Town San Diego State Historic Park: Join carolers and other performers from dusk to 9 p.m. for fun and free s'mores. Courtesy of Fiesta de Reyes. Also December 26-30. For more information call 619-220-5422.

December 16-23: State Capitol Holiday Music Program: California State Capitol Museum: Get ready for some holiday fun on your next visit to the California State Capitol.  To set a festive stage and spread holiday cheer, beautiful vintage decorations create a lovely backdrop for a variety of live holiday musical performances in the Capitol Rotunda each day. 

Visitors will enjoy  musical entertainment that includes a Salvation Army brass quintet, the Caltrans and CalPERS choir (made up of spirited group of state workers)world and baroque music, bell-ringers, a harp circle, Broadway-style song and dance, Argentine tango, talented school choirs and many more.

The performances are free and are in the first floor Capitol rotunda located at 10th Street between L & N Streets, Sacramento. This special holiday experience is made possible by the State Capitol Museum and California State Parks in association with the California State Legislature Joint Rules Committee, the Governor's Office and the Department of General Services who have worked collaboratively to preserve holiday traditions inside the Capitol.  For more information about scheduled performances, call (916) 324-0333.

12/17 (Tuesday)
11:00 Trio Bela
12:00 Salvation Army Brass Ensemble

12/18 (Wednesday)
11:00 Sacramento Valley Chorus
12:00 John Adams Academy Vocal Ensemble

12/19(Thursday)
11:00 Sambandha
12:00 Caltrans Choir

12/20 (Friday)
11:00 TBA
12:00 Holiday in Argentina, Music and Tango

12/21(Saturday)
12:00 Sing-a-Long with State Capitol Museum Singers
1:00 River Bells

12/22 
1:00 Festival Brass

 12/23 
11:00 TBA
12:00 Anna Poganski, Vocalist, Jim Martinez, Pianist