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Holiday spirit heats up

Thousands expected for Historic Folsom Tree Lighting Friday
By: Bill Sullivan, Associate Publisher
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Thousands are expected to visit Folsom’s Historic District this Friday night, Nov. 30, for what is bannered to be one of the most spectacular tree lightings to be presented in the heart of Folsom. It’s the official kick off for Christmas in Historic Folsom, and it’s a must see event, according to local organizers and merchants.

“This will undoubtedly be the best one we have ever had,” said Folsom Historic District Association Executive Director Judy Collinsworth. “New features are continuing to be added every day as we get closer and all I can really say is it is sure to be amazing this year.”

Throughout the years, the Historic Folsom Tree Lighting event has continued to grow in size and popularity. With the inception of the ice rink to the community several years ago, the two events have come to go hand-in-hand together quite well. 

It is expected that more than 5,000 people will attend Friday’s affair, one of three big events in the Historic District this weekend. On Saturday, the weekly farmer’s market returns to the plaza. Saturday, thousands are expected for the annual Christmas Craft Fair. With all of the new faces expected in the area over the three-day period, merchants who remain open with extended hours will reap the benefits.

“This is one of our busiest times of the year overall,” said Jim Snook, of Snook’s Chocolate Factory. “But this weekend is always one of our busiest. We’re looking forward to it.”

Friday’s event will begin at 6 p.m. and conclude at 9 p.m. The tree lighting ceremony will take place at 7:30 p.m. as city dignitaries will take part in the countdown to illuminate the 37-foot White Fir tree in the center of the ice rink. The tree was provided by Jerry Bernau, of Bernau Development, and Jim and Michelle Piazza, of Smarts Tree Farm in Camino. It was decorated by Tom Lewis, of the FHDA, in partnership with Folsom’s Home Depot, and volunteers to assist with the task.

Singing, dancing and merry making of all kinds is expected to take place, snow is expected to fall in various areas of the street once the tree illuminates to officially signify the start of the season.

Among the many different vendors and events taking place, guests will be able to enjoy the Bayside Children's Choir, Folsom Jr. High Choir, Folsom High School A Capella Choir and the Sutter Street Theatre Choir, all performing at the tree lighting, beginning at 6 p.m. Vista Del Lago High School’s Dance Team will be participating with dancers performing throughout the evening and the streets.

Bounce house, face painting, balloon animals, horse and carriage rides, chestnuts roasting and so much more are among the amenities. This year, Bayside Church has increased their partnership and will have many of the kids’ activities be free of charge.

A new addition this year will be horse drawn carriages that will be traveling the streets to offer transportation throughout the area to guests.

It all will climax with the arrival of Santa as well as The Grinch for children and families to visit and engage with throughout the evening.

How to get there:

Those that wish to avoid traffic and parking are urged to use Regional Transit to get to the Historic District on the night of the event. Simply go to historicfolsom.org and show an image of the event page to the attendant to ride for free to and from the event.

“Guests can expect a great night to come out to see friends, neighbors and family while enjoying a festive night,” Collinsworth said. “We hope everyone can come out and join us, and stick around to enjoy Historic Folsom that has so much to offer.”