The Small-Town Tree Lightings Prepare to Sparkle

It's nearly twinkle time in Julian, Lake Arrowhead, Big Bear, Temecula, Solvang, and other regional villages.

Country Christmas in Julian

What to Know

  • Several Southern California and Central Coast villages have 2019 tree lightings ahead
  • Julian's celebration is on Saturday, Nov. 30
  • The Solvang lighting is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 6

A giant, over-the-top, fir-tastic holiday extravaganza in the heart of the city?

It's truly difficult to imagine how many bulbs are involved in such a mega tree lighting, and ornaments, and all of the hours of planning.

And while the copious amounts of cheer can meet even the merriest of our high holiday demands, we sometimes crave a different expression of the season, one that's a little cozier, and slightly snugger, and doesn't overwhelm.

Take the small-town holiday celebration, the kind of lower-key party that begins, or ends, with the lighting of a tree in the center plaza or park or another place of importance.

It's hard to top a village Christmas kick-off in the charm category, and it is easy to find several hamlets around Southern and Central California that meet all of the quirky qualifications.

Where's your favorite not-too-large getaway? They just might have a tree-lighting hoedown just ahead. 

Julian does, and it is called A Country Christmas. Santa will pop by the Gold Country burg on Saturday, Nov. 30, which is a day filled with festivities. Read more.

Mountain towns are ready to fa, la, la, and there are two parties coming up on the day after Thanksgiving 2019. In Lake Arrowhead, free selfies with Santa are part of the merriment, as is a tree lighting, fife and drum music, and more.

Also happening on Nov. 29? It's Big Bear's bash, which includes a tree lighting and a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

Temecula lights its tree at the Duck Pond on Dec. 2, while Solvang launches its multi-day Julefest on Dec. 6.

Want to find more small-town to-dos this season?

The bulk of the lighting fun occurs between Thanksgiving and the first Sunday in December, though, of course, you'll want to check in with your favorite village to find out what they have in sweet store.

And, yes: Trees do stay lit through the season, so visit your beloved villages during December, do some shopping, eat lunch there, too, and show your support.

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