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  • Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine

Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas

Napa’s 2018 Christmas Parade

Saturday, Nov. 24th, 5pm

2nd & 3rd Streets | Downtown Napa

Grand Marshal – Tom Finch, owner Filippi’s Pizza Grotto

The theme of this year’s Christmas parade should get participants creative juices flowing. If that’s not enough, three cash awards of $500 each will be given to the parade judges’ choices in three categories: Best Use of Lights, Best Theme-Oriented, and Best Use of Music. Anyone can enter the parade, and it’s free to do so. “Although winners can come from anywhere, a lot of non-profits have benefited from these awards over the years,” said Steve Pierce, owner of the Executive Room Barber Shop and president of the Downtown Napa Association, the primary parade sponsor. Whether you choose to build an elaborate float, simply march along with your group, or just watch, the Napa Christmas parade is a hometown tradition that has grown over the years, especially since becoming an evening event in 2003. “Lights make the parade a lot more fun,” said Steve.

The parade begins on Second Street at School, east on Second to Brown, north to Third, and east back to School Street.

The Grand Marshal for the 2018 parade is Tom Finch, owner of Filippi’s Pizza Grotto. There probably isn’t a school or youth organization in Napa that hasn’t benefitted from Tom’s generosity through support from Filippi’s. He is committed to helping youth programs. “Any program that offers kids something positive to do and keeps them out of trouble is something we want to be part of,” said Finch. He worked with Little League for six years and Babe Ruth for ten, and is a past president of the Downtown Napa Association. Tom opened Filippi’s almost fourteen years ago. It’s a family owned business that began in San Diego and has fourteen locations in Southern California.

​For the third year, the parade is being presented by the team from Napa Printing, Design Studio & Mail Center. John Dunbar went to work there in 1997 and purchased the company in 2000. “As a company Napa Printing is honored to support the community. We have a vested interest in continuing to try and keep Napa a great place to live as well as a great place in which to do business.” John thinks that Napa is indeed unique. “Doing business in the Napa Valley is a wonderful experience. We try and purchase in the Napa Valley and most companies that are here feel the same way. It is often feels more like a family relationship rather than a business one. We care about our clients and they care about us.”

For seven years, the Kiwanis Club of Napa has been very involved with the parade. Their members handle the parade set-up, do all the judging for awards, and emcee the event. It’s a Herculean effort that they make look easy. Without them, there would be no parade.

Finally, special thanks go to parishioners from The Father’s House. Led by their pastor, Pastor Wil Lake, the congregants of The Father’s House walk around all afternoon collecting trash, armed with grabbers in their hands and smiles on their faces. This will be the tenth year of their support. Asked why in the world they would volunteer for what few would consider a glamorous job, they smile and say, “We love our City.” The joy with which they approach this self-appointed task is inspirational.

This year’s parade will follow the same route as last – down Second from School, right on Brown, right again on Third and back to School. Judging will occur on Third, just west of Brown. Santa will be in the Big Chair in the breezeway of the Napa Riverfront Building on Main Street immediately after the parade. Everything is free. Parade applications can be found at or by calling 257-0322.

Other Holiday events include:

Holiday Trolley Rides

Fridays, Saturday & Sundays | 3 to 6PM

December 6 through December 23

Gather your friends and family and enjoy a free Holiday trolley ride in downtown Napa. Hop on or off at any of four stops. The Christmas-decorated trolley will be playing music of the season as it travels between four regular stops – at the Oxbow Public Market, Historic Napa Mill, First & School Streets near the Andaz Hotel, and at Dwight Murray Plaza.

Tuba Christmas

Sunday, December 1 | 2 to 4PM

Veteran’s Park

Start the holidays with a free concert that’s becoming a Napa tradition. This free Christmas concert features traditional standards and some new arrangements. “You may be thinking Oompah Band but the result of all these brass instruments is a sound much closer to a rich pipe organ,” says Conductor Alan Parks.

Visit for details

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