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  • Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine

Hometown Christmas Traditions

Picking a theme for this year’s Napa Christmas parade was easy. “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of The Year” is a sentiment that any child would embrace.

The Christmas celebrations begin with the annual Christmas Tree Lighting in Veterans Park. Wednesday, November 22nd at 6 p.m., Mayor Scott Sedgley will lead the community in a countdown to light the tree. Boy scouts will be on hand giving out free cookies provided by Sweetie Pie’s. Hot chocolate will be donated by Downtown Joes. Entertainment will come from local children’s groups, who will dance and sing before the Mayor leads the countdown to light the tree.

And speaking of trees, Wanderland of Trees returns in December. Check for the list of businesses that will be decorating trees, whether large or small, and vote for your favorite. Heck, vote for as many as you want. Every vote will earn the chance to win $300 or $100 in a drawing.

The Christmas parade is Saturday, December 9th at 5 p.m. Three cash awards of $500 each will be given to the Kiwanian 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. Napa’s Christmas Parade is a hometown tradition that has grown over the years.

The parade begins on Second Street at School, heads east on Second to Brown, then north to Third, and finally west back to School Street. Judging takes place on Third Street in front of the courthouse, across from the Second Street garage. All groups are recognized and introduced at the stage.

Old Saint Nick will set up shop in the lobby of the Welcome Center near the corner of First and Randolph Street this year, as soon as he wraps up the Christmas parade, probably about 6:30 p.m. He’ll bring a staff of Elves who will pass out candy canes, and Welcome Center will have plenty of hot chocolate on hand for everyone. All the little ones have to do is bring their wish list and tell Santa what they want. Santa will do his best to fill all those requests.

Grand Marshal this year is Napa Police Chief Jennifer Gonzales. Join her and her family as they great all parade onlookers.

The Kiwanis Club of Napa helps with parade set-up, emcee and judging for awards. And a special shout out goes to the staff and elected officials of the City of Napa. Most of what they do is largely unseen – planning to ensure the event is safe, road closures and overseeing closed intersections during the parade and clean up. Sponsors include the Bank of Marin, City of Napa, Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine and Downtown Napa Association.

Everything is free. Parade applications can be found at or by calling 257-0322.


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