Dec. 1 2 p.m., Angels Camp Holiday Parade, downtown Angels Camp. St. Patrick's Church to Finnigan Lane on Highway 49. www.angelscampbusiness.com.
Dec. 1 5:30 p.m., Celebration of Lights Parade, begins 15th and I streets, Modesto. Theme this year is: Holiday in Whoville (A Tribute to Dr. Seuss). Foster Farms Dairy is the presenting sponsor and the Cool Cow is grand marshal. Featuring brightly illuminated floats. (209) 577-5344.
Dec. 7 5:30 p.m., Murphys Christmas Parade, Main Street, Murphys. Entertainers, children's groups, carolers and more.(209) 728-8471 or www.visitmurphys.com.
Dec. 7 5:30 p.m., Christmas Parade, downtown Twain Harte. Lighting of 150-foot living Christmas tree, sing-along, activities. (209) 586-6338.
Dec. 7 6:30 p.m., Turlock Downtown Christmas Parade, begins on Main Street at Canal Drive. Theme: "California Christmas." Lighted parade. Sponsored by Turlock Firefighters Local 2434 and Turlock Convention & Visitors Bureau.(209) 668-5594.
Dec. 7 7 p.m., Atwater Christmas Parade, Broadway and Third streets. Theme: Favorite Victorian Christmas Stories. (209) 357-6300.
Dec. 8 11 a.m., Lathrop Holiday Parade, begins at Fifth and J streets. (209) 941-7364.
FESTIVAL AND FAIRS
Dec. 1 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Angels Camp Centennial Holiday Celebration, downtown Angels Camp. Local merchants offer special bargains and festive window displays. Free.
Dec. 1 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Dickens Faire & Modesto Certified Farmers Market, 15th Street, between I and J streets, in front of the McHenry Mansion. A trip back to the Victorian Era with costumed carolers, plus a street fair. (209) 577-5344.
Dec. 1 4:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m., Oakdale Festival of Trees, F and Yosemite streets, Oakdale. Tree lighting, old-fashioned Christmas celebration. Sponsored by city of Oakdale and Oakdale Garden Club. Free. (209) 845-3591.
Dec. 8 5:30 p.m., Christmas Tree Lane Opening and Festival, Smyrna Park, Moffett Road, Ceres. Pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus, refreshments, live entertainment, festive wagon rides through a magical display of lights, Christmas Tree Lane. Free with a canned food donation. (209) 538-5700.
FOOD AND FUN
Dec. 1 8 a.m.-11:30 a.m., Breakfast with Santa, Modesto Senior Citizens Center, 211 Bodem St. Enjoy a delicious breakfast, get your picture taken with Santa, listen as Mrs. Claus reads a story and make a holiday craft. (209) 571-5582 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dec. 3 6 p.m., Angels Camp Hometown Holiday Gala, Camps Restaurant, Greenhorn Creek, Angels Camp. $45; www.angelscampbusiness.com.
Dec. 5 10:30 a.m.-noon, Modesto Garden Club's Elegant Holiday Luncheon, Del Rio Country Club, 801 Stewart Road, Modesto. Holiday-themed tables. $10 at the door; (209) 527-8179.
Dec. 8 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Holiday Festival of wines, various wineries in Murphys. Hosted by the Calaveras Wine Grape Alliance. (209) 728-9467.
Dec. 8 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., Modesto Symphony Guild's Breakfast with Santa, E.&J. Gallo Winery Administration Building, 600 Yosemite Blvd., Modesto. Breakfast courtesy of E.&J. Gallo Winery. Photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Entertainment by Dance Factory, Choralettes, Modesto Symphony Youth Orchestra. $10; advance reservations required by Dec. 3 at (209) 577-1619.
Dec. 10, 2 p.m., Christmas tea, McHenry Mansion, 15th and I streets, Modesto. High tea with sandwiches and fancy desserts. Reservations required. $25 adults, $15 children. (209) 578-1524.
Dec. 15, 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., Breakfast with Santa, Ironstone Vineyards, 1894 Six Mile Road, Murphys. Kids' craft corner, photos with Santa, hay rides (weather permitting). $11.75 plus tax and gratuity for adults, $6.75 plus tax and gratuity for children age 5-12; free children 4 and under. (209) 728-1251, ext. 11
Nov. 30-Dec. 1 8 p.m. Nov. 30 and 2 p.m. Dec. 1, Modesto Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops, Rogers Theater, Gallo Center for the Arts, 1000 I St. Featuring Modesto's own Broadway stars Jeremy Stolle ("Phantom of the Opera") and Morgan James ("Godspell"), the Modesto Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Expressions Children's Chorale. Conducted by Ming Luke. $67-$89; (209) 338-2100 or www.galloarts.org.
Dec. 1 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., "Santa's Gone Hawaiian," Stage 3 Theatre, 208 S. Green St., Sonora. Storyteller B.Z. Smith and musician Peg Reza with the Blue Shoes Auxiliary Ukulele Orchestra of Columbia. Fund-raiser for Delta Kappa Gamma (Iota Epsilon chapter) "Read to Me" literacy program and food drive for Mother Lode Food Project. $5 for adults and children 3 and up. Free for children 2 and under. (209) 532-7697.
Dec. 1 4 p.m., Classic Christmas Concert: Sounds of the Season, followed by buffet dinner, Ironstone Vineyards, 1894 Six Mile Road, Murphys. $40 adults, $20 kids 12 and under. Bring a nonperishable food item to donate to the Resource Connection and get $5 off. Reservations required; (209) 728-1251, ext. 11.
Dec. 2 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., Carolfest, Snider Music Recital Hall, California State University, Stanislaus, 1 University Circle, Turlock. Choirs sing holiday favorites; audience invited to join in on singing carols. $15; (209) 667-3959.
Dec. 5 7 p.m., Cruise N Good's Acoustic Christmas, State Theatre, 1307 J St., Modesto. Ed Kowalcyzk of the band Live, Flying Blind, Shaylin Nichole and The Ramblers. Silent auction for the Center for Human Services featuring autographed guitars from The Fray, Adam Lambert and more. $18-$40 general. VIP package $100, includes hors d'oeuvres and wine. (209) 527-4697 or www.thestate.org.
Dec. 7 8 p.m., Mercy Me Christmas Tour, Rogers Theater, Gallo Center for the Arts, 1000 I St., Modesto. Christian rock band known for hit "I Can Only Imagine." $29-$79; (209) 338-2100 or www.galloarts.org.
Dec. 8 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., YES Company's third annual Gift of Song, Foster Theater, Gallo Center for the Arts, 1000 I St., Modesto. Broadway classics and Christmas sing-along. $8-$15; proceeds benefit the Costa Family Fund that provides arts experiences at the Gallo Center for underprivileged students. (209) 338-2100 or www.galloarts.org.
Dec. 14 7:30 p.m., Christmas with Aaron Neville, Turlock Community Theatre, 1574 E. Canal Drive. Christmas songs plus Neville hits. $32-$52. (209) 667-1169 or www.turlocktheatre.org.
Dec. 18 8 p.m., Modesto Symphony Orchestra Holiday Candlelight Concert, St. Stanislaus Catholic Church, 1200 Maze Blvd., Modesto. MSO Chorus, Expressions Children's Chorale, Opus Handbell Ensemble. Conducted by Ming Luke. Traditional holiday music. (209) 338-2100 or www.galloarts.org.
Thursday through Dec. 1 8 p.m. Thursday through Dec. 1, "Tuna Christmas," Mainstage Theatre, California State University, Stanislaus, 1 University Circle, Turlock. Rob and Joe Hypes play more than 20 eccentric characters in this comedy about a small Texas town. $20 general, $15 students, faculty, staff and seniors; (209) 667-3166.
Dec. 1-2 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1 and 2 p.m. Dec. 2, "A Christmas Carol," Foster Theater, Gallo Center for the Arts, 1000 I St., Modesto. Modesto Performing Arts presents Charles Dickens' 1843 tale about the miser Ebeneezer Scrooge, ghosts and the power of redemption. Features cast of 35. $15-$25; (209) 338-2100 or www.galloarts.org.
Dec. 8 and 15 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., Shel Silverstein's "The Giving Tree," Center Stage Conservatory's Lower Level Studio, 948 11th St., Modesto (enter on J Street). Parable about gift of giving and serene acceptance of another's capacity to love in return. Dec. 15 1 p.m. performance will be interpreted for the deaf. $2 suggested donation. (209) 846-0179.
Dec. 9 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., California Theatre Center's "The Elves and the Shoemaker," Foster Theater, Gallo Center for the Arts, 1000 I St., Modesto. Two merry elves arrive at a small village in the Black Forest to discover a poor gentle shoemaker who needs assistance. $8-$15; (209) 338-2100 or www.galloarts.org.
Dec. 13-16 8 p.m.Dec. 13-15 and 2 p.m. Dec. 16, David Sedaris' "Santaland Diaries"/"Season's Greetings," Prospect Theater Project, 520 Scenic Drive, Modesto. A humorous account of working as an elf in Macy's Santaland plus a holiday letter from a family who didn't have a great year. Dec. 13 performance is $40 and is hosted by Paul Tremayne of Concetta Restaurant. All other performances are $20; (209) 549-9341 or www.prospecttheaterproject.org.
Through Dec. 16 "Every Christmas Story Ever Told And Then Some," Sierra Repertory Theatre, 13891 Mono Way, Sonora. Instead of performing Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" for the umpteenth time, three actors perform every Christmas story ever told plus Christmas traditions around the world. They touch on everything from seasonal icons from ancient times to topical pop culture and sing every carol. This is a madcap romp. $18-$30; (209) 532-3120 or www.sierrarep.org.
DANCEDec. 2 2 p.m., Posada Navidena, Rogers Theater, Gallo Center for the Arts, 1000 I St., Modesto. Compania Mazatlan Bellas Artes de Sacramento presents a Mexican Christmas celebration. $10-$40. (209) 338-2100 or www.galloarts.org.
Dec. 14-23 Central West Ballet's "Nutcracker," Rogers Theater, Gallo Center for the Arts, 1000 I St., Modesto. Tchaikovsky's ballet about Clara's journey to the Land of the Sugar Plum Fairy. $19-$54; (209) 338-2100 or www.galloarts.org.
Dec. 15-16 2 and 8 p.m. Dec. 15 and 2 p.m. Dec. 16, Irish Christmas, Foster Theater, Gallo Center for the Arts, 1000 I St., Modesto. Music, dance, storytelling, laughter. Featuring stars from "Riverdance" and "Magic of the Dance." $20-$45; (209) 338-2100 or www.galloarts.org.
Dec. 15-16 7 p.m. Dec. 15 and 2 p.m. Dec. 16, Strut Performing Arts' "NOTcracker: A Dream Born of Love Lives Forever," State Theatre,1307 J St., Modesto. Blends classic Tchaikovsky ballet with jazz, tap, b-boy and hip-hop. $17; (209) 527-4697 or www.thestate.org.
Dec. 21-22 7 p.m. Dec. 21 and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22, Backstage Academy of Dance's "Nutcracker," Turlock Community Theatre, 1574 E. Canal Drive. Tchaikovsky's holiday ballet. Free Sugar Plum Fairy parties with refreshments and the cast after each performance. $20 adults, $15 children age 4-12 and students with ID, free age 3 and under. (209) 595-6952.
Dec. 2 9:30 a.m. doors, 11 a.m. film and 2 p.m. doors, 3:30 p.m. film, "Very Merry Holiday Happening" featuring a screening of Tim Allen's 1994 comedy "The Santa Clause," State Theatre, 1307 J St., Modesto. Visit with Jolly Old St. Nick and elves and enjoy a theater decorated with garlands, trees, oversized toys and props from "Babes in Toyland." Everyone gets a complimentary candy cane and holiday-themed cookie. $6 adults, $4 children 12 and under; (209) 527-4697 or www.thestate.org.
Dec. 21-22 7 p.m. Dec. 21 and 3:30 p.m. Dec. 22, "The Nightmare Before Christmas," State Theatre, 1307 J St., Modesto. Tim Burton's 1993 stop-motion animated film about the Pumpkin King of Halloweentown who takes a stroll to Christmas Town. $8 evening, $6 matinee; (209) 527-4697 or www.thestate.org.
Dec. 22-23 7 p.m. Dec. 22 and 3:30 p.m. Dec. 23, "It's A Wonderful Life," State Theatre, 1307 J St., Modesto. Classic 1946 film about George Bailey, who has never turned his back on a friend in need and yet believes the world would be better off without him. $8 evening, $5 matinee.(209) 527-4697 or www.thestate.org.
ODDS & ENDS
Through Jan. 5 Fourth annual Holidays on the Farm, Dell'Osso Family Farm, 26 Stewart Road, Lathrop. Santa, real reindeer, Christmas trees, inner tubing down 30-foot hill, ice skating, mile-long railroad track, zip line, Christmas lights drive, gift boutique. Check Web site for times and prices: www.holidaysonthefarm.com. (209) 982-0833.
Nov. 30-Dec. 1 Begins at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 30; 5:30 p.m. Dec. 1, Lamplight Tours, Columbia State Historic Park, off Parrotts Ferry Road, Columbia. Tours leave every15 minutes. Lamplight-led walking play leads you to different scenes based on actual events in Columbia in 1853. Tour ends at Angelo's Hall with refreshments for all. $18-$22 general and free for kids 5 and under. Reservations required; (209) 632-5754.
Nov. 29-Dec. 1 Fantasy of Trees, Gallo Center for the Arts, 1000 I St., Modesto. Nov. 29, 6-9 p.m.: Premiere night, boutique featuring gifts from local artisans and tree auction (cost $75). Nov. 30, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.: Holiday luncheon and boutique (cost is $35). Dec. 1, 8-11 a.m.: Santa Shares Breakfast with craft opportunities for children (Cost is $10 adults, $5 children). Benefits the Community Hospice Foundation and Gabriel's Friends, which provides pediatric hospice services. (209) 578-6370 or www.hospiceheart.org.
Dec. 1 5 p.m.-midnight, Hospice of Emanuel and Jessica's House benefit Festival of Trees, Assyrian-American Club, 2618 N. Golden State Blvd., Turlock. Plated dinner, flamenco performance, dancing to live music, silent and live auction. $200; (209) 664-5180.
Dec. 2-29 Christmas Train: A 90-minute train ride with Santa Claus, storytelling, hot cocoa and cookies. Read the book "Morgan and the Magical Christmas Tree" and meet the characters, including Morgan, the conductor and the teddy bear. Riders are encouraged to wear PJs. Call for times. Sierra Railroad, 220 S. Sierra Ave., Oakdale. $24 adults and children without book, $36 with book. Infants under 2 are free but must sit in laps.(800) 866-1690 or www.sierrarailroad.com.
Dec. 5 5:30 p.m., Oak Valley Hospital Foundation's Tree of Life Tree Lighting Ceremony, Oak Valley Hospital, 350 S. Oak Ave. Remembers loved ones. (209) 848-4116.
Dec. 7 6 p.m., Community Hospice's annual Light up a Life Tree lighting and ceremony, Memorial Medical Center,1700 Coffee Road, Modesto. Free; (209) 578-6370 or www.hospiceheart.org.
Dec. 7 5-8 p.m., Murphys Holiday Open House, Main Street merchants, Murphys. Complimentary beverages and appetizers at businesses, carolers, pictures with Santa, tree lighting. (209) 736-0567 or www.visitmurphys.com.
Dec. 8-9, 15-16 Noon-3 p.m., "A Miner's Christmas," Columbia State Historic Park, off Parrotts Ferry Road, Columbia. Come visit gold miners around the campfire roasting chestnuts and drinking coffee. Bring children to make old-fashioned crafts with costumed volunteers, get a picture with Father Christmas. (209) 588-9128.
Dec. 9 5:30 p.m., 30th annual Las Posadas Nativity Procession, Columbia State Historic Park, off Parrotts Ferry Road, Columbia. Re-enacts biblical story of Mary and Joseph's search for shelter in Bethlehem on the original Christmas Eve. Featuring carolers. (209) 532-6604.
BEYOND CHRISTMASDec. 8 8 p.m.-11:30 p.m., Latkes and Vodkas, Congregation Beth Shalom, 1705 Sherwood Ave., Modesto. Live music with Modesto's Big Earl and the Cryin' Shame. $30 in advance or $33 at the door, includes three cocktails of your choice and all-you-can-eat latkes. Cocktail attire. (209) 571-6060 or www.cbsmodesto.org.