Venture back to the Victorian era inside and outside the McHenry Mansion, which will be decorated in all its Christmas splendor. Enjoy costumed carolers, stories of Christmases past and a lively street fair with holiday-themed arts and crafts as well as the Modesto Certified Farmers Market. Food booths will be on site. Horse-drawn wagon rides will be available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (rides are $2-$3).
WHEN: 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3
WHERE: McHenry Mansion, 906 15th St., Modesto
Rockin’ Holidays and Celebration of Lights Parade
The city of Modesto lights up the season with its annual holiday kickoff. The Celebration of Lights parade through downtown will feature festive floats, dancers and lighted vehicles. After the parade the tree at Tenth Street Plaza will be lit and the Rockin’ Holiday activities will commence. The retro-themed event offers live music, photos with Santa and fresh “snow” from 6-9 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays through Dec. 23.
WHEN: Celebration 5:30 p.m., Rockin’ 7:45 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3
WHERE: Celebration, 14th and I streets; Rockin’ Tenth Street Plaza, Modesto
Central Valley Con
The second annual Central Valley Con invades Modesto Centre Plaza. The one-day pop culture convention brings together more than 100 exhibitors, including artists, writers and cosplayers. Celebrity guests includes former WWE superstar John Morrison, actor-stuntman Ernie Reyes Jr. from “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and “Red Sonja,” and “Star Wars” series actor C. Andrew Nelson. Portion of the proceeds go to the Modesto Gospel Mission.
WHEN: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4
WHERE: Modesto Centre Plaza, 1000 L St.
TICKETS: $5 advance, $8 door, free kids 12 and under
Modesto Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops!
Get into the symphonic spirit at the annual Holiday Pops! show from the Modesto Symphony Orchestra. This year’s featured vocalist will be James Tormé, the son of Mel Tormé. The concert will celebrate favorite songs of the season including the 70th anniversary of Mel Tormé’s classic “The Christmas Song,” more commonly known by its opening line: “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire.”
WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2; and 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3
WHERE: Rogers Theater, Gallo Center for the Arts, 1000 I St., Modesto
Christmas Tree Lane grand opening
The city of Ceres celebrates the season with the grand opening of Christmas Tree Lane. The popular neighborhood display of Christmas lights, decorations and seasonal cheer kicks off with a festival at Smyrna Park on Moffett Road that includes pictures with Santa Claus, refreshments and performances from local talent. Carriage and trolly rides through Christmas Tree Lane will be offered until 9:30 p.m.
WHEN: Grand opening 5:30 p.m., ribbon-cutting 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3
WHERE: Smyrna Park on Moffett Road, Ceres
TICKETS: Free, donations accepted
Holiday Table Viewing
Modesto Garden Club serves up its annual Holiday Table Viewing. The event will feature more than 30 tables decorated by club members, in a variety of holiday themes ranging from imaginative to elegant. The festivities include light refreshments. The nonprofit Modesto Garden Club takes on several community service projects around the city including the downtown floral clock and Virginia corridor.
WHEN: 1-7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 5
WHERE: Del Rio Country Club, 801 Stewart Road, Modesto