There is plenty of fun in the coming weeks to get you and your family in the holiday spirit

NORTH COUNTY — Sometimes, it feels like it takes forever to get to the season where it is finally socially acceptable to play Christmas music, eat candy canes, and put up the trees and lights. Then when that time finally does come, it’s gone in a flash. 

If you are looking forward to participating in some of North County’s traditional holiday events and don’t want to miss a thing, you’re in luck. We have everything you need to know right here:


Friday, Nov. 26: 35th Annual Downtown Lighting Ceremony and Lights of Hope Fundraiser

What: Christmas and holiday lights will illuminate the way to this year’s holiday festivities in Downtown City Park! Mrs. Claus will arrive and light the downtown, inviting all to share in the holiday joy! So bring your family and friends, to enjoy live music, speeches, candlelight caroling, free cookies, and hot chocolate!

Time: 5:30 p.m. community is welcome to gather and chatter at Downtown City Park bandstand, 6 p.m. Mrs. Claus lights up downtown 

Saturday, Nov. 27: Shop Small Saturday

What: Where everyone comes together to support Main Street! Support your local retailers and entertainment venues. They are your neighbors, and they appreciate your business.

Dec. 3-4: Mid-State Fair Market

What: Shop for unique items from local artisans as holiday gifts or gifts for yourself at this outdoor shopping experience! Free admission and parking. Visit for more details. 

When: Dec. 3 from 2-6 p.m. / Dec. 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Paso Robles Event Center (2198 Riverside Ave.)

Saturday, Dec. 4: 60th Annual Christmas Lights Parade

What: Enjoy the sights and sounds of the holiday spirit with an illuminated parade featuring an array of light spectacles from local businesses! A variety of awards will be also be given for best in show! Join Santa and Mrs. Claus and watch downtown light up with holiday spirit!

When: Parade starts at 7 p.m. Parade route starts at 10th Street and follows Spring Street to 14th Street, then makes its way down Pine Street to end up at Park Street.

Saturday, Dec. 11: 35th Annual Vine Street Victorian Showcase

What: Ebenezer Scrooge, the Snow Queen, Mr. and Mrs. Claus and the whole crew will be on-hand on Vine Street! Community caroling, illuminated floats, entertainers, live music, Don’t miss this sure-to-please holiday mainstay in Paso Robles! DRIVE THROUGH ONLY.

When: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

Dec. 12 – 24: Santa at the Holiday House

What: Santa Claus is available for visits and photos at the Holiday House in City Park 

When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information, visit


Sunday, December 5: Christmas Tree Lighting

What: Arrive early to get a chair in front of the porch. Christmas carols, sing a long, lighted candles, and 50 feet of home made treats and hot drinks. A church tradition since the 80’s. The pine tree planted in memory of Jim Collier.

When: 5:30 p.m. outside the old chapel at Creston Community Church 

December 11-18: Frontier Fantasy Light Display 

What: Bonfire, treats, and seats around the fire to chat with neighbors and friends. A wonderful tradition, hosted by John Rickwald. John has built a Western Town and decorated it beautifully.

When: Critter Creek Ranch, located at 3897 La Panza Road, about 3 miles south of Hwy 41. The lights are on every night from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. Open House takes place Dec. 11th & 18th from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 18: Creston Christmas Lights Parade 

What: The Creston Christmas Light Parade is back!!! This a parade like you’ve never seen! Want to participate? Just light up anything you’d like (Horse, Tractor, Boat, Semi). Want to spectate? Bring a chair, get out to Creston early, and find a spot. This is a BIG, FUN time to celebrate Christmas!

When: 5:00 p.m. 

Friday, December 24: Creston Christmas Eve

What: Complete with Creston Men’s Club burritos, Dutch Oven desserts, Creston 4H Club treats and crafts, cowboy coffee, and a visit from Santa. There are at least three long tables, and everyone brings treats to share. The Women’s Club gives gifts to the kids right off the bench in front of the Post Office.

When: 9:00 a.m. along the main street in front of the post office. Santa visits around 11:00 a.m.


Saturday, Dec. 18: 31st Annual San Miguel Christmas Lights Parade

What: The parade route goes through Mission Street between 11 and 14th Street, the heart of San Miguel. Photos with Santa follow the parade, and the San Miguel Firefighters Association hands toy out to the children. 

When: Parade starts at 6 p.m. on Mission Street.

Dec. 1 – 23: Light Up San Miguel contest

What: People are welcome to decorate their home, business, or property for the holidays for a prize. The top three decorators will receive a prize from San Miguel Firefighters Association.

For more information, visit:


December: 2nd Annual Holiday Trail of Lights Tour Map

What: Know exactly where to take an evening drive or neighborhood stroll to see all of the wonderfully decorated local homes, guaranteed to get everyone in the holiday spirit! Information about registering your own address to participate or to obtain the Trail of Lights map can be found on 

Friday, Dec. 3: Art, Wine, and Brew Tour

What: Sip and shop your way through downtown stores; tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. 

When: Tour begins at 5:30 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 3: Light Up the Downtown

What: Gather in the Sunken Gardens as the countdown begins to the lighting of the Historic City Hall. Afterward, meet with Santa and Mrs. Claus, who will be arriving on an antique Model-A fire truck. Enjoy caroling from the Atascadero High School Show Choir along with the Atascadero Community Band, followed by Medina Light Show Designs playing holiday favorites! Visit for more details. 

When: 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at City Hall, Sunken Gardens, and throughout downtown Atascadero

Friday, Dec. 10: Winter Wonderland

What: A Free event with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, a massive snow slide, live entertainment, food and craft vendors, and downtown businesses open for holiday shopping. 

When: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Sunken Gardens

Saturday, Dec. 18: Holiday Magic at the Charles Paddock Zoo 

What: Santa and zookeepers dressed as Santa’s Elves will be welcoming visitors and delivering gifts to the animals. New this year, a Magician to engage all ages. Enjoy the zoo decorated for the holiday season!

When: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Charles Paddock Zoo


Saturday, Dec. 4: 18th Annual Craft Faire and Bake Sale

What: Shop from 24 local artisan and craft vendors and more local products. Additionally, Friends of the Santa Margarita Library will be selling Hot Coffee, Cider, and water to go along with an array of delicious baked goods.

When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Santa Margarita Community Hall

Sunday, Dec. 5: Santa Margarita’s Annual Tree Lighting

What: The community is invited to start the evening by driving over to the Santa Margarita Community Church. Then, continue on to pick up a deliciously warm soup and roll dinner to go, served by The Santa Margarita Lions Club, before making your way over for the main event to the Santa Margarita Community Park. You will then be treated to a cup of hot coffee, chocolate or cider, and a cookie courtesy of The Santa Margarita Community Church while gathering and mingling with friends and neighbors before the tree lighting festivities begin.

When: Start at 4 p.m. by driving over to 22525 I Street then head to Santa Margarita Community Park at 2101 H Street where festivities begin at 5 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 11: Santa Margarita Beautiful’s Holiday Stroll 

What: Support local businesses, pick up a Holiday Passport to collect stamps during the night from participating locations to be entered into a raffle, and be sure to visit Santa! 

When: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m in Downtown Santa Margarita