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Seven Festive Events to Kick Off the Holiday Season

Andrea Powell | November 25, 2014 | Lifestyle Story City Life

2014 Macy’s Great Tree Lighting
What: The official lighting of San Francisco’s biggest Christmas tree; a 83-foot behemoth strung with more than 33,000 lights and decorated with 1,100 shining ornaments.
Where: Union Square, San Francisco
When: Friday, November 28, 6:40pm
Cost: FREE
Why: Performances will include Quintavious Johnson of America’s Got Talent, the San Francisco Boys Chorus, Beach Blanket Babylon, and even “Tap Dancing Christmas Trees”

Napa Christmas Parade
What: This family-friendly event celebrates Napa’s 52nd annual Christmas parade, with lit-up floats and a visit from Santa Claus.
Where: First and Second Streets, Napa
When: Saturday November 29, 5pm
Cost: FREE
Why: For that Christmas village feel, Napa may have the best set-up around.

Snowvember at the Treasure Island Flea
What: For the last flea market of the year, 20 tons of snow will be imported to Treasure Island for a only-in-San-Francisco snowstorm.
Where: The Great Lawn, Treasure Island
When: Saturday and Sunday, November 29-30, 10am-4pm
Cost: $3
Why: The perfect chance to shop for holiday gifts while getting in a mini snow-vacation.

Parol-Making Workshop
What: Learn to make a parol, a beautiful Filipino lantern, at this workshop hosted by the Bayanihan Community Center. Then march with your parol at the Parol Lantern Festival & Parade on December 13.
Where: The Bayanihan Community Center, 1010 Mission Street, San Francisco
When: Friday, December 5, 5:30-8pm
Cost: FREE
Why: Not only will your handmade parol light up the night sky, it also makes a nice gift for mom.

Santa Skivvies Run
What: Billed as a “festive romp,” the Santa Skivvies run invites participants to strip down to their underwear and run through city streets, all a benefit for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.
Where: The run starts in UN Plaza and continues to Noe and Market Streets, ending in front of Lookout.
When: Saturday December 6, 9am
Cost: $50 (but remember, it’s for charity!)
Why: Upon reaching the finish line, runners will be greeted with cups of “Hard Hot Chocolate” and other rewards. Sounds like a good deal to us.

Christmas Caroling
What: As part of this year’s “Holidays on Fourth Street” celebrations, the SF City Chorus hosts a festive sing-along.
Where: Fourth and Delaware Streets, Berkeley
When: Saturday, December 6, 1pm
Cost: FREE
Why: Just like a Christmas movie!

Lighted Boat Parade
What: A sort of parade-on-the-water, the 29th Annual Lighted Boat Parade in Santa Cruz Harbor includes numerous local vendors on land, with the spectacle taking place at sea.
Where: Santa Cruz Harbor
When: Saturday, December 6, 5:30pm
Cost: FREE
Why: What’s nicer than a holiday dinner on the water? A holiday dinner on the water with a parade.

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