Portola tree lighting this Friday

Diana Jorgenson
Portola Editor

The Portola Season of Lights and tree lighting will be this Friday, Dec. 3 (not Dec. 11, as was reported last week), with festivities beginning at 5:30 p.m.

We apologize for the confusion in the dates, but the fun events remain correct. Santa will arrive in his sleigh at 5:30 p.m., during the sparkling light parade down Commercial Street, which has become bigger and better. After that, Santa will preside at the lighting of the town Christmas tree.

There will be a bonfire and tents set up for warming up. A kids’ tent will have activities for youngsters, among them the materials to make a Christmas ornament.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will hold court in another tent and will visit with children. Soroptimists International of Portola is sponsoring picture-taking as part of Project Santa: Have your child’s picture taken with Santa and help the Soroptimists help others.

People coming to the holiday festival are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to Project Santa or bring a nonperishable food item for EPCAN to help others who may be struggling right now to have happy holidays as well.

Visit the shops on Commercial Street and join in the caroling.  Take a ride in a horse-drawn wagon and see a model train in action.

Organizers have worked hard to make a festive beginning to the holiday season, so come one, come all and enjoy the fun.

Saturday, the holiday spirit continues its awakening in Graeagle, 1 – 5 p.m. All the merchants in Graeagle participate with refreshments and treats, each shop decorated in holiday splendor.

The festive horse-drawn trolley will take visitors from one end of town to the other. Carolers and elves are around town and Santa shows up around 3 p.m. Don’t forget to sign up for ‘Graeagle Bucks;’ winners receive gift certificates to Graeagle stores.

Graeagle merchants are also accepting donations of nonperishable food items for EPCAN, so remember to think of others during these difficult times and bring a food item or two to brighten another’s holiday.

Saturday night, the weekend-long beginning of the holidays continues at Western Pacific Railroad Museum with rides on the Santa Train and another opportunity to visit with Santa.

The event begins at 5 p.m. and the museum is charging $5 per carload to enter the museum grounds this year, to help defray expenses. Refreshments served.

It’s a busy weekend at this end of the county, but a fun one. After recent snowstorms, it will be great to get out and get into the holiday mood.

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