With so many special events and activities taking place over the next few weeks, we thought it would be helpful to compile a timely list of all the entertainment-related and community-oriented holiday happenings in the mountain area between now and December 25.
If we missed anything, let us know and we’ll gladly add it to the Big Local List of Holiday Happenings — and continue to update this list throughout the season — so check back. Here we go!
The Golden Chain Theatre brings a Christmas classic to the mountain communities this holiday season with the magical musical experience, “A Christmas Carol,” opening the weekend following Thanksgiving and playing until Dec. 23rd. The production is rated PG for some spooky moments, and runs from Friday, Nov. 23 through Sunday, Dec. 23. Curtains rise on Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m., and on Sundays the matinee performance starts at 2 p.m. Directed by James Mierkey. Tickets range in price from $12 – $17.
It’s not in the mountains but this is cool, so we’re adding it anyway. For this annual event, the entire Zoo is transformed into a magical, winter wonderland, fully decorated and strung with miles of holiday lights. Enjoy holiday music, live entertainment, festive treats and beverages for adults and children. December 2, 7 – 9, 14 – 23, 26 – 30. Tickets for zoo members are $5 kids and $7 adult. Nonmembers $7 kids and $9 adult.
Follow this classic tale by C.S. Lewis in a beautiful musical brought to the stage by the Sierra Pines Theater Company. Go with the four Pevensie children – Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy – as they enter an enchanted world through a wardrobe and encounter magical creatures, mystery, a witch, and the Great Lion, Aslan. This will be a family experience you will want to see more than once. Six shows, opening Nov. 30 through Dec. 9, Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Adults $15 Children 12 and under $10.
A grand Chanukah celebration including menorah lighting, songs, latkes and gifts for all will take place on Thursday, Dec. 6, starting at 6 p.m. at the Siderman Family Camp in North Fork. Reservations are required.
Join friends and neighbors for this annual community event on Friday, Dec. 7 from 4 – 6 p.m. in downtown North Fork, as we set the holiday season aglow with the lighting of our living pine Christmas Tree, along with the 1st annual Bake-O Bash. This year promises to be better than ever as jumbo ornaments, provided by the North Fork Chamber of Commerce, deck the tree from top to bottom. Sweet treats anyone? Enter your best chocolate, best cookie or best cake in this family-friendly event and you could walk away with one of three $50 Visa gift card prizes.
Stop by Oakhurst Feed and Pet Supply on Saturday, Dec. 8 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with your well-behaved furry friends, for an opportunity to take pictures with Santa Claus.
Come watch “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” with friends at the Oakhurst Community Library on Saturday, Dec. 8 from 3 – 5 p.m. Water, soda and popcorn will be available for a small donation to the Friends of the Library. The event takes place in the community room.
Join with friends and neighbors in the Coarsegold Historic Village for a weekend of shopping and sharing, including a community Christmas tree lighting ceremony at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8. Hot chocolate and snacks, vendors, and holiday specials in the village shops. We hear Santa may stop by, too.
Holiday Handmade Craft-n-Art Shopping Spree is returning to the Community Center of Coarsegold for its 5th year on Saturday, Dec. 8. Offerings include woodcrafts, handy sewing for kitchen, bath and more, accessories, jewelers, soaps, crochet, books, photography and more.
The Mariposa County Chamber of Commerce partners with the Lion’s Club for a memorable Mariposa Christmas tradition — the 20th Annual Merry Mountain Christmas Festival. In honor of the milestone, organizers want to make it the biggest and best parade yet! This year the festival — which includes a parade and tree lighting — will take place on Saturday, Dec. 8, starting at 5:30 p.m. on Main Street with the parade and then migrating to the historic courthouse for the annual tree lighting, free cocoa, time with Santa and Mrs. Claus, bonfire and more.
Celebrate Something Special’s new, larger location at 40120 Hwy 41, Suite H in Oakhurst, behind McDonald’s as they are welcomed into the North Fork Chamber on Sunday, Dec. 9 from 1 – 2:30 p.m. With refreshments and plenty of shopping opportunity, the community is invited to support local talent in this co-op of mountain artists and retailers.
The eight-member family band has traveled across the U.S. and is excited to be performing in their hometown area on Sunday, Dec. 9 from 6:45 – 8 p.m. at Yosemite Lakes Park Community Church. With family harmony, live instruments, and unique arrangements — be prepared to laugh, cry, and have a great night! Come enjoy this musical celebration of Jesus.
Looking for a quiet place for your little ones to talk to Santa? Come to Sierra Tel on Tuesday, Dec. 11 from noon until 4 p.m. Families have been bringing their children to see Santa at Sierra Tel for generations. Each child receives a gift from Santa along with a candy cane and the book of their choice. Remember to bring your camera to capture the magical moment!
Sierra Tel is fortunate to get on Santa’s calendar every year so he and the missus can talk to our young ones. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be taking telephone calls on Tuesday, Dec. 11 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Have your children call the North Pole to tell Santa their Christmas wishes. 683-HOHO (4646) or 742-HOHO (4646) to deliver your Christmas wish list.
Join in singing along with the local band Sugar Pine at the North Fork Library on Wednesday, Dec. 12, starting at 7 p.m. This is a wonderful, free opportunity to sing Christmas carols with the best back-up since Santa.
Among the holiday traditions for birding enthusiasts is the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC), when intrepid observers throughout the western hemisphere take to the field for one day to make a record of all the birds they see and hear. The Yosemite Area Audubon Society encourages everyone to participate in the Christmas Bird Count in the Central Sierra — with five dates at five different locations across the land, from Dec. 15 this year through Jan. 4, 2019.
The third annual Bicycle and Toy Giveaway for mountain kids is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15. The event is a collaborative effort with G’ma and Pappa’s Motorcycle Apparel and the Sierra Shadow Casters Motorcycle Club based in Coarsegold. Santa will be arriving at G’ma & Pappa’s on his motorcycle sleigh at 10 a.m. The event is designed for families who are unable to purchase a new bike for their children. The process is based on the honor system, however, families must be from the mountain area communities and ID will be required to establish mountain residency.
It’s an annual tradition — the Elks Lodge Shrimp Peel is all-you-can-eat on *Saturday, Dec. 15, when the bar opens at 4:30 p.m. and dinner starts at 6 p.m. The price of $26 includes unlimited shrimp, salad, pasta and garlic bread at the Oakhurst Elks Lodge #2724. *This event was previously scheduled for Friday, Nov. 30, then Saturday, Dec. 1 and was canceled due to weather.
The Mariposa Symphony Orchestra (MSO) belatedly kicks off its 17th season on Saturday, Dec. 15. with a popular Mariposa tradition: the MSO’s annual Festive Holiday Concert on Saturday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. in the Fiester Auditorium of Mariposa County High School. Tickets for the MSO’s Festive Holiday Concert are priced at $10 for adults, $6 for students. Mariposa County Arts Council Members receive discounted prices at $8 adults, $5 students
Stop by the Mariposa Museum and History Center on Sunday, Dec. 16 from 1 – 4 p.m. for a Christmas Open House. Visitors may take a tour, watch the stamp mill run, shop in the gift store, enjoy some refreshments and say hello to Santa.
For the ninth consecutive year, a group of choristers from the local area and a mini-orchestra made up of numerous talented local instrumentalists will come together for an impressive and inspirational Christmas program. This year’s program will feature a collection of musical pieces and accompanying inspirational texts and readings all supporting the theme, “Shine On, Christmas Star!” Singers from the choirs of New Community United Methodist Church and Sierra Vista Presbyterian Church will gather for two performances on Sunday, Dec. 16 at Sierra Vista Presbyterian Church. The first performance is in the afternoon at 4 p.m., and the second performance takes place in the evening at 6:30 p.m.
The Gingerbread House Workshops have long been a Tenaya favorite among guests of all ages. The kids love this event, but so do the parents and grandparents. You can work on your gingerbread house as a family, or get multiple houses and have a friendly family competition. Pricing is per gingerbread house. Dec. 20 and 22. $75 per gingerbread house.
All are invited to the Oakhurst Outpouring free comunity feast on Sunday, Dec. 23 from 3 – 7 p.m. at the Oakhurst Community Center. As has been the case for a decade now, organizers promise food, fun, and fellowship, throughout an afternoon and evening that is perfect for all generations. Individuals and groups are warmly encouraged to attend or participate by providing food and service.
The home-cooked meal is provided by volunteers. Dinner generally includes ham, turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, cranberries, veggies, dessert and other traditional holiday fare. Organizers are looking for people to donate, cook, and serve.
Come check out the new program at Oakhurst Grill on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, plus $4 well cocktails and house wine! Raffle tickets are one for $2, or three for $5. Win prizes like a free appetizer, dessert, $10 off your check, or some bar swag. One hundred percent of the donations and raffle sales go to Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst, Yosemite Badgers Youth Cheer, and Yosemite Badgers Youth Football. Denver at Oakland.
Tuesday, Dec. 25 — Merry Christmas!