With so many special events and activities taking place over the next several 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.
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. Nov. 23 and 24, Dec. 20 and 22. $75 per gingerbread house.
For the third consecutive year, Tenaya Lodge will honor a local child battling illness at its tree lighting, held this year on Saturday, Nov. 24, with festivities starting at 6 p.m.. Patrick Luna, a six-year-old student who is undergoing treatment for Leukemia, has been chosen to be this year’s guest of honor and will help light Tenaya’s 35-foot tall, sustainably harvested Douglas Fir holiday tree— the largest in the Central Valley. To celebrate this season of joy and giving, Tenaya Lodge encourages guests to bring a new, unwrapped toy for the kids at Valley Children’s Hospital. Items requested include unopened toys for infants through teens, gift cards for popular retailers such as Target and Old Navy, board games, craft sets and new clothing.
Join the Bass Lake Chamber of Commerce and The Pines Resort for the 27th annual Bass Lake Christmas Tree Lighting and Parade of Lights, followed by pictures with Santa on Saturday, Nov. 24.
Float parade and contest start at 6:15 p.m., though holiday music is playing starting at 4:30 p.m. Snacks, soup and hot beverages will be available for purchase. There’s a holiday raffle, free kids bike raffle — and Santa Claus arrives before the Tree Lighting Ceremony. Bring your own camera to take free pictures with Santa immediately after the tree lighting.
Custom made signs, wine barrel furniture, unique jewelry, handmade natural soaps and candles, local photography, jams and jellies, flavored pistachios, pottery, you-name-it. Free admission and open to the public. This is an indoor event and will be held from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., including throughout the Christmas Tree Lighting, Parade of Lights and pictures with Santa. Friday through Sunday, Nov. 23 – 25.
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. Nov. 23 – 25, 30 as well as December 2, 7 – 9, 14 – 23, 26 – 30. Tickets for zoo members are $5 kids and $7 adult. Nonmembers $7 kids and $9 adult.
Hosted By Fresno Association of Realtors Yosemite Gateway Branch, you’re invited to kick off the holiday shopping season and shop locally on Saturday, Nov. 24. Proceeds benefit local high school scholarships through the Fresno Association of Realtors/Affiliates Foundation. This year, they’ve moved to a larger location, the former Blockbusters in the Old Mill shopping center in Oakhurst.
The annual Oakhurst Community Christmas Tree Auction on Friday, Nov. 30 is a wonderfully unique event that benefits some of the area’s most essential community organizations, spreading quite a bit of holiday cheer in the process.
Hosted by The Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst, and held at The Pines Resort, the joyful event enables dozens of nonprofits to benefit from its proceeds. Participating organizations range from service clubs to churches and community committees.
Help equip the new EMC SPCA shelter on Highway 49 when you stop by the Oakhurst Lutheran Church for dinner on Friday, Nov. 30, located cross from PG&E on Road 426. Meal includes spaghetti, salad, garlic bread, dessert and coffee. Adults are $10, kids $7. No host bar, tickets available at the door. Good time to pick up your fall raffle tickets, too.
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.
Children’s Museum of the Sierra and Sierra Oakhurst Kiwanis invite the community to the annual “Breakfast with Santa” fundraiser at the Oakhurst Community Center. Breakfast menu for the event on Saturday, Dec. 1 includes pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage, orange juice & coffee for just $5 each or $15 for family. Kids crafts, too!
North Fork Boosters annual Christmas Bazaar is set for Saturday, Dec. 1 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Town Hall in North Fork. More than 45 vendors with all sorts of handmade items to purchase, the event benefits the North Fork Booster Club, a community-based organization designed with the purpose of promoting charitable and educational prosperity in North Fork. The North Fork Boosters Club currently owns and operates the North Fork Recreation Center and the North Fork Town Hall.
The North Fork Scout Fund’s annual Christmas Tree Sale will begin on Saturday, Dec. 1 at the North Fork Library. Fresh, locally grown red fir (silver tip) in a variety of sizes through at least 15 ft. will be available. Tree sales will begin at 9 a.m. on the 1st and continue daily until sold out. The lot, located behind the library in North Fork, will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and 3:30 to 5 p.m. on weekdays. For best selection, come within the first 10 days.
Marines and community volunteers will accept donations of new and unwrapped toys on Saturday, Dec. 1 to support Toys for Tots. A community event with first responders, Marines and Santa at the Old Mill Shopping Center in Oakhurst and the Coarsegold Historic Village.
It’s an annual tradition — the Elks Lodge Shrimp Peel is all-you-can-eat on *Saturday, Dec. 1, 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
Join our community on Saturday, Dec. 1 in celebrating the holidays by lighting up our community tree. Free food, games, bounce houses, entertainment, vendors and of course the arrival of Santa for free pictures. For good reason, the Oakhurst Christmas Tree Lighting has become a tradition for families all over the mountain area and beyond. The action starts about 5 p.m. at the Talking Bear Ditton corner of Road 426 and Highway 41 in Oakhurst.
The 20th annual Songs of the Season concert will get you into the Christmas spirit on Saturday, Dec. 1, at 7 p.m., in Kennedy Hall at the North Fork School. The show features the North Fork Community Choir, conducted by SNO’s own publisher Gina Clugston, and the Mountain Choral Company from Sierra High School, led by Bruce Weinberger. Janice Noga will emcee the evening, which will feature performances by Sugar Pine, Katie Thurlow, and the Callis Family. Admission is $8 for adults, $4 for children, or $20 for the immediate family. Desserts and beverages will be available for purchase.
Stop by the historic village at Fresno Flats from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 2 for a Victorian Christmas including pictures with Father Christmas. Guests will enjoy a lovely afternoon visiting the famous Fresno Flats bake sale and a new Treasures and Collectibles Market. There will be plenty of storytelling, caroling, and a s’mores roasting station, plus the opportunity to make deer treats and Victorian Christmas ornaments. Homemade soup and hot cider will be served and don’t miss the hot chocolate bar. Donations of $2 – $5 for food and beverages are welcome. Entry and activities are free.
Tim Johnson has put together another great Cowboy Christmas Concert, featuring the Cowboy Band of Tim Johnson, Keith Johnson, Arnie Johnson, Cliff Neufeld and Eddie Guzman. Will be joined with special guests like- Bobby Black and saxophonist-Maynard Williams.Cowboy Christmas this year at the Oakhurst Lutheran Church is on Sunday, Dec. 2, with two performances, 2 p.m. & 6 p.m.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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!