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June 3, 2023

Salinas Valley events spread holiday cheer to residents

More than a dozen festivities planned in December

SALINAS VALLEY — Looking for some holiday cheer this season? More than a dozen community events are planned this month in South Monterey County for residents to get into the holiday spirit and celebrate with loved ones.


Salinas Valley Fair Heritage Foundation hosts its annual Polenta and Stew Feed this Thursday, Dec. 5, beginning with take-out orders at 4 p.m. followed by the sit-down dinner from 5 to 8 p.m. inside the Orradre Building at the fairgrounds in King City. The evening includes entertainment as well as the arrival of Santa at about 7 p.m. Guests are asked to bring an unwrapped gift for the Operation Give Back Toy Drive. Tickets are available online at


Rain or shine, the 21st Annual Lighted Christmas Parade kicks off this Friday, Dec. 6, at 6:30 p.m. in downtown King City. The parade route starts at Mildred Avenue, travels down Broadway Street and ends at the Town Square, where youth and their families can celebrate with Santa. This year’s theme is “California Christmas,” and local businesses, clubs, nonprofits, residents, schools and sports teams are invited to participate in the parade by registering with the King City Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture. For parade entry forms, visit the chamber office at 200 Broadway St. or call 831-385-3814.


La Gloria Elementary School in Gonzales once again hosts the 22nd Annual Holiday Bazaar this Saturday, Dec. 7, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The bazaar, a fundraiser for the school, will feature handmade crafts from local artisans, food, desserts, raffles and face painting. Santa Claus will also stop by for a visit from 12 to 2 p.m. The school is located at 200 Elko St. in Gonzales.

A free event for children with special needs and their families takes place this Saturday, Dec. 7, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Soledad High School, 425 Gabilan Drive. Hosted by Special Kids Connect, the Holiday Resource Fair for Special Needs Families will include information from more than 20 community agencies, gifts for the children and a visit from Santa. Families need to RSVP to visit with Santa by calling 831-372-2730 by Friday, Dec. 6, at 4 p.m.

Two events benefiting South County Animal Rescue (SCAR) and Soledad Historical Society are set for Saturday, Dec. 7, beginning with the Third Annual End of Year Fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event includes a loaded baked potato meal at Bill Ramus Park in Soledad. Following the fundraiser, the Third Annual Holiday Tea and Silent Auction takes place from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Soledad Historical Society, 137 Soledad St. Authentic British tea will be served, along with finger foods and desserts. Tickets for either event can be bought at the Soledad Historical Society, Los Coches Animal Hospital, SCAR volunteers or online at (potato fundraiser) or (holiday tea).

Soledad Mission Chamber of Commerce presents the 34th Annual Christmas Celebration this Saturday, Dec. 7, with festivities taking place from 2 to 8 p.m. on Front Street. The community event includes food booths, entertainment and a formal wear competition, followed by the annual parade at 5 p.m. After the parade, this year’s Snow Queen and King will be crowned at the coronation on the main stage, and pictures with Santa will be available for a cost as well. — EVENT POSTPONED UNTIL SATURDAY, DEC. 14, DUE TO FORECASTED RAIN.


City of Gonzales hosts the Holiday Lights Festival this Sunday, Dec. 8, from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Gonzales High School gym, followed by the annual tree lighting ceremony at 5 p.m. The event features visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, carnival games, inflatable sled ride, bounce houses, arts and crafts, cookie decorating, letters to Santa, face painting, raffles, entertainment and MST holiday trolley rides.

Sol Treasures Women’s Choir celebrates the holidays Sunday, Dec. 8, with its Winter Wonderland Concert at 4 p.m. in the Guild Hall at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 301 Bassett St., in King City. The 20-member concert, directed by John Munsee, will sing some favorites plus a few new ones while guests sit at tables with refreshments during the show. Tickets are available by calling Sol Treasures at 831-386-9809.


The 60th anniversary of “The Nutcracker Ballet,” an iconic King City event since 1959, takes to the stage beginning Friday, Dec. 13, at 7:30 p.m. at the Robert Stanton Theater in King City. The ballet, presented by the Monterey County Dance Foundation and the Monterey County Dance Theatre, continues Saturday, Dec. 14, and Sunday, Dec. 15, at 2:30 p.m. To celebrate the diamond anniversary, the Foundation is also hosting a Gala Reception at 5 p.m. after Saturday’s production inside the Orradre Building at the Salinas Valley Fairgrounds in King City. Tickets for the gala and the Dec. 13, 14 and 15 performances can be bought from Artistic Director Jan Harkness by calling 831-261-2981 or at the door on show dates.


Show some holiday spirit at the Monterey County Agricultural and Rural Life Museum’s 12th Annual Holiday Open House on Saturday, Dec. 14, from 12 to 4 p.m. Festivities include holiday museum tours, wine tasting, crafts for the family, hay rides through the park and homemade soup. Admission is free with a canned food donation for Loaves and Fishes. The museum is located at San Lorenzo County Park in King City.

City of Greenfield’s annual Christmas in the Park takes place Saturday, Dec. 14, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Village Green Park, 98 S. El Camino Real. In addition to the tree lighting ceremony, the community event includes food and craft vendors, local music and dance groups, horse-drawn carriage rides, ornament-making booth, complimentary hot chocolate, hot cider and cookies. Youth and their families can also take photos with Santa.


Santa’s Studio at Eden Valley Care Center opens Wednesday, Dec. 18, from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Children can sit on Santa’s lap and take a photo with him inside the Fireside Room at the care center, 612 Main St., in Soledad. The event is free and open to the public.


Fourth Street Tap House presents its annual Holiday Vendor Event on Saturday, Dec. 21, from 2 to 6 p.m. The 21-and-older event includes multiple vendors, beer and wine for any last-minute Christmas shopping. The tap house is located at 25 Fourth St. in Gonzales.

Did we miss a holiday event? Contact us via email at [email protected] and we’ll add it to our weekly community calendar.

Ryan Cronk
Ryan Cronk is the managing editor for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for South Monterey County and the surrounding communities.


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