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38th edition features 150 crafters, entertainment, food, fun & more

SONORA - The 38th Anniversary Sonora Christmas Festival takes place Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 23, 24, and  25 at Sonora’s Mother Lode Fairgrounds

At 10 a.m. each day visitors will be greeted by Santa, the elves, trees, and carolers at the front gates of our Christmas Village. Then follow these merrymakers through the artisan’s lanes and yummy festival food vendors, accompanied by tunes of the talented musicians on the festival stages. Also, to be delighted by the antics of our comic jugglers, vaudeville style skits, train rides, ornament making, kids play area.

Sonora Christmas Festival continues to be one of California’s finest arts festivals.

The 26th Winter Wonderland Christmas Parade, in historic downtown Sonora, will be ready to roll at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23. (Parade details: 209-532-7725).

There are 150 craft and graphic artists featured at the annual festival making it a Christmas shopping tradition for thousands of thoughtful shoppers since 1975. All makers of their own craft and art pieces, weavers, metal smiths, Christmas ornaments and decorations, blown and etched glass, fabricated gold and silver jewelry, watercolors, photography,, clothing, soaps, instrument maker, lotions oils and soaps, leather hats, bets, buckles, and  custom sign to name a few.

The “cottage” gourmet food specialties industry, (olive oils, candies, salsas, nuts, olives, peanut brittle, English toffee) has been a very popular addition to our shows. Don’t miss: Cowboy Toffee, Fudge It (wide variety of yummy flavors), cake mixes by Fabulous Fixins, wild honey by Gold Country Honey, and more. The Dog Biscuit Stockings by the Humane Society will be by the Main Stage.

Among the festival entertainers are:

·         •Tessie Marie & Poor Man Band: Swing, jazz, blues, rock-a-billy by an outstanding new band from Sacramento.

·         •Joe Craven & MamaJowali: Folk Alliance Performer of the Year, the “Workingman” of Americana acoustic music, some new bluegrass and world music by Joe Craven (performed in David Grisman Quintet & Garcia-Grisman Band, Allison Brown Band, Railroad Earth). Joe Craven plays a wild assortment of found and homemade instruments, will be staying all weekend to perform with most of the other bands. Mamajowali is Joe’s latest magical project, featuring Grammy Award winner Mamadou Sidibe of Mali on Kamale Rigoni (hunters harp) and Walter Strauss on guitar.

·         •The ever popular Golden Bough returns, Friday/Saturday performing wonderful Celtic music – special Christmas program.

·         •Sourdough Slim: The accordion playin’ cowboy. Nostalgic and novelty tunes and wit and wisdom of the Old West, takin’ you back to yesteryear! Kids show also added. (Slim will be joined by The Saddle Pals on Saturday and famed saw player Robert Armstrong on Friday. (Robt recorded the theme music for movie “One Flew Over the Cookoo’s Nest”.)

·         •Red Dog Ash Bluegrass Band this award winning Central Valley band plays original and classic bluegrass music, hard-driving tunes and beautiful waltzes featuring tight harmonies, hot licks, and high-lonesome mountain soul. (www/

·         •Mirth & Glee Singers entertain you with everything from traditional carols to upbeat pop tunes in joyful a cappela harmony it is their 31st year at the fair.

·         •The Street Performer/ Buskers Showcase

Featuring Captain Jack Spareribs “Pirates of the Caribbean” style entertainer, magic, ventriloquism, juggling, Flaming Torches, Spinning Bowls, Balancing Swords, knives, apples, bowling balls and more.

There is also a kids’ play area.