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CHRISTMAS IN MANTECA: Season kicks off on Thursday
Snow hill, parade, concerts & more
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Children line Yosemite Avenue to get the best seats for last year’s downtown Manteca Christmas parade. This year’s Manteca Chamber of Commerce parade takes place Saturday, Dec. 1 at 5 p.m. - photo by Bulletin file photo

Tree lightings, concerts, a fun run where participants are encouraged to dress like Santa, a parade, and even a snow hill at Library Park are part of the Christmas season in Manteca that officially gets underway this week when the switch is thrown for the City’s Christmas tree.
The tree lighting is part of the Christmas at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St., and celebration taking place Thursday. It is being hosted by the City of Manteca and with Mayor Steve DeBrum and Veronica DeBrum.
It starts at 6 p.m. with the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree. Children are encouraged to bring their own handmade ornaments to hang on the tree. There will also be music and entertainment.
Then after that at 6:30, the celebration shifts to the Manteca Senior Center, 295 Cherry Lane. The free event includes activities, Reindeer Carnival games, Christmas cards for soldiers, craft stations, story time, entertainment, music cookies, hot chocolate, cooking decorating with Mrs. Claus and photos with Santa.

Hospice tree lighting set for Wednesday
Ceremonies turning on the Hospice of San Joaquin’s Tree of Lights take place Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Doctors Hospital of Manteca, at the corner of North Street and Cottage Avenue.
Hospice is asking the community “Light Up a Light, Light Up a Life” by dedicating a light to remember or honor a loved one in this year’s Tree of Lights by donating to the Hospice of San Joaquin. The colors of the lights are associated with the family donation: $5 is red, $10 is green, $25 is blue, $50 is white, $100 is yellow, $250 is purple, $500 is orange and a $1,000 donation is for the treetop.
Light donations can be made online at

Christmas at Christmas in the Park
The two-day Christmas in the Park sponsored by the City of Manteca and the Manteca Chamber of Commerce is Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 1, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Library Park in downtown Manteca.
There will be food trucks, nativity scene and Christmas tree decorating contests, a Gingerbread Man competition, live music, carolers as well as kiddie carnival rides, a holiday cheer garden and pictures with Santa both days. The Saturday, Dec. 1, activities include events that also are taking place on Friday plus craft and vendor booths as well as a snow hill and snow play area. Vendor space on Dec. 1 is $100 for a commercial booth, $75 for homemade crafts, and $50 for non-profits. Food vendors are $200. The entry fee for the tree decorating and/or nativity scene contest is $10 for a family tree, $20 for a commercial tree/scene, and $15 for a non-profit tree scene.
Entry forms can be found at For more information call 209.823.6121.

Santa’s Fun Run
The Manteca 5K Centennial Santa Fun Run/Walk is set to start at 7 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, with the check-in at 6:30 a.m. at Library Park in downtown Manteca.
There is a $20 entry fee. Entry forms can be found at For more information call 209.823.6121.
Holiday parade Dec. 1
The 46th annual Manteca Chamber of Commerce Holiday Parade takes place Saturday, Dec. 1, at 5 p.m.
It starts at Library Park and heads east down Yosemite Avenue to Garfield Avenue on the east side of Manteca High.
The parade theme is “A Gingerbread Christmas.”
Drive thru nativity Friday & Saturday, Dec. 7-8

The 22nd annual Drive-thru Living Nativity is being staged Friday, Dec. 7, and Sunday, Dec. 8 in the parking lot at Sequoia Heights Baptist Church, 1050 S. Union Road.
The free event takes place both nights from 6 to 9 p.m.
As cars start rolling in, traffic control personnel direct traffic so that it flows smoothly. At the "In booth", a volunteer will guide them in the right direction and provide a portable MP3 player. They will listen to the story of Jesus Life — the "reason for the season — and view each scene from the comfort of their own car. Upon exiting, more friendly volunteers will collect the MP3 player and provide a small gift for those who drive thru. Approximately 1,000 cars drive thru this Sequoia tradition each year.
 For more information call 209.823.2089.

SONdance Christmas performances Dec. 8
The SONdance Christian dance will present “The Heart of Christmas” on Friday, Dec. 7, and Saturday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. at the Ripon Christian Schools Performing Arts Center, 435 N. Maple Ave., Ripon. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door.
You can purchase tickets by going on line at or call 209.823.1740. 

Manteca Recreation Breakfast with Santa
The annual Manteca Parks & Recreation Breakfast with Santa is Saturday, Dec. 8, at 9 a.m. at the Manteca Senior Center, 295 Cherry Lane.
The event includes breakfast, photos with Santa, and a small gift from Santa as well as craft activities.
The event is designed for children 10 and under
Tickets are $7 and must be purchased in advance at the senior center. The event typically sells out. It is limited to 125 children.

Holiday Affair on Dec. 12
Tickets are available for the biggest holiday party in Manteca— the 39th annual Manteca Soroptimists Holiday Affair.
The $75 ticket gets the holder and a guest a chance for many big-ticket prizes and some delicious hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. The event will be held at the Bank of Stockton, 660 N. Main St., Wednesday, Dec. 12, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Tickets will be available at the door or from any Soroptimist member. You can also call  Leslie Trueb at 209.470.3585 or Carol Nunes at 209.608.2003.
Proceeds will go to support the Soroptimist Community Service Fund. The Teen Crisis Center is the club’s signature project. The club has donated $340,000 over the past 29 years to help the Manteca Unified School District provide counseling services for teens at all schools in the district. School officials have credited the teen crisis counselors for substantially reducing the potential for young people to make decisions that could result in negative consequences to their academic performance, future career paths and their health.
There are many projects that benefit from this fund which include Raymus House, Haven of Peace, Boys and Girls Club of Manteca, Manteca Mural Society, Manteca Historical Society, Women’s Opportunity Award, Making a Difference for Women Award, Christmas Wishes, yearly scholarships of $8,000 to MUSD high school seniors, the Second Harvest Food Bank, Friends of the Library and many more community projects.

Choir, handbell concerts Dec. 9 & Dec. 16
 Begin the Christmas Season by joining St. Paul’s United Methodist Church and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when they blend their musical talents to present the 3rd Annual Christmas Concert for the community. 
The choir directors are Anne Talcott from St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Lisa Traughber, director of the Handbell choir and Ruth Christensen, director of the Manteca Stake Choir, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The performances will include exceptional choir selections, special Handbell medleys, String ensembles, and a wonderful Congregational carol.
There will be two performances, Sunday, Dec. 9, 910 E. North St, at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, beginning at 7 p.m.
The second performance will be Sunday, Dec. 16, 6060 E. Northland Rd., at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, beginning at 7 p.m..
A donation of canned food items for St. Paul’s Food Pantry would be welcomed at both locations.   

Manteca Rec Senior Angel Tree project
Manteca Rec and the Manteca Senior Center launched the Angel Tree Project several years ago. Shut-ins and those at convalescent hospitals that have little or no visitors are identified and asked to submit a request for a small gift.
A Christmas tree is placed in the Manteca Senior Center lobby at 295 Cherry Lane from Nov. 29 through Dec. 12. Participants are asked to select a name tag from the tree and purchase an item on that senior’s wish list. Gift cards are also welcomed. If you have questions call 209.456.8650.

Stuff the Bus for Kids’ Sake
There are two parts to the Stuff the Buss for Kids’ Sake effort. one involves program applications as well as people who may be interested in adopting a child or family by purchasing gifts and the other being three donation days.
Applications are being accepted through Dec. 4 from families with kids that may not be having a Christmas. To qualify, families must live within the Manteca unified School District and attend an MUSD school. Approval — based on information on file with the MUSD — is required before kids can receive gifts.
If you would like to adopt a child or a family or submit an application for participation, email The district also provides the effort with a list.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email