The Christmas season shifts into high gear today with the 40th annual downtown Manteca twilight Christmas parade.
The parade will still take place even if it rains, according to Manteca Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Joann Beattie.
There are 85 entries for the parade that starts at 5 p.m. The parade route is down Yosemite Avenue from Library Park to Garfield Avenue by Manteca High. This year’s parade theme is “A Candyland Christmas”.
Santa will make his grand entrance to Manteca for the holiday season aboard a Manteca Fire engine at the rear of parade before settling in to visit kids in the coming weeks at the downtown Santa Hut made possible by the Manteca Rotary.
The chamber’s Christmas in the Park continues today and Sunday at Woodward Park.
Today’s highlight is in the form of fresh snow that has been trucked in from the Sierra for a kid’s snow play area.
The 64 vendors — most of which are offering craft items for sale — are clustered around the group picnic shelter. Large tents will be pitched for scheduled activities including visiting with Santa. The 11 food trucks — ranging from Fagundes, Lockeford Sausage and Inner City Action to Mexican cuisine will be parked in the drop off area adjacent to the picnic area
Christmas in the Park at Woodward Park will feature a snow play area, photos with Santa, carnival rides, food trucks, vendors, petting zoo, rock painting, children’s activities, a holiday cheer tent, Christmas tree decorating contest, and more.
The Penetrators Grove Band will provide live music Sunday in the holiday cheer tent. They play music from the 60s and 70s as well as rhythm and blues, classic rock, country, and blues.
Today’s hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 8, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Manteca Chamber of Commerce also is staging the 40th annual twilight holiday parade on Saturday, Dec. 7, at 5 p.m. in downtown Manteca.
Other holiday events scheduled include:
*BREAKFAST WITH SANTA & MRS. CLAUS: The Manteca Presbyterian Church, North and Main streets, is hosting a pancake breakfast with Santa & Mrs. Claus on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 8 to 11 a.m. The cost is $5 for adults and $3 for children 6 to 12 while those under 6 are free. Photos of Santa complete with a frame are $5.
Today-Sunday, Dec. 7-8
*STUFF THE BUS FOR KIDS: Manteca parks & Recreation in connection with the Manteca Unified School District is conducting a gift drive for kids from struggling families with the Stuff the Buss event at the Manteca Walmart on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 7-8, as well as Saturday, Dec. 14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.
Sunday, Dec. 8
*MANTECA MUSEUM OPEN HOUSE: The Manteca Historical Society will hold their annual Christmas Open House on Sunday, Dec. 8, from 1 to 4 pm at the museum. Melinda Pacheco Patrick will be signing her new book “Images of America – Manteca”. Refreshments will be served. The gift shop will be open. All are welcome.
*MANTECA CHRISTMAS CANTATA: The Christmas concert is being presented by the choirs at St. Paul's United Methodist Church on Sunday, Dec. 8, at 7 p.m. in their sanctuary. They will sing a 50-minute cantata called "A Thrill of Hope" directed by Anne Talcott. The choirs include the Chancel Choir, the Music Discovery children's choir and at least 20 other friends from the community representing ten other churches.
St. Paul's is located at 910 E. North St in Manteca and the concert is free to the public. For more information call the church office, 823-7154.
Wednesday, Dec. 11
* SOROPTIMIST HOLDIAY AFFAIR: The 40th annual Soroptimist International of Manteca Holiday Affair cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception takes place Wednesday, Dec. 11, at the Manteca Bank of Stockton branch on North Main Street from 6 to 7 p.m. The $75 ticket provides admission for two people. Tickets are available at Tipton’s Stationery and Gifts. 169 W. Yosemite Ave.(209-823-7644). You may also contact Connie Meintasis (209-823-5828) or Gayl Wilson (209-483-8187) or any other Soroptimist member.
Thursday, Dec. 12
*RIPON CHRISTMAS PARADE: The Ripon Chamber of Commerce Christmas Light Parade takes place on Thursday, Dec. 12, at 6 p.m. in downtown Ripon. The theme is “Peace on Earth”. Entry fees are $20 per single vehicle or $30 for two vehicles or more including horses. The deadline for entries is Dec. 9. Contact the chamber at 209.599.7519 or go to riponchamber.org.
*SONDANCE CHRISTMAS DANCE PRESENTATION: SONdance Christian Dance School’s annual Christmas production is Friday, Dec 13, and Saturday, Dec.14 at 7 p.m. at the Ripon Christian Schools performing arts center, 435 N. Maple Ave., Ripon. Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door. For ticket sales or more information call SONdance at 209.823.1740 or go to www.sondance.org.
Saturday, Dec. 14
*BREAKFAST WITH SANTA: The Manteca Senior Center, 295 Cherry Lane, is hosting the annual event starting at 9 a.m. sharp.
Bring your children ages and 10 and under to the festive breakfast that includes the chance to make a craft, enjoy breakfast and visit with Santa. Only 125 children’s tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The $7 tickets are on sale at the senior center.
*LATHROP CHRISTMAS PARADE: The City of Lathrop Christmas parade takes place Saturday, Dec. 14, at 11 a.m. starting at Fifth and J streets. The theme is “The Music & Magic of Christmas”. For entry information contact the Lathrop Community Center at (209) 941-7370.