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Christmas in the Park starts Friday
snow park

The forecast for Woodward Park this weekend calls for snow.

A snow play area for kids that will be created with a huge load of the white stuff trucked in from the Sierra on Saturday morning is part of the biggest ever Christmas in the Park event that starts Friday at Woodward Park.

“We always get a lot of snow,” noted Manteca Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Joann Beattie. “It comes in early Saturday morning and is there until it melts way.”

Beattie said based on previous years there will likely be snow on the ground at Woodward Park into Sunday.

The three-day Christmas in the Park has increased the vendors of last year’s event by more about 50 percent.

“People like the new location,” Beattie said of Woodward Park. “There is a lot more room.”

The event has taken place downtown since it started in 2016 with the last two years being at Library Park.

The 64 vendors — most of which are offering craft items for sale — will be 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.

The Friday, Dec. 6, hours are 5 to 9 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 7, 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.

Beattie noted not only are the entries up from last year — there are 85 entries — with most being floats.

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”.

Beattie said both events will take place even if there is rain.

Other holiday events scheduled through Sunday include:


*MANTECA HOSPICE TREE LIGHTING: The Hospice of San Joaquin tree lighting ceremony will take place Wednesday, Dec. 4, at 6 p.m. at Doctors Hospital of Manteca at North Street and Cottage Avenue.

Thursday, Dec. 5

*MANTECA TREE LIGHTING & CHRISTMAS AT THE CENTER: The City of Manteca tree lighting takes place at 6 p.m. in front of the Manteca Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St. There will be music and entertainment. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own homemade ornaments to hang on the tree.

Then at 6:30 p.m. the Christmas at the Center starts at the senior center, 295 Cherry Lane. The free event includes live local entertainment, Christmas arts and crafts for kids, Christmas cards for soldiers, free cookies and hot chocolate, cookie decorating with Mrs. Claus, reindeer carnival games, story time, and free photos with Santa.

Saturday, Dec. 7

*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.

Saturday-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.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email