Christmas Celebrations in California’s Gateway to Yosemite

Nov 26, 2012 No Comments by

OAKHURST, Calif. – As the Christmas season approaches, Yosemite area communities are gearing up for the holiday with a myriad of events.

Bass Lake is the first to get things started this year as the annual Bass Lake Tree Lighting Ceremony is set for Nov. 24. The celebration begins at sundown, as dozens of decorated floats take part in a parade through The Pines Village. At the end, Santa Claus arrives aboard a fire engine to throw the master switching lighting the massive Christmas Tree that stands over the village. Afterwards he sits down for photos with kids.  For more information, call (559) 642-3121.

A signature event for the city of Madera follows on Nov. 29. The annual Madera Tractor Parade of Lights will make its way down Yosemite Avenue starting at 8 p.m. The procession is made up of tractors, combines and just about any other farm implement as well as many other vehicles all brilliantly lit in twinkling Christmas Lights.

Coinciding with the parade is the annual Christmas Wine Stroll that runs from 5-8 p.m. Guests can explore the many shops and businesses along Madera’s Yosemite Avenue and enjoy wines from local wineries or hot cider. Call the Madera Chamber of Commerce at (559) 673-3563 for more information on either event.

Both Chowchilla and Oakhurst will be lighting their community Christmas trees on Saturday, Dec. 1. The Chowchilla Lion’s Club 45th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting takes place at 5:30 p.m. at the corner lot near Ride Aid on Robertson Boulevard. The event, co-sponsored by the Chowchilla Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department, will also include a visit from Santa Claus. Call (559) 665-8615 x110 for more information.

Oakhurst’s celebration starts at 5 p.m. and is located at the Ditton’s Talking Bear Corner, at the intersection of Highway 41 and Road 426. There will be hot coffee and cider, hot dogs, Christmas Caroling and a chance to chat with Santa and Mrs. Claus. The event is sponsored by Sierra Tel and Century 21 Ditton Realty. For  more information, call (559) 642-0313.

There are numerous other Holiday events planned. For a full list of events, visit

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About the author

James Olinger is a native of the San Joaquin Valley. He graduated from West Hills College in Coalinga, California in 2000 with an associate's degree in liberal arts. He joined Business Street in 2004 as a staff writer, and became the associate editor in 2007. He maintains that position today, writing for Business Street Online in a variety of topics.
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