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Style Magazine

Placerville Parks and Recreation

Oct 29, 2013 09:23AM ● By Style

Photo by Bill Robinson.

For more than 25 years, Placerville has welcomed the holiday season with a special event that celebrates local entertainment—a traditional tree lighting near the historic courthouse on Main Street and a Merchants’ Open House. Hosted by the Placerville Downtown Association, Festival of Lights is always held the Friday after Thanksgiving (November 29, this year), rain or shine.

Across the street from the historic courthouse, attendees will find the event’s “honorary celebrity”—an old, large light-adorned spruce tree that will be aglow after the public countdown at 6 p.m. In conjunction with the tree lighting, more than 75 trees (donated by El Dorado County Christmas Tree Growers and adopted by organizations and individuals through the El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce) will also “come to light.” The tree lighting will be followed by a visit from a jolly fellow in a red suit who sets up at River City Bank; photos will be available, but are not required to visit Santa.

The holiday welcoming ceremony starts around 5:30 p.m. on Historic Main Street. Clear, crisp and dry weather is on the festival’s wish list. In order to host performers in several different locations on Main Street—including the courthouse and bell tower, to name a few—a street closure will take place between the courthouse and Sacramento Street from 5-8 p.m. In addition to the entertainment, stagecoach rides from Davy “Doc” Wiser and his crew will be on tap, as well as the first day of the Merchant’s Open House, where visitors can enjoy goodies from merchants, view beautifully decorated windows and rooflines, and start their holiday shopping. Note: Restaurants and shops will stay open late for the festivities.

The performers at the Festival of Lights will include the Placerville Gold Rush Chorus (a group of men singing a crowd-pleasing style of barbershop harmony), El Dorado High School Band (performing their own interpretations of traditional holiday music), Jammin’ Dance & Fitness (showcasing various styles of dance, including tap and hip hop), and more!

Bring the whole family to Main Street and enjoy this free, fun-filled festival. The many public and outlying lots, including the Center Street Garage and the Ivy House lot at Main and Cedar Ravine, will have ample parking; please do not park in private lots that are posted.

For more information, visit or call 530-672-3436.