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Old Sacramento Waterfront Gets into the Spirit of the Season as a Themed Holiday Destination

Photo courtesy of Julian Martinez

Old Sacramento Waterfront will be completely transformed into a holiday village with decorations, a 60-foot tree, light shows, themed bar crawls, pedestrian-friendly streets, and unique gifts to purchase starting on Small Business Saturday. Located three blocks away from Golden 1 Center and the Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink, Old Sacramento Waterfront is a key destination for holiday shopping and entertainment.

Expanding on the 15th anniversary of Theatre of Lights, the immersive, live-action lightshow on the balconies of Old Sacramento buildings, the entire district will be embracing the holiday spirit. Theatre of Lights is a free, family-friendly performance created by Stage Nine Exhibitions’ Troy Carlson and voiced by Emmy-nominated voice actor Bill Farmer, the voice of Disney’s Goofy. The performance features an immersive retelling of The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore alongside stories of how Sacramento pioneers experienced the calamities — and revelry — that befell the new city in the 1850s.

The Holiday Tree Lighting kicks off Theatre of Lights on Wednesday evening, November 22. The tree lighting ceremony will feature community favorites such as the Sacramento Gay Men’s Chorus starting at 5 p.m. with the grand lighting happening at 6 p.m.

This year, the district will have plenty of ways to celebrate the season with family and friends. Bars like Bear & Crown, Honey & The Trapcat, Last Stop Saloon, Delta King, and more will be decked out in holiday gear and offer themed drinks. Front and K Streets will be closed to vehicles Saturdays and Sundays, November 25 through December 31, so visitors can freely explore all the holiday activations.

Special Events and Activations Line-Up:

  • All Out Decor

In addition to the Holiday Tree that has almost 24,000 lights, every building in the district will be adorned with garland and LED lights, every street pole will sport red bows, and storefronts will have their own decorations. To show off our Sacramento pride, the Holiday Tree will be lit Kings’ purple on game nights.

  • Holiday Tree Lighting

On Wednesday, November 22, opening performances by talented community groups begin at 5 p.m. The 60-foot Holiday Tree will be lit at 6 p.m. and the first Theatre of Lights performance of the season will follow.

  • Theatre of Lights

Theatre of Lights is a free, immersive performance retelling The Night Before Christmas in a uniquely Sacramento way on the balconies of Old Sacramento Waterfront. Electrifying shows happen at 6 and 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays from Thanksgiving Eve to December 30 (no show on Thanksgiving or Christmas).

  • Themed Bar Crawls

Bars like Bear & Crown, Honey & The Trapcat, Last Stop Saloon, Delta King, and more were given grants to transform their spaces into festive holiday pop-up bars. The bars will be all decked out and feature themed drink specials. These bars being within a few walkable blocks of each other, Old Sacramento Waterfront is the perfect district for a holiday bar crawl.

  • Live Big, Support Small: Shop Local

There are 50+ locally owned retail stores in the district and each has plenty of unique items that make perfect gifts. Old Sacramento Waterfront will be launching official gift guides this Small Business Saturday for every person on your list, so visitors can get holiday shopping done in one place while supporting Sacramento-owned businesses.

  • Holiday Market

A pop-up holiday market by Peachy Pop Ups will fill Front Street with artisan goods and art Fridays from 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 2 to 8 p.m. starting Friday, November 24 and ending Sunday, December 31.

  • Holiday Music

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.  District visitors can explore the district with the sounds of roaming carolers on Fridays and live music Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about Old Sacramento Waterfront, visit  www.oldsacramento.com

About the author

Traci Rockefeller Cusack

Traci Rockefeller Cusack has 25+ years of media and public relations experience.  Her work experience includes News10 (ABC) as Promotion Manager from 1989-1998 (where she developed and launched “Coats for Kids’ Sake,” a winter coat drive that lasted 20+ years plus coordinated Oprah Winfrey’s first ever visit to Sacramento) and Fleishman-Hillard as Vice President from 1998-2005 (where she led the wildly successful statewide “California Grown” program and also produced the five-minute video that played on the Jumbotron on Opening Day at Pac Bell Park). In 2007, she launched T-Rock Communications and currently handles a wide range of marketing activities for a number of top-notch organizations.

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