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Though snow is never part of the equation, the Bay Area still loves to celebrate the holidays. Many cities and towns have free events for the whole family. Joyful and triumphant revelers can roam from county to county to take part in the season's fealty, buy one-of-a-kind Christmas crafts, enjoy the Hanukkah Festival of Lights, or celebrate Kwanzaa. This is certainly not an exhaustive list, though most events listed are free.
Windsor-- The city's annual holiday celebration and tree lighting will take place on Dec. 1 from 5 to 8 p.m. on the Town Green. Local schools will present live music showcases at 5 p.m. and then at 7 p.m. the tree lighting will commence. There are also plenty of things for children, such as Santa's Mailbox, cookie decorating and craft workshops.
Healdsburg-- The Merry Healdsburg festivities will take place downtown at Healdsburg Plaza on Dec. 2. A tree lighting ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m. followed by free photos with Santa. There will also be free carriage rides sponsored by Kiwanis and free hot chocolate. Live music will include the Healdsburg Chorus and Rocio La Dama de La Cumbia y Su Sonora.
Guerneville-- The Parade of Lights starts after dark on Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. on Main Street, with this year's theme being "A Very Fairy Christmas." This parade is known for its campy, offbeat fun.
Calistoga-- Dubbed the "ultimate small town holiday celebration," Calistoga's Lighted Tractor Parade is definitely unique. Modern, vintage, and antique tractors will be bedecked with lights along with other construction equipment. The parade takes place from 7 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 3.
Sausalito- The Lighted Boat Parade and Fireworks celebration will kick off on Dec. 10 at 6 p.m., rain or shine, along the Sausalito waterfront.
Mill Valley-- Winterfest is back. Featuring live entertainment, a giant slide, tons of children's activities and great food, the event culminates in the Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony. It takes place on Dec. 4 from noon to 5 p.m. in Mill Valley's Downtown Plaza.
St. Helena-- Santa himself will make an appearance downtown on Dec. 9 from 3 to 6 p.m. There will be photo opportunities, music and food vendors.
Napa-- The city's Christmas Parade will take place on Dec. 10 from 5 to 8 p.m. in downtown Napa. This year's theme celebrates 175 years of Christmas in Napa.
Yountville-- How about a Latke Throw Down? Bardessono is hosting its second-annual throwdown at the Yountville Community Center, complete with a latke making competition. Tickets are $10 but guests will be able to watch the competition and even taste the entries. The event takes place on Dec. 15 from 5 to 6 p.m. at 6516 Washington St. Interested parties are encouraged to email their RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
American Canyon-- It's time for the Magic of the Season Lighted Parade and Tree Lighting. In addition to the parade there will be food vendors and a holiday gift marketplace. The event takes place from 3 to 7 p.m. on Dec. 3. in Shenandoah Park, 100 Sonoma Creek Way.
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