Spend time with family & friends in Downtown Napa
By Craig Smith
Christmas is a special, magical time, when friends and families come together as perhaps no other time of the year. There are many festive experiences to be shared in Downtown Napa. Make some or all of these are part of your Holidays.
~ Ice Skating ~
From November 15th to January 12th, children of all ages and those young at heart will be able to ice skate in downtown Napa. The 6300 sq ft outdoor rink is being completely re-designed this year including stainless steel railings, a better ice surface, a real Zamboni, hot chocolate, and your favorite Christmas music. Situated in the parking lot at the north east corner of Coombs and Second streets, the rink will be open until 10 PM Monday through Saturday, and until 8 PM on Sundays. It opens at 10 AM when school is out, 1 PM when students are in class. Skating is only $12 per person, which includes skate rentals. Tickets purchased before Nov. 1st are available for $10 from selected merchants and non- profit groups. More information is available at Napaonice.com.
~ Christmas Tree Lighting ~
The kids are home from school and the family is in town to spend Thanksgiving at your house. Join your neighbors the night before in Veterans Park, at the north east corner of Main and Third, when Mayor Jill Techel lights the 29’ tall Christmas tree. Free hot chocolate and cookies are the perfect accompaniment to enjoy children singing and dancing. A Barbershop Quartet will sing before hand, and lead everyone in Carols afterwards. Wednesday, Nov. 27th at 6 PM. Of course, it’s free and open to the public. Bring your skates, and enjoy the rink before or after the tree lighting.
~ Christmas Parade ~
The 51st annual Christmas parade begins at 5 PM on Saturday, Nov. 30th. The theme “Jingle all the Way” lends itself to all kinds of creative interpretations, as Napans build floats; decorate cars, animals and children; and march down the street. Participants are encouraged to decorate using lights, with a prize of $500 going to the entry that the judges think does that better than anyone else. A second $500 prize goes to the entry that best follows the parade theme.
This year’s parade Grand Marshal is Cheryl Richburg, owner of Napa Valley Traditions at the corner of Main and Pearl Streets. Richburg, whose family has a long “Tradition” in Napa, has owned the store for twenty years. Enjoy the parade with her.
This year, Santa is planning on coming to Napa during the parade. He’ll be visiting with children in the Andaz Hotel lobby on First Street immediately after the parade. Don’t worry if there is a chill in the air – there will be plenty of hot chocolate to take care of it. It’s all free and all fun.
~ Carriage & Trolley Rides ~
Want to see what all of the lights look like downtown? Wrap a blanket around the kids and check them out in the back of a horse-drawn carriage on Thursdays, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Two different routes each night – enjoy them both! Or, come downtown between 3:00 and 6:00 on Saturdays and Sundays, and tour all of downtown in the Holiday Trolley. In fact, take a carriage ride, and enjoy a trolley trip as well. You deserve it. Celebrate Christmas in Downtown Napa!