Holiday Guide: This weekend in holiday fun
Alameda’s got lots of holiday events lined up over the month of December, and we here at The Island would be remiss if we didn’t work to ensure you’re kept abreast of all the local goings-on. Here’s a quick rundown of the goings-on this weekend.
The fun begins Friday night over at Temple Israel, which is holding a community Chanukkiah lighting at 6:30 p.m. The public is invited to bring a menorah and candles to light (the temple will provide the fire extinguisher to close the festivities). The temple is also hosting a vegetarian potluck after services, which will be held at 7:30 p.m.; call 522-9355 to reserve a spot. Then at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, the temple is holding a Children’s Holiday Crafts Fair featuring handmade holiday items. The temple is at 3183 Mecartney Road.
On Saturday, the City of Alameda holds its annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony, starting at 4:45 p.m. in front of City Hall, which is at 2263 Santa Clara Avenue. The event includes entertainment from Alameda’s Tap Dancing Christmas Trees, the Mistle Tones and the Community Band; while you’re there, you can also bring in your old holiday lights for a new, energy efficient strand (free!) courtesy of the folks at Alameda Municipal Power. The ceremony is preceded by a synthetic skating rink in the City Hall parking lot from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; that’s free, but registration is required.
One other option for Saturday night: The annual Lighted Yacht Parade on the Oakland Estuary. If you don’t happen to have access to a yacht, you can hitch a ride on the Alameda/Oakland ferry at 5:15 p.m. at the Main Street terminal, 2990 Main Street. The ride is free with a toy for the Toys for Tots program.
Sunday offers you another opportunity to partake in the synthetic skating rink at City Hall; it’s up from noon to 4 p.m. and will be accompanied by live animals and the opportunity to take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage. Across the street at the Carnegie Building, the city’s offering the chance to get your picture taken with Santa, a marionette puppet show and holiday story time. Those events begin at 1 p.m., and they’re free.
Soli Deo Gloria will also be performing their “Christmas Bells” concert, at 3:30 p.m. at Christ Episcopal Church. 1701 Santa Clara Avenue. Tickets are $25, $20 for students and seniors; information on how to buy advance tickets is in our special Holiday Guide calendar.
And last but not least … the lights go on along the 3200 block of Thompson Avenue, aka Christmas Tree Lane, this Sunday, and they’ll be going until January 1. The center island lights will be on from 5:30 p.m to 10 p.m each night; Santa arrives to visit with the kids on December 9, and he’s also taking letters at his special mailbox. (You can also check them out on Facebook.)