The City of Atascadero will officially be in the holiday spirit Friday, December 6 for the Annual “Light Up the Downtown” Holiday Celebration at Sunken Gardens.

The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. with Holiday Art, Wine & Brew hosted by Atascadero Chamber of Commerce. For those 21 and over, more than 30 downtown merchants will have wine, craft beer and cider tastings. Admission cost is $20 which includes a wristband and a wine glass. Tickets can be purchased online in advance at atascaderochamber.org or at the time of the event either at Atascadero City Hall or Grape Encounters EmPOURium on Traffic Way.

As for the ceremony, a countdown will begin for the beautiful and awe-inspiring lighting presentation at the Historic City Hall at 6 p.m.

“You might notice the trees might get a little bigger this year and we have our wreath and all the swag that goes around the building,” said Terrie Banish, Deputy City Manager of Outreach, Promotions & Events. “We turn it all on at one time and from there we have our community entertainment.”

Entertainment will include the Fairweather Four Barbershop Quartet, the Atascadero Community Band and many others. Complementary docent-led tours of City Hall will also be offered at 5, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. Tours take approximately 40 minutes.

Santa will be making his way from the North Pole and will arrive via fire truck before he makes his way to the lower rotunda of City Hall for personal visits. Attendees can enter through the Lewis Avenue side of the building and make their way to Santa for a photo and a candy cane.

Aside from a chance to hang out with Santa, this event, which typically draws around 2,000 people, will also offer the chance to go on a horse-drawn hayride, a Model A fire truck ride and, of course, hot chocolate!

“This event has gained in popularity over the years.” Banish said. “There’s a lot involved, a lot of community entertainment, a lot of folks out just to seeing their friends and family and neighbors and all ages are welcome, so that makes it kind of cool and it’s a beautiful evening to put light to.”

Aside from the Holiday Art, Wine & Brew, this event is free and for all ages. However, you may want to consider bringing your pocketbook to purchase some holiday goodies and get some items crossed off your shopping list.

For more information, go to visitatascadero.com.

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