Close to 300 feet of Christmas lights used to decorate City Hall, and the two 20 foot Monarch Frame Trees 

ATASCADERO — A large crowd full of holiday cheer gathered in the Sunken Gardens in Atascadero on the evening of Friday, Dec. 3rd, to see the downtown area light up! It’s an Atascadero tradition that’s been happening since the 1940s.

“In total, approximately 2,000 people turned out for the evening. Similar numbers to what we had in 2019, since 2020 was a “Drive-in” Light Up the Downtown, we only had enough room for those who came and could park [last year], said Deputy City Manager, Terrie Banish.

Close to 300 feet of Christmas lights were used to decorate City Hall and the two 20 foot Monarch Frame trees in the Sunken Gardens. That count does not include the lights on Centennial Plaza or the light poles around the downtown square.


“Folks enjoyed the countdown to light up City Hall and Sunken Gardens, followed by the arrival of Santa,” continued Banish.

Not only could you visit with Santa at the event, hayrides, and model a fire truck rides were also part of the festivities for anyone in attendance.

The Atascadero Community Band had the audience caroling along with them, and the Fine Arts Academy Honors Choir also performed.

“[The performances] really brought back the holiday tradition that we truly enjoy each year,” added Banish.

The city also worked with the Atascadero High School ASB program to promote their 2nd annual Glow, Shine, Sparkle event and The Atascadero Chamber of Commerce’s Art, Wine & Brew Tour, which was held the same evening.

“We sold a record number of tickets [to the Art, Wine & Brew Tour] – 485,” said Josh Cross, President and CEO of the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce.

The Art, Wine & Brew Tour, which included the Sunken Gardens, also spilled onto Entrada Avenue, Traffic Way, and Palma Avenue, as well as El Camino Real.

The tour featured 16 local wineries, one brewery, one cidery, and one distillery, along with two hydration stations and a couple of food trucks for in-between beverages.

Artists, photographers, and even woodworkers participated in the Art part of the evening.

“Despite the cold temperatures, the event was successful! People were full of holiday cheer, and several business owners reported record sales for the evening. Also, 805 Boardshop hosted noted singer and guitarist Noah Colton which drew a good crowd,” continued Cross.

Between yummy drinks, beautiful art, Santa visits, and all the lights, both events were a huge success.