Amidst the crowd at the Historic Folsom Tree Lighting event Friday night, Folsom Police officers noticed a seasonal spoiler in the act and quickly sprang into action to make sure holiday cheer and celebration went on without interruption or incident Friday night.  

At approximately 7 p.m. officers observed a suspect attempting to steal Christmas decorations near the Historic Folsom Ice Rink. The suspect was wearing a well worn Santa suit, reportedly had a green complexion and had a pair of very unusual pointed feet. Witnesses nearby also reported the character “stank” of an odor that was as foul as his attitude and had been asking many children at the event to give him their cocoa and treats.


Folsom Police immediately apprehended the suspect, placing him in handcuffs. Upon investigation, they identified the suspect as a man known as The Grinch who resides in a small community known as Mt. Crumpet. Police also discovered he had a prior record that included a similar act back in 1957 in city known as Whoville.

Once he was in police custody, the agitated character was escorted in handcuffs to the balcony of Willamette Wineworks and released into the custody of Folsom Mayor Rosario Rodriguez and Folsom Historic District Association President Jim Snook, along with event emcee Bryan Greenwalt who was visibly hiding his microphone as soon as he spotted the outspoken character eying it.


While he was in the presence of the dignitaries, the character looked down upon the thousands of people who were attending the event free of charge Friday night and celebrating as a community. It was then, he realized that Christmas was not all about money and presents and joined in the celebration, much like he did in his first offense in 1957 that was even documented in a book by his doctor, Theodore Suess.

Taking the emcee microphone, The Grinch spoke to the crowd, and entertained them with a series of corny jokes. He then performed a song apparently written about himself known as, “You’re a mean one Mr. Grinch,” drawing cheers from the crowd. 


Following his performance, officials released The Grinch, after he explained he suffers from having a heart two sizes too small and was acting out after he was triggered by all of the holiday cheer. Thereafter he noted that he realized that he was in the great community of Folsom where all are welcome to celebrate as a community, even those who are green and are known to stanck, stank or stunk now and then. The Grinch agreed to not return to Historic Folsom for at least 364 days.


Huge crowd turns out for tree lighting, Santa in Folsom

The apprehension of the Grinch was just one part of a whole evening of fun in Historic Folsom Friday night to ring in the holidays with the community at the annual tree lighting celebration. The crowd was one of the biggest yet to attend the annual event and many of them where there for the arrival of the man of the hour, Santa Claus.


Santa arrived in the district right around the 6:00 hour. The jolly one in red rode aboard the City of Folsom Fire Department’s antique fire engine, which was flanked by Folsom Police and several modern day engines to form a grand entry with lights, sirens and all much to the delight of the crowd of children and families who crowded to the sidewalk to get a first look at Santa, Mrs. Claus and several helpers including Rudolph and a selection of festive elves. 

Once in his red throne, he began visiting with families one a time, a task that lasted long into the night and sent many home with big smiles and plenty of holiday spirit. 

Leading up to the official tree lighting, several special performances took place throughout the district from Frozen’s Queen Elsa serenading guests from the balcony of the historic opera house building to performances up and down the street by Take Note Troupe, Theory Dance, John Adams Academy and others. 

Taking place at the same time in the Historic Folsom Plaza there was a hoopla of entertainment as well. At the Zittel Family Amphitheater, emcee Sunny Mitchell welcomed several youth groups that performed. Those performing included Folsom Preparatory School along with the Leighton Dance Project, the Bayside Church Choir and Theory Dance.  Just before the attention moved up to the balcony of Willamette Wineworks, Sutter Street Theatre performed on the stairs adjacent to the ice rink. 

Folsom Historic District Association Board President Jim Snook took the stage to welcome all of the guests below and thank the many sponsors and volunteers that make the annual affair possible.  

Snook then passed the microphone to Folsom Mayor Rosario Rodriguez who offered a warm welcome to the crowd and many words of thanks to the community before she welcomed Renee Snook to the microphone with her to perform the countdown. As the clock struck 7:30, the 35-foot white fir tree came to life in the center of the rink. Followed  by a cheer from the crowd that likely could be heard all the way at the north pole.

 Historic Folsom Station’s Jerry Bernau continued the long tradition of selecting and purchasing the tree as a donation to the district. The tree was chosen amidst several potential candidates at Smart’s Tree Farm in Camino and located and erected in the plaza thanks to help from Bonar Engineering and Tailored Tree. 

Immediately after the tree was lit, recent NBC Voice contestant Kristen Brown performed a rendition of “All I want for Christmas,’ as the crowd of the crowd danced and sang along below. When the song concluded, the Lakeside Church Band performed on the steps of the ice rink to continue the celebration.  See more photos and video from the entire evening in an additional Folsom Times article HERE.

Now that the tree is aglow and Santa has officially arrived in Folsom, he will be in the Historic District for evening visits and carriage rides starting on December 2 from 6 to 8 pm. He will return to the district rain or shine at the cottage Dec. 8 and 9th as well.  Additional holiday events include the annual Christmas Craft Fair on Sutter Street Sunday from 9 am until 4 pm. Learn all the fine details at

Folsom Police Officers move in on The Grinch as he attempts to flee with holiday decorations Friday night. Photos by Bill Sullivan.

Bill Sullivan
Author: Bill Sullivan

Bill Sullivan has over 25 years of professional journalism and content creation experience in which he has earned 37 professional awards. He is the co-founder/publisher of Folsom Times an All Town Media LLC product.