It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas throughout the city of Folsom, but this Friday night the sights and magic of the holiday will culminate with the annual celebration to light the Historic District Christmas tree.

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Towering high in the center of the holiday ice rink and historic railroad turntable in the Historic Folsom Plaza, this annual event that attracts thousands takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. rain or shine Friday. The countdown and the lighting of the tree will take place at 7:30 p.m. to usher in the holiday spirit, complete with the arrival of Santa Claus, blowing snow and a flurry of entertainment this year.

The celebration will include an appearance by The Grinch as he returns for another year as well as performances by various youth music and dance programs at the amphitheater,local choirs, the Sutter Street Theatre and various dance groups. A new addition this year will be a special performance by Roseville resident and singer Kristen Brown. 

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Brown has been a contestant on the current season of NBC’s The Voice on NBC. Friday night, she will perform a “special song” as Folsom’s tree is illuminated.

“I am so excited to be back performing in Folsom especially for an event as magical as the Christmas Tree Lighting,” Brown told Folsom Times. “I’ll be singing a holiday favorite on the Willamette Balcony at 7:30 followed by a Christmas afterparty performance in the Willamette tasting room. Come by and let’s ring in the holiday season together.”

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Various vendors will also be throughout the district for the event with plenty of children’s activities and sweet eats, hot chocolate, coffee and more. New this year is the addition of wine  being served at the ice rink. The offering is courtesy of Willamette Wineworks, which overlooks the plaza and has been a big part of this year’s ice rink and subsequent holiday events along with neighboring Scott’s Seafood who also offering the options of bites at the rink this year, not only Friday night but on select days throughout the season 

The evening includes a dose of “magic” falling snow in the heart of Folsom’s Historic District. Grab the family, dress warm and bring a camera to capture those very special memories that are sure to be made. 

The following is the tentative schedule of events for Friday’s event. See updates at www.historicfolsom.org.

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5:30 pm – Enjoy pop up performances down Sutter Street by John Adams Academy Choir, Theory Dance, Take Note Troupe and the Sutter Street Theater.

5:45 pm – Santa arrives on Sutter Street with the Folsom Police Department. 

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6:00 – 8:00 pm – Santa Visits and photos sponsored by Lakeside Church – in the plaza near the intersection of Sutter Street and Decatur.

6:00 – 7:00 pm – Performances begin on the Zittle Family Amphitheater Stage featuring Folsom Preparatory School, Leighton Dance Project, Bayside Choir, Take Note Troupe and Theory Dance and more.

6:00 – 9:00 pm – Visit the plaza for giveaways, bounce houses and wreath making. Throughout the night, you can also enjoy local vendors, food trucks, face painting, snow and much more.

7:00 – 7:30 pm – Folsom’s Mayor and the Grinch will meet before the crowd up on the Willamette balcony and the Sutter Street Theater will perform on the steps of the ice rink as the tree lighting countdown begins.

7:30 pm, Historic Folsom’s Tree is official lit followed by a performance by Kristen Brown, a contestant this season of The Voice. Her performance will be followed by a special holiday skate performance at the rink and a variety of performance.

Two days after Friday’s event, the fun continues as the annual Christmas Craft Fair returns to Sutter Street Sunday morning into the afternoon. Learn all the fine details at www.historicfolsom.org.

El Dorado Hills celebrates on Saturday evening

If Friday night isn’t enough or you can’t make it, you can join in celebration with thousands of residents for the annual Christmas Tree Lighting event in El Dorado Hills Town Center. From 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, guests from all over the area will gather for many fun activities.

Kicking off the evening festivities, the first 200 kids can play the ‘stuff your stocking’ game.  But get there early, as the line starts at 3 pm.

There will be a Merchant Open House from 4 pm-8 pm, enjoy the live music from from 4:30 pm-7:30 pm, winners of the caroling contest will perform at 6 pm, and then Santa arrives and the tree lighting takes place at 6:30 pm, signaling the official start of the magical holiday season. (See additional Folsom Times story)

The tree will be located in the theater plaza by the movie theater.
For more information, go to eldoradohillstowncenter.com.