OXNARD, CA — Oxnard transforms into a winter wonderland this holiday season with a series of festive events ranging from massive lights displays to festive tours and tempting tamales!
Oxnard kicks off the holiday season with the 67th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting set for Friday, December 1 at 5:30 p.m. at Plaza Park, Downtown Oxnard. The annual event features Ventura County’s tallest Christmas tree – 110 feet high! Visitors will be treated to complimentary refreshments, and Santa’s arrival to officially welcome in the season. The evening also includes the debut of the 12th Annual Winter Fantasy Music & Light Show that runs each evening through January 1, 2018 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. The historic Pagoda transforms into a high-tech interactive experience allowing visitors to participate in a spectacular computer-orchestrated show featuring over 30,000 flashing colorful lights, holiday music, animated characters and lit trees. Both events are free of charge.
A beloved event for the whole family, the 56th Annual Oxnard Christmas Parade takes place on Saturday, December 2 at 10 a.m. to 12 noon in Downtown Oxnard. This year’s theme is ‘Christmas Under the Sea’ and includes colorful marching bands, equestrian units, local school groups, spirited floats and, of course, a visit from Santa! Held in conjunction with the parade is the 10th Annual Oxnard Tamale Festival taking place from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Festival-goers can enjoy a variety of flavorful tamales from sweet to savory to traditional. The event also includes an eating contest, holiday crafts fair, kid’s activities and live music. Both events are free of charge.
Channel Islands Harbor lights up for the season with its 52nd Annual Parade of Lights taking place on Saturday, December 9. The day begins with pre-festival activities including snowplay for kids, a visit by Santa and Mrs. Claus, a local parade, holiday artists’ market, exhibitors, live music, children’s activities and much more! The lighted boat parade themed, ‘Fairy Tales Afloat’ begins at 7 p.m. and can be viewed from all points along the Harbor’s edge and at restaurants located within the Harbor. The event is free of charge.
For those looking to stay in shape this holiday season while also giving back to the community, the annual Santa to the Sea is a great way to do so! The event takes place on Sunday, December 10. Participants can choose from a half-marathon race to a 5K run/walk, a 1k kids run or, for the younger sect, a ‘Diaper Dash’. Race’s start at 8 a.m. and begin at the historic Santa Claus off Highway 101, meandering through Oxnard famous strawberry fields and throughout Oxnard Downtown, ending at the sea, in Channel Islands Harbor. Registration fees vary and all proceeds benefit local charities.
Get a top side view of Oxnard’s holiday lights in Downtown Oxnard by hopping aboard a grand double-decker during the 10th Annual Holly Trolley Tours. The tours are offered December 12-14 at 6, 7, and 8 p.m. departing from Centennial Plaza in Downtown Oxnard and include a drive through Oxnard’s National Historic District filled with spectacular displays of holiday lights and décor. The tour also includes a stop at historic Heritage Square for hot cocoa and cookies! Tickets are $12 per person.
At Heritage Square, visitors and locals alike can enjoy a couple of other holiday events including the Victorian House Tours at the Square and the 8th Annual Gingerbread House Contest both taking place from December 9 through December 31. Costumed docents provide tours of the Victorian houses and guests can admire the artistry of handmade gingerbread houses located inside the historic chapel. A $5 donation is suggested for the tours.
During the season, visitors can take a leisurely stroll or drive along Oxnard’s Christmas Tree Lane, Ventura County’s largest holiday light display. The lights can be viewed nightly from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. along F & G Streets and between 5th and Palm Streets in the Oxnard National Historic District. Christmas Tree Lane runs from December 10 through December 25.
Looking for great gifts this holiday season? A great place to find unique gift ideas is at the California Welcome Center located in the Collection Shopping Center Riverpark. The California Welcome Center has a wide array of holiday treasures from wine baskets to California themed gifts.
And, get ready to vie for holiday prizes during the ’12 Days of Christmas Giveaway’! Beginning December 1, on www.visitoxnard.com, a series of giveaways will be up for grabs, featuring a different giveaway package to include adventure tickets, restaurant certificates, gift cards and more! Look for more details to come on www.visitoxnard.com.
About Oxnard Convention & Visitors Bureau — Oxnard Convention & Visitors Bureau (OCVB) is a non-profit organization designed to increase visitor expenditures, and tourism revenue opportunities through the promotion of Oxnard as a premier travel destination. Oxnard is an easy drive up the coast from Los Angeles or from the northern portions of California. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy Oxnard’s uncrowded beaches, explore the many diverse attractions and outdoor adventures that are unique to the area. A wide variety of hotel accommodations are available ranging from mid-priced rooms to oceanfront and seaside settings. For more information, call the California Welcome Center at 805-988-0717.