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The Orion

A look at Downtown Chico’s holiday festivities

Santa Claus arrives in the rain at the Community Christmas Tree Lighting on Friday at City Plaza.

With the holidays just around the corner, Chico is hosting events such as fundraisers, craft fairs and more. Here’s a look at some upcoming activities to get in the holiday spirit.

Chico Ice Rink in the Plaza

The Chico Ice Rink in the Plaza is a seasonal event in Downtown Chico that will be open from Nov. 17 through Jan. 14, 2024. It is hosted by the Chico Area Recreation and Park District, the City of Chico and the Downtown Chico Business Association.

It will feature ice skating lessons, sessions and private party events. The ice rink will also be the center for other holiday events during the holiday season. Tickets start at $14 and will be available online.

Chico Christmas Preview

Join Downtown Chico for the annual Chico Christmas Preview on Nov. 19. Since 1978, the Christmas Preview has brought vendors, carolers and activities to Downtown Chico to officially kick off the holiday season.

Families and locals can take photos with Santa, shop for decorations and engage in other activities for an evening of holiday cheer. The event will start at 4 p.m. and take place between Second to Fourth Streets.

Chico Tweed Ride

The Chico Tweed Ride is a bike ride event in Lower Bidwell Park on Nov. 19. Vintage bicycles are encouraged in an effort to create an old-fashioned theme, and the ride usually ranges from 7-10 miles round trip. 

Participants will meet at the Our Hands statue at the City of Chico municipal building, at 411 Main St., and begin the ride at 10:30 a.m. Make sure to bring a lunch for the picnic at Five Mile Recreation Area, the halfway stop.

Thanksgiving Pies and Sides Camp

CARD Community Center is putting on a cooking class for children ages 6-12 on Nov. 20. At the Thanksgiving Pies and Sides Camp, students will learn how to make fall foods like mini pies, mac and cheese bites and pumpkin pastries with the help of Chico Princess Parties

Register online for $99 per person.

Thanksgiving Day Run for Food

This morning run is the perfect way to make room for Thanksgiving dinner. The 18th annual Thanksgiving Day Run for Food is a 5k run presented by Golden Valley Bank. On Nov. 23, participants will meet in Bidwell Park near Caper Acres at 9 a.m.

All proceeds support the improvement of programs and services at the Jesus Center, contributing to the needs of those in the community experiencing homelessness. Ticket prices start at $25 and registration is available online.

Chico Indian Market

Join the Mechoopda Indian Tribe for the Sixth Annual Chico Indian Market on Nov. 25. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Chico Women’s Club. Come show your support for vendors and shop for gifts for the holidays.

Christmas Wreath Class at Allie’s Pub

Join Flourish Plantscapes and Allie’s Pub for a fun, festive workshop on Nov. 25. Led by Mieke DeWitt, owner of Flourish Plantscapes, participants will learn how to create one-of-a-kind wreaths for the holiday season.

Tickets are available online for $85 which covers the provided materials and your first drink. The class is open to anyone with a range of skills and will take place from 5-8 p.m.

“A Very Chico Nutcracker”

Chico Community Ballet’s annual performance of “The Nutcracker” is coming to Laxson Auditorium this season. “The Nutcracker” opens Nov. 30, with performances through Dec. 3. This performance is co-sponsored by Friends of Chico Community Ballet and Chico Performances, with support from the Stansbury Home Preservation Association.

Purchase tickets online to experience the classic Christmas story told by dancers of all ages. Ticket prices start at $17 and are $15 for Chico State students.

Chico Christmas Tree Lighting

City Plaza will be filled with music and cheer on Dec. 1 for the annual Chico Christmas Tree Lighting hosted by the Downtown Chico Business Association and the City of Chico. From 6-7 p.m., guests can enjoy a musical program and join Santa for the festivities.

The event is free for everyone and will end with the lighting of 2,000 LED lights on the Community Christmas Tree.

Brunch with Santa

Join CARD Community Center in a winter wonderland for Brunch with Santa on Dec. 9. Attendees can enjoy holiday treats, Christmas carolers, explore Santa’s village, craft at Santa’s Workshop and attend story time with Mrs. Claus.

Activities start at 8 a.m. as scheduled for ticket holders. Tickets start at $15 and are available online.


Grace Stark can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Grace Stark
Grace Stark, News Editor
Grace Stark is a second-year majoring in journalism, news. She is from Loomis, a small town outside of Sacramento. This is her second semester on The Orion and she is excited to pursue her interests in writing and reporting as the news editor. Outside of school, Grace enjoys thrifting, reading, drawing and spending time with friends. She also has a small business online called Rings by Grace where she sells handmade spoon rings.

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