A Magical Christmas Season


— Annette Williams

Julian is always a magical place at Christmastime, enhanced not only by the sparkling lights and festive decorations around town, but also the anticipation of snowflakes in the air.

The premier event of the holiday season is the Julian Country Christmas Tree Lighting, set for Nov. 30. Festivities begin at 2 p.m. in Pioneer Park, 2811 Washington St., where event chair and Julian Chamber of Commerce member Steve Uram promises lots of fun, and maybe a surprise or two.

“It’s not going to be your same-old, same-old Christmas Tree Lighting,” says Uram. “We’re going to try to get a little more pizzazz in the tree lighting ceremony.”

Volunteers spend most of November decorating the town with lights, garland and flags, says Uram, who uses a 125-foot boom, and the help of co-chair Claire Grindall, to decorate the 85-foot-tall Christmas tree in the park, in addition to businesses in and around town.

The tree lighting event will include live entertainment and the traditional visit from Santa Claus.

“Santa Claus will also appear in person every Saturday and Sunday,” he says, noting that the Jolly Old Elf will welcome youngsters and the young at heart at Julian Town Hall, 2129 Main St., from noon to 4 p.m., on Nov. 30 and Dec. 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22. 

Adding to the fun will be live music in town at the same time, he says.

In the weeks following the tree lighting, there will be a multitude of exciting activities and events almost right up until Christmas Day, including a Living Nativity tableau staged every Saturday on Main Street.

Fort Cross Old Timey Adventures will present its annual Holiday Hayride Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, offering cider pressing, folk dancing, candle dipping, rustic ornament making, a petting zoo, hayrides and more. Holidays on the Homestead educational field trips are set for Dec. 6 and 10. Other activities will be held weekends in December, weather permitting. Visit fortcross.com. 

Victorian Christmas teas will be served from Dec. 5 through 23 at Julian Tea & Cottage Arts, 2124 Third St. Visit juliantea.com.

A performance of “Handel’s Messiah” is set for Dec. 15, at 7 p.m., in Julian Town Hall. 

Other can’t-miss events are the Julian Woman’s Club Holiday Home Tour on Dec. 6, and a production of “A Christmas Carol” on stage from Dec. 13 to 22, both of which are highlighted in this issue of The Guide to Julian.

And on those cold winter days, Julian is just the place to shop to your heart’s content, enjoy a warm cup of hot cocoa or cider, and snuggle under a blanket in the back of a horse-drawn carriage.