The holidays officially begin in Winters with an array of annual activities, all planned for Saturday, Dec. 2.
The festivities begin at the Winters High School ag site at 9 a.m. on Saturday, where the Winters FFA will have its annual Christmas tree sale. The sale continues the following day, Sunday, Dec. 3, and trees will be sold until 4 p.m. or until they are sold out, whichever comes first.
The ag site is located on Niemann Street, and Noble Firs from four to six feet in height will be available, as well as evergreen and burlap wreaths. The sale is a major fundraiser for the FFA.
Over at the Community Center on Saturday, family fun is featured at the Winters Friends of the Library Family Holiday Festival. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and features holiday goodies from Mrs. Claus in the kitchen, and a variety of activities for little ones to make handmade gifts, decorate cookies and listen to Santa’s Storytime.
Live music will be performed throughout the event, beginning at 10 a.m. with a preschool choir. Kindergarteners sing at 11 a.m., middle schoolers at 11:30 a.m., first graders at noon, and the high school choir at 12:30 p.m.
At 1 p.m., local dance studio Minds in Motion will perform a selection from their holiday concert.
Admission is free. Activity tickets will be sold at the door.
Main Street restaurants and businesses will be open Saturday morning and afternoon for Christmas shoppers, but after the sun goes down, the Third Annual Lighted Tractor Parade will occupy the downtown area.
The parade begins at 6:30 p.m. and features vintage and modern tractors, antique trucks and farm equipment, all lighted and adorned with Christmas tinsel. The parade will roll down Main Street from City Park, and will carry a very special passenger: Santa Claus will ride in the parade and get off at Rotary Park, where the community Christmas tree will be lit at 7:30 p.m. After the tree lighting festivities, Santa will visit with children in the gazebo. Parents are invited to take photos of their children with Santa.
The Winters Tractor Parade and Tree Lighting Festivities are sponsored by the Winters Chamber of Commerce.
While Santa is visiting with the children, all are invited to partake of free home-baked cookies and hot chocolate at the Rotary Park gazebo, provided by the Rotary Club of Winters.
“This is a Rotary tradition as we watch the tree lighting, tractor parade and enjoy the many children visiting Santa, asking for that special gift,” said City Manager and Rotary cookie coordinator John Donlevy. “Cookies and hot chocolate will begin with the arrival of Santa, following the parade.”
Also planning to be at Rotary Park is the Winters Fire Department Association, which will be collecting new unwrapped toys for the Toys for Tots Program. There are already collection bins in the Winters Public Safety Facility lobby and at Winters Middle School, but on Saturday, there will be an additional booth to drop off toys. Winters fire department staff will man the booth, and will be offering popcorn and apple cider.
Wrapping up Saturday’s holiday festivities is the Winters Theatre Company’s production of “The Wizard of Oz” at the Community Center. The show runs on Friday and Saturday this weekend, with performances at 8 p.m., and on Sunday at 2 p.m.
Tickets will be available at the door.
One much-anticipated activity that will not take place on Saturday is the annual Piano Drop. The coordinator of this event said that it had just become too complicated and has been cancelled until further notice.
For more information about the FFA Christmas tree sale, call the Winters High School ag site, 795-6146.
For more information about the tractor parade, or to enter, or about the Christmas tree lighting festivities, call the Winters Chamber of Commerce, 795-2329.