Los Gatos will get prepared for the vacations with occasions aplenty

Los Gatans may be holidazed by all the upcoming events in town.

Business are still celebrating Thanksgiving, with traditional Black Friday stretching into Small Business Saturday. Los Gatos stores will be offering specials and encourage residents to shop local.

Los Gatos officially kicks off the holiday season with the tree lighting Friday, Dec. 2, at 5 p.m. Town Plaza Park is traditionally packed when the switch is flipped and the big fir tree is illuminated with thousands of eco-friendly lights. Free photos with Santa will be available after the lights are on.

For even more twinkle, Los Gatos in Lights is back with new holiday displays around town.

To encourage holiday shopping, dining and good cheer, downtown businesses are sponsoring a Girls’ Night Out Dec. 1. More than 40 stores are offering special discounts and will stay open until 7:30pm. An interactive online map will display all participating restaurants and stores and their specials. There is no cost to register, and all registrants will receive a glass of champagne. The first 75 people to register will receive a swag bag as well.

Tickets are on sale for the popular holiday carriage rides, an elegant way to see the Los Gatos holiday lights. Rides begin in Town Plaza, and the horse-drawn carriage winds through the Almond Grove district’s decorated historic homes and along North Santa Cruz Avenue. Thanks go to sponsor Linda Lester.

The popular Los Gatos Children’s Christmas/Holiday Parade returns for its 66th year Saturday, Dec. 3, at 11 a.m., come rain or come shine. There are two grand marshals this year, Henry Reyes and George Shannon. Reyes has been the Los Gatos High School Girls field hockey coach since 1992, and his teams have won an impressive 17 CCS championship titles. Shannon is a longtime Los Gatos resident who has volunteered for 30 years at the Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad.

Program producer Carol Musser says, “We are excited to have 180 parade entrants. Returning this year is a crowd favorite, the Jiffy Market Bikers. Amazing bicycle acrobatics are launched from the infamous Jiffy Market car.”

The parade is organized by the Los Gatos Lions, LGS Recreation and Los Gatos High School.

The annual Fantasy of Lights at Vasona Park is a cherished local holiday tradition. It’s a spectacular 1.5-mile drive-through of holiday lights with 50 themed displays and a 90-foot twinkling tree. Part of the fun is wishing others a Merry Christmas from your car while listening to holiday music through your car radio. Buy tickets early, as the event sells out, and, prepare to chill out, as long lines make for slow going. The Walk-thru Weekend is Dec. 3-4. Drive-thru Nights run Dec. 6-30. Entry is with prepaid tickets only, available at and Presented by Santa Clara County Department of Parks and Recreation, it’s open rain or shine.

The 29th annual Loma Prieta Holiday Craft Fair will be returning to the Santa Cruz Mountains on Dec. 10-11, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The fair features handcrafted gift items, food, face painting and family photos. If you buy your holiday wreath from Julie’s booth, proceeds will fund a trip to Washington, DC, in spring 2023 for CT English Middle School eighth-graders. The fair is held in the gym on CT’s campus, 23800 Summit Road.

Thanks go to outgoing Los Gatos-Saratoga Union High School District trustees Cynthia Chang, David Guidry and Peter Hertan. Collectively, these trustees have served the district for more than 30 years.

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