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Holiday Events Churning Up in Droves in the Mission City

Whether wanting to step back in time to see a recreation of The Christmas Story, listening to music, viewing historic homes, purchasing holiday gifts or just strolling along to enjoy the sights and sounds of the holidays, a myriad of activities are fast approaching celebrating the holiday season.

Among the most anticipated events include the City’s annual Holiday Tree Lighting on Dec. 5, Santa Clara Ballet’s Nutcracker Ballet Dec. 13-14 and Santa Clara Fist Baptist Church’s annual “Bethlehem Santa Clara” Dec. 11-15.

December 5 – Annual Holiday Tree Lighting
Enjoy Santa Clara’s annual Christmas Tree lighting in Civic Center Park at City Hall.
Santa arrives at 6 p.m. with the tree lighting taking place at approximately 6:45 p.m.


The event is a celebration of lights and music with cookies and kettle-corn, and musicians from the Buchser Middle School Jazz Band and the DeJaVu Band performing. Parks and Recreation Department dancers will also perform.

The event is open to the public. Guests are asked to bring a canned food donation for the Second Harvest Food Bank. Call (408) 615-3170 for more information.

December 5 – Triton Free Fridays – Santa Clara Ballet
This month in conjunction with the museum’s Holiday Gift Fair and the City’s Tree Light Ceremony, Triton Free Fridays features the Santa Clara Ballet previewing scenes from its 40th anniversary Nutcracker. Nutcracker performs at 7:30 p.m. Hot drinks will be available at the free event. Triton Museum of Art, 1505 Warburton Avenue. For more information, visit

December 5 – SCU Presents “Festival of Lights”
SCU Presents “Festival of Lights” at 7:30 p.m. at Santa Clara Mission Church. Performance by Concert Choir and Chamber Singers. Tickets: $5 to $15. For tickets and information, call (408) 554-4015 or visit

December 5-6 – Holiday Gift Fair/Family Art Day at Triton Museum
Handmade gifts from local artists and live performances from local arts groups will be at the Holiday Gift Fair on Friday, Dec. 5 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 6 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Meet the makers and shop unique and locally made holiday gifts. Free art activities for children are available on Saturday, Dec. 6 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Triton Museum of Art is at1505 Warburton Ave. For more information, call (408) 247-2438, or visit

December 6 – CalTrain Holiday Train
The Caltrain Holiday Train, a Bay Area tradition since 2001, is a free family event bringing a dazzling show-train decorated with 70,000 glittering lights, along with holiday entertainment. The train arrives at the Santa Clara train depot at 8:10 p.m., and departs at 8:30 p.m. Donations of toys for local children who otherwise might not receive gifts during the holidays will be accepted. The Caltrain Holiday Train has collected nearly 50,000 toys for local children in its 11-year history. For more information on the Caltrain Holiday Train presented by Silicon Valley Community Foundation, visit

December 11-15 – Bethlehem Santa Clara
Take a journey to the Biblical city of Bethlehem. Be a part of history and witness the events that led up to the birth of Jesus Christ. See Joseph and Mary search the city for a place to stay, the lowly shepherds get visited by an angel and then proclaim the good news and the noble entry of the Wise Men and their entourage looking for the new born King. Enjoy the music, drama, lights, and exotic animals as you “Experience the Birth” Thursday though Monday, from 6 to 9 p.m., with five 30-minute performances each night. Free Admission and hot drinks. Santa Clara First Baptist Church, 3111 Benton Street. Call (408) 241-7635 or visit for information.

December 13-14 – “The Nutcracker” – Santa Clara Ballet at Santa Clara Convention Center
Santa Clara Ballet presents the full-length traditional version of the holiday classic. Guest artists will join local dancers. There will be four Performances (evening and matinee) at the Santa Clara Convention Center Betty Hangs Theater. Call (408) 247-9178 or visit for more information.


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