Special this December is a variety of events that offer visitors and shoppers the opportunity to experience the history of early San Diego.
As part of Fiesta Navidad, Old Town San Diego State Historic Park will once again be hosting Holiday in the Park, a festive 1800’s seasonal celebration. The Park and local community will be adorned with holiday decorations, lantern-lit museums, hundreds of lumi-narias, holiday entertainment, festive music, and the very popular candlelight tours will be available.
In addition to holiday entertainment, Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, just minutes from downtown and an option to the busy malls, offers a number of high quality gifts at reasonable prices in a quaint historic setting. Shoppers are offered a glimpse into yesteryear, where life moves more slowly in this part of town, and where the holiday hustle and bustle is balanced with history and fiestas.
December 1: Historic Merchants Open House
Old Town comes alive with period attire, historic decorations, caroling groups and live music. Enjoy complimentary refreshments from the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park Merchants Association.
December 8: Festival of Lights
Celebrate Chanukah and the heritage of the Jewish settlers during the holiday season at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park Plaza. Activities include traditional song, folk dance, magic show, as well as food and beverage. Begins at 6pm in the plaza in front of the Robinson-Rose Visitor Center.
December 12: Las Posadas
Sponsored by the Save our Heritage Organisation and the Old Town Community, the live procession of Las Posadas tells the Christmas story of centuries ago. This year’s event marks its 57th year of this celebration filled with tradition and song, and is one of the oldest Las Posadas celebrations in the United States. The celebration represents the pilgrimage of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem seeking shelter, complete with donkey. The public is invited to be part of the procession and to join with the choir in singing traditional Mexican and American songs. Luminarias light the way beginning at 6:30pm at Heritage Park and continuing through Old Town into the State Park to the Plaza, which since the 1820’s has served as the town’s place of gathering. The event culminates in celebration and the breaking of a piñata with museums, shops and restaurants staying open late for the public to enjoy.
December 14 & 15: Holiday in the Park Candlelight Tours
Experience the history of early San Diego with candlelight tours, lantern-lit museums, hundreds of luminarias, holiday entertainment, and festive music.
Horse and carriage rides will be available for a nominal fee. Historical traditions and the romance of early California will be recreated in this historic seasonal festival.
Bring your family and friends and share the festive activities with the colorful townsfolk that created early San Diego. See the beautiful candle dance performed by Los Bailadores Dancers. Beginning at 6pm, candlelit walking tours will be conducted where visitors can experience vignettes throughout the park, including the lantern-lit furnished rooms of the 1830’s La Casa de Machado y Silvas and La Casa de Estudillo. Reservations are suggested. Tour prices are $10 for adults, $5 for children between the ages of 6 and 12, and ages 5 and under are free. Proceeds benefit the interpretive and educational efforts of Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, through the generosity and efforts of the Boosters of Old Town non-profit association, and the collaborative efforts of Plaza del Pasado.
Activities within Old Town San Diego State Historic Park are a part of Fiesta Navidad, a community celebration, presented by the Historic Old Town Community Foundation, that shares the spirit and traditions that are unique to Old Town. More information on Fiesta Navidad can be found at www.oldtownsandiegoguide.com or by calling 619-297-9327.