Calendar events for December 2009


Blessing of the Olives

When, where: Saturday, Mission San Francisco Solano and throughout town

Highlights: The ninth annual ceremony kicks off a three-month celebration of olives. Later in the day, the Olive Press hosts an open house with oil-pressing demos and olive-oil tastings. The evening brings a candlelight concert in the mission’s chapel.

Cost: Blessing and tastings are free; concert costs $20

Info: (707) 996-1090,


Gingerbread Contest and Holiday Tree Lighting

When, where: Saturday, Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay

Highlights: The resort’s pastry chef judges children’s confectionary constructions and announces the winners during the lighting of the 25-foot-tall tree.

Cost: Free

Info: (650) 712-7007,


Walk of the Inns

When, where: Dec. 10, downtown Palm Springs

Highlights: Pick up a map and a flashlight at the Palm Springs Art Museum for an evening tour through the town’s historic inns, all gussied up for Christmas.

Cost: Free, but a Toys for Tots donation is suggested.

Info: (760) 320-9346,


Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival

When, where: Dec. 11 to 13; Monterey Conference Center

Highlights: Old West enthusiasts convene for the 11th year to celebrate cowboy poetry, hear balladeers, buy Western-themed art and enjoy a hoedown.

Cost: $200 for an all-event pass; $25 to $35 per individual performance; $50 for barbecue

Info: (800) 722-9652,


San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

When, where: Dec. 13 and 20, Port of San Diego

Highlights: More than 80,000 people are expected to watch a fireworks display and the 38th annual sailing of more than 80 vessels. This year’s theme is “Christmas at the Zoo.”

Cost: Free

Info: (619) 224-2240,