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, www.olivefestival.com
HALF MOON BAY, CALIF.
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.
Info: (650) 712-7007, www.ritzcarlton.com
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, www.walkingtouroftheinns.com
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
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.”
Info: (619) 224-2240, www.sdparadeoflights.org