Holiday Events are Lighting Up

Written by Neil Farrell

Neil has been a journalist covering the Estero Bay Area for over 27 years. He’s won numerous journalism awards in several different categories over his career.

December 1, 2022

Join all the fun and good cheer at holiday events throughout the North Coast. 

Morro Bay

‘Tis the season, as they say, and the City of Morro Bay is holding some holiday themed events for the public.

The Annual “Holiday Tree Lighting” will be held at City Park starting at 3 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2. There will be holiday performances, hot cider, cookies, and a visit with Santa Claus.

The free event returns this year after being canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic response, but there’s an unforeseen twist.

The pine tree that the City planted specifically for this celebration died and had to be cut down. It is the second, official City holiday tree that has died and been cut down. 

The original pine tree was 50-plus years old and stood about 40-feet tall. This newer one was about 15-years old and about 15-feet tall. This year, the City is rigging up an artificial tree for the occasion using the park’s flagpole.

The Annual “Breakfast with Santa” is moving to a new location this year and is set for 8:30-11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 3 at the Vet’s Hall, 209 Surf St.

Tickets are $10 a person and you’ll be treated to a pancake breakfast with a hot cocoa bar cooked up by the Kiwanis Club and a trip through The Elf Workshop with lots of fun activities — crafts and gift making, cookie decorating, face painting, and a mini gingerbread house station.

Santa Claus will also be on hand for photos with the kids.

You must pre-register for the event, see: The deadline is Friday, Dec. 3.

And the local Women for Fisheries and Commercial Fishing Organization will be erecting their crab pot Christmas Trees on the Embarcadero.

The Rotary Club of Morro Bay is putting on the Annual Lighted Boat Parade starting at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3 in Morro Bay Harbor.

There will be a free concert by the Morro Bay White Caps Band on the South T-pier starting at 5:30 and there will be coffee, hot chocolate and other goodies for sale as a Rotary Club fundraiser.

Also, the Rotary’s Santa’s House featuring Santa Claus himself will be set up at the Giant Chessboard Park on the Embarcadero starting Friday, Dec. 2 from 6-8 p.m. Bring your little ones to sit for photos with Santa.

Subsequent days are: Dec. 3, 4:30-7; Dec. 4 noon-4 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, Dec. 9-10 from 4:40-7:30 p.m.; Sunday Dec. 11 from noon-4 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, Dec. 16-17 4:30-7 p.m.; and Sunday Dec. 18, noon-4.

The Lighted Boat Parade is among the most popular events all year in Morro Bay and if Readers are planning to attend, get there early to find a good viewing spot. Most anywhere on the Embarcadero is a good spot as the boats glide up and down the harbor. Bring a chair to sit on and dress warmly, as it’s liable to get cold. Rain cancels.

Entry applications are available online at: or email to:

Call the Harbor Office at 805-772-6254 for information or call Nancy at 805-235-3733. 

As a note of caution, the Lighted Boat Parade could be postponed one week, if it rains that day. A decision will be made on whether to proceed or postpone by the harbor director on Saturday. 

If that happens, and it has in the past, the parade will be held Saturday, Dec. 10 — weather permitting. 

As of Monday, the National Weather Service forecast called for a 40% chance of rain Saturday night (Dec. 1), with low temperatures in the upper 30s to mid-40s. So readers should at least count on it being a chilly night.

Los Osos 

Los Osos has several fun Christmas events in December sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce.

From Dec. 1-25 is the “Light Up Los Osos Business and Home Decorating Contest.” Decorate your Los Osos/Baywood Park home or business (both?) with the theme, “Happy to be Here.” (Think of the song, “A Few of My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music for inspiration.)

The contest begins Dec. 1 and once you sign up, your home or business will be added to the contest map so that the community can drive by and enjoy what you’ve created. Judging will take place on Christmas Eve and winners will be announced the week after Christmas. To sign up online see:

On Friday, Dec. 9 from 4:30-8 p.m. is the Community Tree Lighting, at the Red Barn at the Community Center, 2180 Palisades Ave. There will be caroling and snacks, as they decorate the Christmas Tree. Bring the whole family and maybe an ornament to put on the tree, too.

Then on Saturday, Dec. 10 starting at 10 a.m. is the 34th Annual Christmas Parade, with this year’s theme “Happy to be Here.”

Bring a chair to sit on as local organizations, businesses and agencies parade down Los Osos Valley Road from Fairchild Way to Palisades Avenue. 

The Bay-Osos Kiwanis Club will have a pre-parade pancake breakfast in front of Bay Auto & Tire (across from Grocery Outlet). 

If readers want to enter the parade, go to: for an application. There are several categories: musical, equestrian (bring a pooper scooper); vehicles; walking; children; bicycling; and other. The entry fee is $25.

After the parade is the Annual Maxine Lewis Memorial Homeless Shelter Fundraiser at the Community Center on Palisades.

Shop for great toys and enjoy the show with all proceeds going to support the homeless shelter in San Luis Obispo.

This family event is designed to bring the community together. Activities include crafts, cookie decorating and a Santa movie on the big screen. Bring a toy for a child in need.

And from 2-6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17 at the South Bay Community Center is the Holiday Fun Fair and Toy Drive, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club. The Rotary Club of Los Osos and People Helping People. 

The Holiday Fun Fair is looking for more booth participants and sponsors.


The Cayucos Chamber of Commerce is bringing back its Christmas celebrations including a Downtown Open House, Santa’s House and a tree lighting.

Sunday, Dec. 4 at 5 p.m. is the Christmas Tree Lighting at the corner of D Street and Ocean Avenue. The event features carolers from the Cayucos Community Church and Santa and Mrs. Claus arriving with a fire department escort. Children are invited to visit with Santa.

Saturday, Dec. 10 at 1 p.m. is the annual guided walk on the Estero Bluffs Trail. Meet at the fig tree off Hwy 1 about 1.5 miles north of town on Hwy 1. 

Also on Dec. 10 from 5-8 p.m. is the Christmas in Cayucos Open House with businesses on Ocean Avenue Downtown open for evening shopping, treats and merriment. Activities include shopping, visits with Santa at Santa’s House free horse-drawn carriage and wagon rides, and a crafts workshop for the kids.

Sponsors include Dale Kaiser Real Estate, Schooners Restaurant, SIM Real Estate, Highway 1 Vacation Rentals, Shoreline Inn, Mechanics Bank and Cayucos Pharmacy.


The Cambria Christmas Market returns. Shop with artisan vendors, take photos with Santa, enjoy live entertainment, and taste traditional German food and drink at this charming outdoor festival with over 2 million Christmas lights!

Gates open at 5 p.m. and close at 8:30pm. Allow 2-3 hours to view the Market and Lights. Tickets range from $15 to $25 and can be purchased at under Cambria Christmas Market. Tickets are $10 more at the door. Children under 5 are free. For more information, go to

The Cambria Chamber of Commerce’s Hospitality Night takes place Monday, December 5 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

They are having Decorating Contest. – The contest starts on Nov 25th (Black Friday) and runs through Hospitality Night in the case of the Popular Votes. Bev Praver, the Town Crier, will announce the event and the judged winners at the chamber building.

Santa and hot dogs at the Chamber offices in the West Village, and Santa will also be at the Historical Society. The fun doesn’t end there, 4-H will be at the Pacific Premier Bank parking lot with animals and a training exhibition, and there will be a dog parade in the east village as well.  Dogs and their humans should meet at Pacific Premier Bank after 4 p.m. The procession is in the East Village at 4:30 p.m. Costumes are encouraged.       

Go to, for all the details or contact the chamber at 805.927.3624.

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