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Ceres Christmas Festival Saturday
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The 25th annual Ceres Christmas Festival this Saturday will formally open the 51st season of Christmas Tree Lane as a Ceres tradition. The first Christmas Tree Lane opened December 1961 on Henry Avenue and Vaughn Street. Fifty-one years later it's still going strong.

The city of Ceres is sponsoring the 5:30 p.m. festival in nearby Smyrna Park which is free to the public and should last about two hours. Highlights of the festival will include performances by local youth groups, arts and crafts, face painting for the kids, a tent where children may write letters to Santa, free coffee, cocoa and cookies, and pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus ($2 each or free with a donation of canned food). Trolley rides will begin being offered at 8 p.m.

New this year is a performance by the Central Valley High School marching band down Christmas Tree Lane right after the ribbon cutting ceremony is held. The band and choir members will also station themselves at various corners to perform traditional Christmas carols.

Holiday mixer set Friday

The Ceres Chamber of Commerce is hosting its annual Holiday Service Club Appreciation Mixer from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7 at the Ceres Community Center, 2701 Fourth Street, Ceres.

Admission will require a new blanket for the Chamber's donation drive. The blankets will be turned over to a local shelter to help keep the less fortunate warm this winter.

The event will feature food sampling from local restaurants, drinks and raffle prizes. The event is open to the public. Those who are attending are asked to give the Chamber a call at 537-2601 to RSVP.