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Threat of rain forces change to Christmas Festival format
Santa Claus art

The threat of rain this week has caused the city of Ceres Recreation Department to move Saturday’s Christmas Festival from Smyrna Park to the Ceres Community Center at 2701 Fourth Street.

However, the parade leading to the opening of Christmas Tree Lane will go on as planned – rain or shine.

Recreation Manager Joey Chavez said that rain was forecast for Thursday which is the day the city planned to set up tents and other equipment in the outdoor venue, thus a change had to be made. The Christmas event will take place in the large assembly rooms for photos with Santa and the Grinch, arts and crafts, letters to Santa. Some vendors will also set up in the large assembly room with food vendors outside. Vic’s Churros has committed to donating all the hot cocoa to be given out while Starbucks will offer free coffee. The city will supply cookies to the crowd.

“I know it changes the plan but still the event is going to be here from 4 to 6 and then it gives Santa time to go back to Christmas Tree Lane for our parade,” said Chavez. “The parade’s going to go rain or shine because that opens up Christmas Tree Lane.”

Ceres Youth Baseball has planned to keep its pop-up event at Smyrna Park with vendors situated off the grassy area. Should heavy rain come down Saturday evening, the outdoor faire will be cancelled with the option of having vendors take their wares to the Community Center, Chavez noted.

The Ceres event also will allow residents to provide input on the Smyrna Park Design Public Outreach Workshop will be held indoors at the Ceres Community Center from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. instead of onsite at Smyrna Park   There is an online survey asking for public input on the Smyrna Park design features.

Christmas Tree Lane has been a Ceres tradition since 1961. Homeowners on Henry and Vaughn streets and the neighboring streets will be transformed into a holiday wonderland. The streets will be blocked off to vehicular traffic for the opening night.