eLivermore.com - By Bill Nale

 

Christmas Events 2013
for Livermore, Pleasanton, and the Tri-Valley

Back to Home Page Add your event / Contact Us
Contents:
Christmas Photos
All Events in Chronological Order
Special Events
Performances
Places to Visit
Christmas Scriptures
See Also:
Complete December Calendar
Descriptions of Holidays throughout the year


Olive wood Manger Scene.
Carved in Bethlehem from the
wood of local olive trees.


Christmas Photos

eLivermore.com has a collection of Christmas time photos from over the years, including:

Christmas in Downtown Livermore at night
Snow at Lizzie Fountain
Main Street Designs Christmas Store


 

All Events in Chronological order
Click links for details below
  all Lights of the Valley (web site of Christmas lights)
November 23 Saturday Magical Evening - Pleasanton Shopping
Nov 29 to Dec 29 Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun
(one Mon)

Niles Canyon Train of Lights

December 6 Friday Valley Concert Chorale Sing along Messiah
December 7 Saturday Livermore Home for the Holidays
December 7 Saturday Livermore Christmas Parade & Tree Lighting
December 7 Saturday Pleasanton Hometown Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremonies
December 7 Saturday Symphony Concert
December 7-8 Sat & Sun Holidays in the Vineyards
December 8 Sunday Ravenswood Victorian Yuletide
December 12-16 Thurs-Mon Journey to Living Bethlehem
December 14, 15 Sun, Sat Valley Concert Chorale Christmas Concert
Dec 14-15, 20-22 Sat-Sun, Fri-Sat-Sun The Nutcracker
December 14 Saturday Cantabella Children's Chorus
Dec ??? Thurs-Sun Drive Through Nativity
December 31 Saturday New Year's Eve Labyrinth Walk.

 

Special Events

Magical Evening - Pleasanton Shopping
November 23, 2013
Saturday

Magical Holiday Evening
Celebrate the holidays at Downtown Pleasanton’s Magical Holiday Evening, the annual downtown open house. The streets will come alive with the sights and sounds of the holidays.

Start your holiday shopping and celebrate the season with an evening of holiday festivities. Downtown shops, restaurants and businesses usher in the holidays with festive decorations, twinkling lights, and an early visit from Santa.

Experience Pleasanton’s beautiful and distinctive downtown with its hometown atmosphere and charm. Bring your family and friends to shop, dine and discover all they have to offer for the holidays!
Sponsor: Pleasanton Downtown Association
Location:  Museum on Main, 603 Main St, Pleasanton
Times:  4:00pm to 7:00pm
Admission: Free (items for sale)
More info: Pleasanton Downtown Association,

 

Niles Canyon Train of Lights
2013 dates: November 29 to Dec 29 (the week after Christmas)
Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday (one Monday)
See complete Schedule

 

Niles Canyon Railway Train of Lights.
Celebrate the holiday season aboard the Niles Canyon Railway Train of Lights. Experience the magic of this popular Yuletide event as our brightly decorated train covered with thousands of colorful lights, travels through Niles Canyon.
Board the train in Sunol and ride to Fremont (Niles) and back, or board in Niles and ride to Sunol and back.
Location:  Downtown Sunol
Times: Departures from 4:30pm from Niles, 7:30 from Sunol
Admission:  General Admission is $25.  $15 for the first three Wednesdays.  See Niles Canyon Railroad.  Website ticket sales start in October.
eLivermore Photos.
More info: Niles Canyon Railroad


Click photos for additional eLivermore.com photos of the Train of Lights

 

Livermore Home for the Holidays
Dec 7, 2013
Saturday

Home for the Holidays
Kick off the holiday shopping season downtown and enjoy horse drawn carriage rides, holiday performances and SNOW in Lizzie Fountain!
Sponsor: Livermore Downtown Association
Location: Downtown Livermore
Times: noon to 4:00pm
Admission: Free
More info:    Livermore Downtown Association, (925) 373-1795


Lizzie Fountain with snow - 12/2/06
More photos


Livermore Christmas Parade & Tree Lighting
Dec 7, 2013
Saturday

The 2013 Downtown Livermore Holiday Sights & Sounds Parade will feature local marching bands, music, light displays, and of course SANTA CLAUS!!! Tree lighting to follow parade.

• Parade will start at 6pm and usually lasts approximately an hour.
• Parade route is First Street from M Street to McLeod St.
• Lighting of "Bruce Sprucetree" will be at the corner of First Street & South Livermore Avenue.
• Parking & Handicapped Parking are available at the FREE Livermore Valley Center Parking Garage, 2350 Railroad Avenue.
• No Dogs or Animals allowed inside the event enclosure.
Sponsor: Livermore Downtown Association
Location: Downtown Livermore
Times: Parade from 6:00pm to 8:00pm, Tree lighting following the parade
Admission: Free
More info:    Livermore Downtown Association, or (925) 373-1795

 


 

Pleasanton Hometown Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremonies
Dec 7, 2013
Saturday

Pleasanton Hometown Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremonies
The City of Pleasanton will once again host the Annual Hometown Holiday Celebration to be held on Saturday, December 7, 2013 from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. along Main Street in downtown Pleasanton. The centerpiece of this free event is a festive community-based parade followed by the lighting of a holiday tree in front of the Museum on Main.

The parade always kicks off with one of Pleasanton’s award-winning high school marching bands from either Amador Valley High School or Foothill High School. The band is followed by dozens of holiday inspired entries including Pleasanton’s own Balloon Platoon, the Pleasanton City Council, hundreds of Cub Scouts and Brownies, local car clubs and dog clubs, and much more.

Main Street Closure – 3:30–7:30pm
Parade – 5:00pm
Floats, Marching Bands, Community Groups, and more

Tree Lighting Ceremony (following parade)
Approximately 6:00–6:30pm

-Special Appearance by Santa
-Mayor Lights the Tree
-Community Sing-a-long
Sponsors: Downtown Association & City of Pleasanton Parks and Community Services
Location: Main Street, Pleasanton
Times: 3:30pm to 7:30pm
More info: Pleasanton Events, Pleasanton Downtown Association.


Holidays in the Vineyards
December 7-8, 2013
Saturday & Sunday

Holidays in the Vineyards
Livermore Valley Wine Country celebrates the season with a weekend full of holiday cheer!
Holidays in the Vineyards is an annual wine country tradition where wineries showcase their tasting rooms with arts and craft vendors, holiday music, special wines, and more.

Guests are encouraged to bring toys to their favorite wineries. All toys will be donated to the Toys for Tots Foundation after the event, directly benefiting children in need throughout Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. For more on the Toys for Tots program, visit http://www.toysfortots.org/ 

We look forward to ringing in the Holiday Season with you in Livermore Valley Wine Country.
This is not a ticketed event, however Tasting Fees may apply and vary by winery.
Sponsor:  Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association
Location: Participating Valley Wineries
Times: Noon to 4:30pm
Admission: Free.  Tasting Fees may apply and vary by winery.
More info: Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association or (925) 447-9463

 

Ravenswood Victorian Yuletide
December 8, 2013
Sunday

Come celebrate a Victorian Christmas at Ravenswood Historic Site.  Music, entertainment, carriage ride, food, crafts, and more.
Location: Ravenswood Historic Site, 2647 Arroyo Road, Livermore
Times: Noon to 4:00PM
Admission:  Free
More info:
See the Ravenswood Photos and description on eLivermore.com


See eLivermore Photos


Journey to Living Bethlehem
December 12-16
Thursday to Monday

Journey to Living Bethlehem
Live the nativity and experience the birth of Christ in a way you never imagined possible. Be transported back in time over 2,000 years and enter the 30,000 square foot village of Bethlehem - right in downtown Livermore. We are proud to present a unique, live, inter-active play featuring 3 separate acts performed simultaneously in- and outside the village walls, where they all ultimately converge for the final scene and finale.

Have you ever smelled real frankincense? Come explore the marketplace full of livestock while villagers, artisans and merchants demonstrate period games, skills, arts and crafts. Make way for the boisterous and tyrannical Roman Army as you are commanded to register for the census. Then follow Joseph as he leads Mary atop their donkey, and, while searching for a room for the night, they meet a woman at a well. Share in the wonder and awe as shepherds bear witness to Angel Gabriel, high in the heavens, announcing the birth of the messiah. Then behold an exotic caravan of musicians and dancers as they escort the Three Wise Men, one on a real, live camel, bearing gifts for the newborn Jesus Christ ... all the while enjoying many lovely holiday musical pieces performed by our talented cast and the grand finale complete with choral extravaganza as an ethereal Nativity Angel floats above the stable.

This presentation is entirely ecumenical and is performed and produced with over 250 volunteers of multiple faiths from numerous churches and parishes within the Tri-Valley. To our knowledge, we are the only family holiday event, in our area, which is *entirely commercial free* and FREE TO THE PUBLIC. So won't you please join us for a cup of complimentary hot chocolate and let our gift to you be a gift that you share with your friends, family and neighbors?

This is the 2nd year of Living Bethlehem and we would love nothing more than to continue this every year and make it a holiday tradition for you and every family in our community.

Sponsor: St. Michaels Church
Location:  Adjacent to St. Michaels School, corner of Third and Church St.
Times:  6:00 to 9:00pm.  Repeats every 30 minutes.
Admission: Free
More info: journeytolivingbethlehem@gmail.com   510-377-9711
 


New Year's Eve Labyrinth Walk
December 31
Saturday

New Year's Eve Labyrinth Walk
Come join us on Saturday, December 31st, for our 7th annual New Year’s Eve Labyrinth Walk. The labyrinths will be available between 8:00 pm and midnight. You’re invited to walk the courtyard labyrinth by the light of the Christmas Eve luminaries. Our canvas labyrinth will also be available in the sanctuary, illuminated by dozens of candles and surrounded with beautiful music.

Over 100 people have walked on New Year’s Eve each of the last six years and it’s becoming a family tradition for members of the congregation and community alike. This is an opportunity to say good-bye to the old year and welcome the New Year with peace and intention.

So bundle up and come by on your way to a party, before you settle in for the evening, or be there to see in the New Year itself.
Sponsor: First Presbyterian Church, Livermore
Location: First Presbyterian Church, 4th & L Streets, Livermore
Times:  8:00pm to midnight
Admission: Free
More info: First Presbyterian Church, Livermore,  For more information, contact Judy Hughes, labyrinth facilitator, 925-449-8100 or the church office, 925-447-2078.



   

 

Performances

 

   

 

Valley Concert Choral - Sing-along Messiah
Dec 6, 2013
Friday

Valley Concert Choral Sing-along Messiah
It’s our annual holiday event.  Join in singing Part I of Handel’s great masterpiece, including the Hallelujah Chorus.
Sponsor: Valley Concert Chorale
Location:  Trinity Lutheran Church 1225 Hopyard Rd, Pleasanton
Times:  7:30pm
Admission: $10 ($11.34 with service fee). Tickets at Valley Concert Chorale website.
More info: Valley Concert Chorale


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cantabella Children's Chorus - Noel Nouvelet
December 14, 2013
Saturday. 

 

Cantabella Children's Chorus - Noel Nouvelet
The 1 pm show features the three Cantabella Training Choirs, as well as selected pieces by the Children's and Chamber Choirs.
The 4 pm show features the three Performing Choirs - the Children's, Chamber, and Honors Choirs.
Doors open 1/2 hour before the show.
Sponsor: Cantabella Children's Chorus
Location:  Our Savior Luthern Ministries.  1385 S. Livermore Ave.
Times:  1:00pm (training choirs & selected pieces by the Children's and Chamber Choirs)
            4:00pm (The three Performing Choirs - the Children's, Chamber, and Honors Choirs)
Admission: $18 adult; $7 Youth 12-17.
More info: Cantabella Children's Chorus

 

 

Valley Concert Choral Christmas Concerts
Dec 14, 15, 2013
Saturday, Sunday

Valley Concert Choral
The Chorale’s annual holiday performances of familiar and traditional carols to fill spirits with the joy of the season. Cantabella Children’s Chorus joins the Chorale in celebrating Benjamin Britten’s 100th birthday with a performance of his Ceremony of Carols for an enjoyable musical experience.
Sponsor: Valley Concert Chorale
Location:  Saturday:  Trinity Lutheran Church 1225 Hopyard Rd, Pleasanton
      Sunday:  First Presbyterian Church, 2020 Fifth St (4th & L), Livermore
Times:  Saturday: 7:30pm;  Sunday: 3:00pm
Admission: $20 ($21.69 with service Fee) Student: $10 ($11.34 with service fee). Tickets at Valley Concert Chorale website.
More info: Valley Concert Chorale


Symphony Concert
December 7, 2013
Saturday
 

Livermore-Amador Symphony  - Gems from the Past and Present
Gershwin: An American in Paris
Barnes: Concerto for Trumpet - Joyce Johnson Hamilton, soloist
Lees: Concerto for Woodwind Quintet and Orchestra Avanti Winds, quintet
Beethoven: Symphony No. 2

After finishing its fiftieth season (2012–13) in joyous style, the Livermore-Amador Symphony continues its golden celebrations with a yearlong festival honoring Joyce Johnson HamiltonDr. Arthur Barnes’ fiftieth season as its conductor! Join us for another fantastic year of great music, fun, and surprise. Dr. Barnes’ golden season showcases a number of works of his authorship, starting with his own Concerto for Trumpet, a work celebrating the breadth of the instrument, the focused skill of soloist Joyce Johnson Hamilton, and the remarkable compositional talents of the conductor. Rounding out the inaugural concert of Dr Barnes’ golden season are George Gershwin’s vibrant “American in Paris”; Ludwig van Beethoven’s magnificent early Symphony No. 2; and Benjamin Lees’ modern, robust Concerto for Woodwind Quintet and Orchestra, featuring the Avanti Winds (Ellen Crawford, flute; Audrey Gore, oboe; Jeffrey Wolfeld, clarinet; Jennifer Barnes Wolfeld, bassoon; and Liane Sharp, horn).
Sponsor: Livermore Amador Symphony
Location:  Bankhead Theater - LVPAC web site - eLivermore Bankhead Theater page
Time:
  Prelude talk from 7 to 7:30pm.  Symphony concerts begin at 8:00pm
Admission:  $29 / $26 / $23.  Youth (high school & younger): $10  Season tickets (Dec, Feb, April, May concerts): $94/$84/$74;  Youth $40
Tickets:
  Bankhead Theater Box Office info  -  LVPAC Online Ordering page
More info:
Livermore-Amador Symphony (925) 373-6824, or Bankhead Theater

 

 

The Nutcracker
Dec 14-15, 20-22, 2013
Sat-Sun,  Fri-Sat-Sun

The Nutcracker - Valley Dance Theater
Experience the magic of the Nutcracker. This annual Tri-Valley holiday event continues to enchant audiences of all ages, bringing Tchaikovsky’s well-known music and ballet to life with all of its elegance and beauty. Thrill to a stage filled with one magical nutcracker, a swirl of lovely snowflakes, adorable mice, dancing soldiers and a glittering sugar plum fairy. For over 30 years, Valley Dance Theatre’s full production of The Nutcracker,accompanied by the Livermore-Amador Symphony, has entertained families each holiday season. The elaborate sets, skilled dancers and beautiful costumes have established Valley Dance Theatre as the premier ballet company of the Tri-Valley.
Sponsor: Valley Dance Theater
Location:  Bankhead Theater - LVPAC web site - eLivermore Bankhead Theater page
Times: 
  Sat Dec 14: 2:00 & 7:00pm
  Sun Dec 15: 2:00pm
  Fri Dec 20: 7:00pm
  Sat Dec 21: 2:00pm & 7:00pm
  Sun Dec 22: 2:00pm & 7:00pm
Admission: $34/$28/$24;  Student 17 & under: $18
More info: Valley Dance Theater or Bankhead Theater

 


 

Places to Visit

 

Lights of the Valley

A web site listing locations suggested homes with Christmas light displays.
Lights of the Valley

 

 

Christmas Scriptures

All Christian Churches have special Christmas Eve services.
Full list of Tri-Valley Churches, and web links

 
 

 
 
 

Christmas Scriptures

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness on them light has shined. You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder.  For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian.  For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire. For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this. -- (Isaiah 9:2-7)

 

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for see--I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!" When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us." So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them.  But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.  The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. -- (Luke 2:1-20)

 

Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:

“Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:

‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.’”

Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, “Out of Egypt I have called my son.”

When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah:

 “A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.” -- (Matthew 1:18 to 2:18)

 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light.

The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not. He came to his own home, and his own people received him not. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. (John bore witness to him, and cried, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, for he was before me.’”) And from his fulness have we all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.  -- (John 1:1-18)