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Saratoga holiday events include horse-drawn carriage rides, decorating contest

Whether it’s walking through decked-out neighborhoods or enjoying pours at the Saratoga Wine Stroll, there are plenty of events to keep Saratoga residents busy this holiday season.

The annual Saratoga Holiday Tree Lighting will kick off the city’s holiday celebrations the day after Thanksgiving.

The tree-lighting ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 25 in Blaney Plaza. The event is free to attend and will feature a variety of holiday activities for all ages, like horse-drawn carriage rides, holiday music and performances. Businesses will stay open later that evening so attendees can get a start on their holiday shopping.

There will be lots of kid-friendly events beforehand at the Saratoga Candy Cane Village from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at 14460 Big Basin Way.

The village will feature Magic Mitch the Magician, music by AndyZ & his bubble machine, storytime, pictures with Santa Claus, arts and crafts and letters to Santa. Santa Clara County Fire Department personnel and equipment will also be on hand.

The annual Holiday Wine Stroll Experience, put on by the Saratoga Chamber of Commerce, starts at 6 p.m. at 14460 Big Basin Way after the tree lighting.

Matt Masih, Kurt& Johnny, Aly Kahn & the Aly Cats will perform live music along the stroll, and attendees will be given a wine glass and wrist band.

Tickets are $55 in advance, or $65 on the day of the event, and group ticketing options are available.

Pasquale Esposito in Concert

The Sacred Heart Men’s Club presents Italian tenor Pasquale Esposito in “Bianco Natale,” accompanied by San Jose State University’s orchestra, conducted by Fred Cohen.

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The holiday concert  is set for Dec. 3, 8-10 p.m. at Sacred Heart Church,13716 Saratoga Ave. The show will feature traditional Christmas songs and seasonal favorites. Tickets are $75-$95 at

Celebration of Light

The Saratoga Ministerial Association will host the annual Celebration of Light on Dec. 10 at 5:30 p.m. in Blaney Plaza.

The event is aimed at building community and celebrating the diversity of Saratoga with light, “a symbol of hope, joy and faith across cultures,” the event listing reads.

Holiday Chalk the Walk

Montalvo Arts Center is giving visitors the opportunity to fill the sidewalks surrounding Charmaine’s Garden Terrace with festive chalk art on Dec. 10, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Holiday music will be played, and hot chocolate will be served. Montalvo staff and volunteers will be on site to provide instructions and chalk. The free event is for visitors of all ages with any level of art experience.

RSVPs are requested to For more information, email Olive Wu at

Window, Yard Decorating Contest

Saratoga residents and businesses can compete to win a gift card or gift basket this year in the annual Window and Yard Decorating Contest.

The Saratoga Chamber of Commerce recommends participants think of classic Christmas story themes, like “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “The Night Before Christmas,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Frosty the Snowman.”

Organizations and schools could win a gift basket worth $50, and residents can win a gift card to their favorite Saratoga restaurant. Categories include Most Traditional, Best Theme, Best of Show and Business Best of Show.

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Participants can submit photos of their display to enter the contest by Monday, Dec. 12, at 5 p.m. Winners will be announced on Dec. 19.

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