A new event will liven up Tehachapi’s launch of the holiday season this year — Tehachapi Hometown Christmas, sponsored by the city of Tehachapi.

Organizer Key Budge said the event builds upon the continued success of the downtown Farmers Markets held in the summer and a desire to create more activity downtown on the first Saturday of December, the traditional beginning of the community’s Christmas activities.

The timing is intended to fill a gap between Christmas-related events in the downtown area that Saturday, Budge said.

“The Rotary Club kicks off the day with a Christmas breakfast, the historic train depot hosts photos with Santa along with a bake sale, the Chamber of Commerce hosts the annual Christmas Parade on F Street and that is followed by the Christmas Tree lighting at the Depot,” he said.

The new event will provide people with something else to do downtown that afternoon.

The Christmas festival will be held downtown from 2 to 5 p.m., and the annual Christmas Parade will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by lighting of the town’s Christmas tree.

Since the city announced the new event, a long list of businesses and organizations have signed on to participate, Budge said.

Live Christmas music and carolers will be on hand throughout the event. At 3:30 p.m. there will be an Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest. At 3:45 p.m. Alex Zonn will read “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” And at 4 p.m. Santa and Mrs. Claus will make an appearance downtown.

Other activities include a booth for writing letters to Santa, kids Christmas crafts, a Christmas selfie booth, kids games, writing letters to military, a canned food drive and Toys for Tots unwrapped toy drive.

Some locally-owned downtown stores will offer specials and discounts, Budge said, and at least one local restaurant will have to-go family meal deals for the Christmas Parade.

Events will take place along Green Street south of Tehachapi Boulevard and in front of Centennial Plaza.

Schedule

Budge also provided a schedule of Christmas events for Dec. 3:

8 a.m. – Rotary Club Breakfast with Santa, Aspen Gym, West Park.

11 a.m. – Tehachapi Depot Museum photos with Santa and bake sale.

12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. – Free admission to "A Charlie Brown Christmas" at Hitching Post Theater.

2 to 5 p.m. – Tehachapi Hometown Christmas on Green Street.

5:30 p.m. – Christmas Parade on F Street.

6:30 p.m. – Christmas Tree Lighting at the Tehachapi Depot.

7:30 p.m. – Tehachapi Community Theatre Association presents “A Christmas Story” at the BeeKay Theatre..

Participants

Budge noted that a growing list of local businesses are participating in the event. These include:

Calliope Music, Darlene’s Real Swell Toys, Discover Tehachapi, Hitching Post Theater, Karen’s Boulevard Shoppe, Kelcy’s Cafe, Kohnen’s German Bakery, Markos D1 Salon, Marty Pay Farmers Insurance, Miramar, Mountain Music, Mudd Hut 2 Go, Nannette Keller, Oak Tree Art Antiques, Etc., Semerenko Team, Simply Perfect Gifts and Décor Tehachapi Art Center, TehachaPie, The Loop Newspaper and WM.

Participating organizations, in addition to the city, include Church of Latter-day Saints, Girl Scouts, Greater Tehachapi Chamber of Commerce, Knights of Columbus, Rotary Club of Tehachapi, Salvation Army, Tehachapi Community Theatre Association, Tehachapi High School Art Club and Jazz Band, Tehachapi Police Department, Tehachapi Valley Arts Association, Tehachapi Vineyard Church and Toys for Tots.

Also, Christmas craft vendors Betty Baldwin, Christin Soto and Sarah Rose.

For more information about Tehachapi Hometown Christmas contact Jessica Garner at 822-2200, ext. 102.