Do Napa Like a Local for the Holidays

The holidays are here, and downtown Napa is decking all its halls with festivities. Come celebrate the season in Wine Country, with fun for adults, kids, and families all together.

Besides the general merriment for everyone, if you’ve ever wanted to embrace Napa like a true local, this is a terrific time to visit. Longtime Napans turn out for these events, spreading cheer and goodwill. You can check out more event details here, too.

While you’re in town, plan an extra day for a wine adventure, like a Join-In tour where you can pop in with a group and make new friends.


Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, Nov. 23, 2016
Join Napa locals at 6 p.m. in Veterans Park for this gathering, as the Mayor lights the 29-foot-tall Christmas Tree. Savor hot chocolate from Downtown Joe’s and cupcakes from Kara’s Cupcakes, too.


54th Annual Christmas Parade, Nov. 26, 2016
Historic downtown rings in the holiday cheer with a parade that begins and ends at First and School Streets. This is a local’s favorite, as Napans creatively decorate any parade entry – cars, horses and even children – with bright, festive lights. This year’s theme is “Bright Lights, Christmas Delights,” is the theme this year, and the judges will be keeping their eyes peeled for the most dynamic presentation, awarding the winner $500 in cash. Applications are available at or at the Downtown Napa Association office, 1290 Napa Town Center.

Horse Drawn Carriage Rides, Dec. 8, 15 and 22, 2016
Squire your friends and family through the streets of downtown Napa in a horse drawn carriage, to admire the holiday lights strung on the buildings and decorated storefronts. The free rides depart from the Historic Napa Mill and run from 4:40 to 7:30 p.m.


Holiday Trolley Rides, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 2- 24, 2016
More free rides! Guests can hop on and off as they wish, or enjoy the entire loop at one time, traversing through Downtown Napa from 3 to 6 p.m. The holiday-decorated trolley boasts a sound system, playing festive music as it travels between the Oxbow Market, Historic Napa Mill, First Street at Dwight Murray Plaza and Main and Pearl Streets.

“Ugly Sweater” Culinary Crawl, Dec. 15, 2016
Stroll, savor and sip through downtown Napa’s restaurants and wine tasting rooms, all while wearing your most heinous holiday sweater. Why the costume? Because prizes will be given for the most gruesome garb. The evening kicks off at 5 p.m. at the Bounty Hunter Wine Bar & Smokin’ BBQ and includes stops at Ca’Momi and Angele Restaurant + Bar. Advance tickets are $30 each, $45 at the door, bringing specially prepared bites at each stop paired with exclusive drink specials.

Napa Riverfront photo by Finnerty Photography/
Napa Riverfront photo by Finnerty Photography/

Napa Lighted Boat Parade, Dec. 3, 2016
Ooh and ah at the glittering lights, dancing off the dark reflective waters of the Napa River. Boats will launch from the Napa Valley Yacht Club at 5:30 p.m., making their way towards the Napa 3rd Street Bridge, and all the way, holiday music will serenade the procession. Claim your spot on the Riverfront promenade, and get those cameras ready.

Tuba Christmas, Dec. 4, 2016
This holiday music concert is sure to bring joy, thanks to the world traveling concert series making a special stop right in the heart of downtown Napa. Staged at Veteran’s Park, the show features traditional Christmas music performed by more than 50 tuba and euphonium players. With two shows at 2 and 4 p.m., the parties offer a variety of uniquely sized and shaped instruments, too, for a sound that compares to a rich pipe organ.

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Carey Sweet


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