Entertainment

Top 10 holiday events in SLO County

It's the holiday season, and there's no shortage of fun events around San Luis Obispo County to get you in the spirit. Nearly every town in the county hosts a parade, tree lighting, concert, craft fair or some other type of festivity. While we list all the happenings in our annual holiday events guide, we thought we'd put together a list of the 10 best. These events are a little different than the norm, and may make your season a little brighter and your memories a little warmer. Happy holidays!

No. 1: Cambria Christmas Market



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Cambria Pines Lodge, 2905 Burton Dr., Cambria | Dates and prices vary

A little bit of Germany comes to the Central Coast when this outdoor Christmas market opens each year. Visitors can meander through extensive displays of holiday lights, drink traditional German hot spiced wine and buy homemade gifts from a variety of vendors. Children can also visit Santa in his cozy cottage.

No. 2: The Great American Melodrama's Holiday Extravaganza



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The Great American Melodrama, 1863 Front St., Oceano | Dates and prices vary

The Great American Melodrama's annual holiday extravaganza has been a tradition for many Central Coast families for 40 years. The triple bill begins with Scrooge finding his holiday spirit in "A Christmas Carol," followed by a wacky, hilarious "fractured fairytale opera." The night ends with the "Holiday Vaudeville Revue," complete with skits and favorite holiday songs.

No. 3: Vine Street Victorian Showcase



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Vine Street between 8th and 21st streets, Paso Robles | Saturday, Dec. 12, 6-9 p.m.; free

Vine Street in Paso Robles is lined with charming Victorian-style houses, and the whole neighborhood gets into the holiday spirit by decking the homes with lights and other decor. There are also carolers, bands, dancers, food and hot drinks. Oh, and Ebenezer Scrooge happens to be a resident of Vine Street - and he is not happy with all the holiday cheer taking over the neighborhood.

No. 4: Morro Bay Lighted Boat Parade



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Morro Bay Harbor; viewing is along the Embarcadero, Morro Bay | 6:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 5; free

Many towns across the country have holiday parades, but not many can boast of a parade on water. Decorated boats cruise the harbor from Tidelands Park to Morro Rock. Find a seat anywhere along the Embarcadero.

No. 5: Musical Holiday Walk around Atascadero Lake



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Atascadero Lake,  Atascadero | 5:30-9 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 5; free

Stroll around Atascadero's lake and enjoy holiday decorations, choirs, bell ringers and other musical groups. Hot cider, popcorn and other refreshments will also be available, as well as a barbecue hosted by the City of Atascadero. The Atascadero High school band, drama and choir will also perform from 6 to 9:30 in the Pavilion. Best part? It's all free!

No. 6: Pismo Beach Holiday Harmony and Tree Lighting Ceremony



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Pismo Beach Pier, 100 Pomeroy Ave., Pismo Beach | 5:30-7:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 4; free

You know you're in California when the town's Christmas tree is over the Pacific Ocean, not land. While this tree lighting doesn't look like a traditional holiday scene, the city does truck in snow to give those cool California kids that winter feeling. There will also be photos with Santa, cookie decorating and bounce houses.

No. 7: Arroyo Grande Elegant Christmas in The Village



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Village of Arroyo Grande, | 4-8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6; free

Looking for something a little more upscale? Head to the Arroyo Grande Village, where all the store owners will be dressed fancy and luminaries line the street. Put on your Christmas best and enjoy music, food and entertainment while shopping.

No. 8: Community Hanukkah party in SLO



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Mission Plaza, San Luis Obispo | 5 p.m. Dec. 6; lighting at 5 p.m. through Dec. 13; free

A menorah at the Mission? Pretty awesome showing of the holiday spirit, SLO. On the first night of Hanukkah - Dec. 6 this year - there will be a party to celebrate the festival of lights with games, treats and other fun. Candle lighting will continue each evening at 5 p.m. (except Saturday, which will be at 6 p.m.) for the eight days of celebration.

No. 9: Templeton Presbyterian's Living Nativity



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First Presbyterian Church, 610 S. Main St., Templeton | 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18 though Sunday, Dec. 20; free

Remember the reason for the Christmas season at this living nativity in Templeton. A narrator, actors and live animals - including a donkey, sheep and Lulu the camel - will reenact the night Jesus was born. There will also be caroling, hot chocolate and cookies for all.

No. 10: Forbes Pipe Organ Holiday Concert and Sing-along



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Cal Poly Performing Arts Center, 1 Grand Ave., San Luis Obispo | 3 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 20; prices $12-$18

Take a break the weekend before Christmas at this sing-along concert. A variety of holiday carols will be played on the magnificent organ while family and friends and choirs take part.

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