Saturday, November 21, 2009

Holidays in the Napa Valley

"What is it like to spend the holidays in Napa? Does it rain?"

Yes, it rains. The hills turn from gold to green as the rain feeds the soil, and the wineries are all happily sorting through their recent harvest, checking on the newly made wine.

Fires crackle and glow in fireplaces all over town. The smell of freshly-prepared food is everywhere.

(and the wine, it tastes pretty good when it rains!)


Napa is an amazing place to live—and the holidays bring out the best of this.

The days get shorter, which makes for some great opportunities for holiday lighting.

There are numerous lighting ceremonies and holiday tours:

"A ceremony to inaugurate the 3 miles of lights downtown and illuminate the 29' tall Christmas tree in Veteran's Park. Entertainment by Ballet Folklorico and Napa Valley Dance, a speech by the mayor and Congressman Mike Thompson. Hot chocolate donated by Downtown Joes and cookies donated by Sweetie Pies, served to the public."


Friday, Nov 27 Downtown Yountville's Festival of Lights (lights on at dusk)

"At 2:00 p.m., Santa arrives at his West Pole post where children can mix, mingle and pose for posterity. Street side, a bevy of local wineries and the region’s top tables (Bouchon Bakery, ├ętoile, Redd, Brix, Bistro Jeanty, Hurley’s Restaurant & Bar, Bouchon, Pacific Blues, Mustards and Napa Valley Grille) serve up tastes along Washington Street while galleries, boutiques and restaurants open their doors for late night shopping and dining."


Saturday, Nov 28 Downtown Napa Nighttime Christmas Parade 5 pm - 8 pm

"Join the whole community for the 47th annual Napa Christmas Parade @ 5:00pm. This year's grand marshals are Roger Bubel and his wife Michal Farrell, co-owners of Ben and Jerrys in the Napa Town Center. Pre-parade entertainment will begin at 4pm for those who want to get a good viewing spot. This year, three $500 cash awards will be given for "Best Use of Lights", "Best Use of Music" and "Best Business Entry". The parade begins on First Street at Franklin and ends at the Oxbow Public Market, where Santa will be on hand to talk to children about their Christmas wish lists. Other entertainment, free hot chocolate and cookies will be served. Entry in the parade is free, but entrants must fill out a parade application in advance. Deadline is Nov.24th."


Saturday, Dec 5, Napa B&B Holiday Tour

"Napa's top B&Bs on tour, complete with holiday decor and festive entertainment. Sample food and wine pairings from Napa's premiere chefs and winemakers. Walk or shuttle between inns."

Tickets: $55 per person, portions of the proceeds to local charities.

Special for this year: The Napa Old World Inn opens its newly restored "Main Building", a 10,000 square foot structure built in the 1870s and 1880s. We've just finished a complete restoration-- more news to come!


Saturday Dec 12, Napa Landmarks Candlelight Tour

This year’s annual tour will begin with a sneak peek of the restoration work completed to date at the Uptown Theater on 3rd Street in downtown Napa. The Uptown premiered its first film on August 13th, 1937, and remained a popular destination for movie-goers for decades. By the time it shut its doors in the late 1980s, its large auditorium and stage had been partitioned to accommodate multiple screens and its elaborate ceiling frescoes painted over. Slated to reopen in early 2010, the art deco Theater has been painstakingly restored to its original grandeur. Following a presentation and Q&A session with the Uptown’s owners, the Candlelight Tour will continue by showcasing some of the classic examples of vernacular architecture along the alphabet streets, northwest of town. Co-sponsored by the Napa County Historical Society.
Tickets: $25 members in advance; $30 non-members and day of event.
And each year, the Napa Register (our local paper) publishes a map of where the best-lit houses in town are located-- all tied to online maps. We love to drive around on Dec 23, 24 and see the show!

Stay tuned! :)

- The Innkeepers
Napa Old World Inn