SF LIFE: Dickens, Holiday Lights, Labyrinth

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Wishing all of you tomatoes a Thanksgiving filled with the love and laughter of family and friends. With Gratitude to you all for reading along each week! And now onto “the” season. Victorian Christmas anyone?  The Dickens Christmas Fair returns so you can get your figgy pudding fix. Holiday lights will soon be twinkling so bundle up and take a look at several options to light up the start of your holiday season. Live music and a candle lit labyrinth walk will soothe your soul in Berkeley.

Now-Dec. 17. The Great Dickens Christmas Fair


It’s time to head to jolly old England, at the Cow Palace. The Great Dickens Christmas Fair returns tomorrow. If you have always wanted to attend, this is your year. As you enter the winding lanes of Victorian London you will be immersed in a world of music halls, pubs dance parties, the famous London “pantomime” and charming shops. If you are in the mood for a saucy night out, a musical revue will delight you. Or visit with Scrooge and meet Bob Cratchit and the three ghosts. Enticing aromas of roasted chestnuts and heart foods will fill the air. See how Tomatoes in Victorian England dressed in finery from head to toe.
What a great way to spend the day after Thanksgiving and purchase some truly British gifts for the Anglophile on your list. Or give tickets to the fair as a gift. Looking for a unique Christmas card photo? – Gather the family and throw it way back to the olden days as you snap a photo in the era of Charles Dickens. Ticket info: www.dickensfair.com


Holiday Lights

What is better my friends than the lights that twinkle and glow signifying the start of the holidays? Here lights you don’t want to miss.

The Embarcadero and its 4 iconic buildings will sparkle with over 17,000 holiday lights this year. This evening the lighting ceremony will take place with festivities beginning at 4:00 p.m. The ceremony takes place at 6 and fireworks will burst in the sky shortly thereafter. It’s a sight to behold whether you are 8 or 80!


The 10th Annual Market Street Snowflake Lighting ceremony will feature live performances as city officials will count down to the illumination of over 290 5×5 LED illuminated snowflakes on Market Street’s signature “Path of Gold” light poles in front of the cable car turn-around at Powell and Market streets Tuesday, November 20, 2017 at 6:30 pm.

Our beloved Spencer Christian of ABC 7 News will emcee the annual countdown of lighting the Market Street Snowflakes. SF Ballet students dressed in snowflake tutus will charm the crowd and live music will add to the festive holiday spirit. Just a little FYI – The Path of Gold lights that run the length of Market St. from Steuart to Castro streets were originally installed in 1916 and have been casting their distinctive amber glow during the holidays since then.

The West St. Francis. While you are in Union Square shopping away, visit The Westin St. Francis as it will be transformed into a festive oasis, embellished with spectacular holiday decorations from Joe Vincent Designs beginning November 23, 2017. Stroll in and you will also be greeted with complimentary coffee and tray-passed cookies. You will be greeted with a large illuminated tree, the Sugar Castle, and the St. Francis Enchanted Castle surrounded by elaborate gift boxes. In the past, the castle has been 12 feet tall and used over 600 lbs. of sugar. I have a cavity just thinking about it! The enchanted castle will be on display through January 2, 2018. 335 Powell Street.

Guided Light Tour. Each year between Thanksgiving and New Years, some of the most talented local light artists illuminate the city with their inventive light installations. Take a guided light tour through some of San Francisco’s most beloved neighborhoods, or check out one of the many luminous events happening around the area. From The Archipelago lights in the Potrero, Constellation in the Civic Center or the vast array of lights at Yerba Buena and in SOMA, you will find lights that you never knew existed in the day light hours. Self-guided tours are also available. For example head to the W SF hotel lobby where you will spy the otherworldly light sculpture that showcases fine art’s relationship with the latest digital technology. www.illuminatesf.com

Nov. 24. Labyrinth Walk

If you want to light up your holidays in a gentler, less commercial fashion, visit Grace North Church in Berkeley on Friday the 24th. With candles projecting their warm lights, and The Winding Way musicians playing, you can turn inward and reflect on the real meaning of this season. The musicians feature, guitar, violin, cello, mandolin and piano and they beautifully play songs from many world religions that inspire inner peace and hope. Can’t we all use a little of that? Enter at 2138 Cedar Street on the 2nd floor. 6:00 p.m.  Get the details.

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