Ringing in a New Year with an Old Attitude

If you’ve lived in California too long, it’s easy to dwell on how things used to be. The mainstream media reports that California is experiencing an exodus thanks to taxes, cost of living and a host of other issues. Taxes do keep going up and even though the state is an oil producer, gas prices are some of the highest in the nation. How is that right?

Some prominent conventions have left their favorite haunts such as San Francisco because of the homeless situation and concerns about the city’s appearance.

Yes, California is changing and many have removed their rose-colored glasses. However, don’t let the negative news fool you.

California continues to offer the finest weather in the nation, a diversity of landscapes and geographies like no other state, and tourists continue to come so they can see the theme parks, national parks, filming spots and beautiful beaches.

Don’t worry — California’s not going anywhere. We’re still here and sure, you can check out any time you like but in your mind, you can never leave. Welcome!

Pirate Santa


Christmas is upon us and Santas abound. Have you ever wondered how children differentiate “real” Santa from all his helpers? Pictured is Pirate Santa riding a bicycle down Main Street near the Huntington Beach Pier. This quintessential road where nearly everything imaginable passes by see Harley Santas, Sassy Santas and Santa Cons with hundreds of Santas all at the same time.

Fun Things to Do

December Weekend

Heroes and Villains arrives at San Jose’s convention center this first weekend of December 2017. Voice actors, artists and a variety of talents appear at this event which is fun for all ages but has broad appeal among teens to adults.

Watsonville Factory Sale this weekend returns as an annual event in Monterey County with the likes of Martinelli’s participating.

San Francisco’s final Chantey Sing of the year brings out revelers who lend voices to old time songs that were popular during the Gold Rush.

Palm Springs Desert Living Home Show this weekend is best enjoyed when December weather is like summer at the beach — only drier.



Lighted Tractor Parade

Nothing sparks a child’s imagination more than seeing a giant farm tractor rolling down the street filled with sparkling lights, Christmas packages and holiday tree. There’s only one thing that can beat this experience as you watch Santa waving to the crowd — that is riding on the tractor, yourself!

Calistoga Lighted Tractor Parade offers the best seat in the house on December 2, 2017 after sundown. If you can make it to the show, how lucky you are!

California Cities Light the Way


It’s another fantastic day in San Francisco as Beach Blanket Babylon puts on its annual holiday extravaganza, complete with BIG HATS!

Finishing off November 2017

BALDWIN PARK: Tree Lighting Ceremony. Free
CARMEL: Carmel Mission Tour of Homes Nov.30-Dec.1
CHICO: A Very Chico Nutcracker with Community Ballet at Laxson Auditorium
COLTON: Tree Lighting Ceremony at Colton City Hall
DAVIS: Christmas Tree Lighting and Kids Candlelight Parade
DUBLIN: Tree Lighting Ceremony at Dublin Civic Center
FRESNO: Fresno La Comida Guild Home Tour, Tea and Boutique
LOS GATOS: Fantasy of Lights December 2-30, 2017 at Vasona County Park
PACIFIC GROVE: Holiday Parade of Lights Downtown
PALM SPRINGS: City of Palm Springs annual Holiday Tree Lighting at Frances Stevens Park
REDONDO BEACH: Riviera Village Holiday Stroll
ROSEVILLE: Tree Lighting at Vernon Town Square
SAN FRANCISCO: Beach Blanket Babylon Seasonal Extravaganza, through December 31
SAN FRANCISCO: Union Square Tree Lighting
SAN FRANCISCO: Fairmont San Francisco Gingerbread House
SANTA MONICA: Tree Lighting at Third Street Promenade
WALNUT CREEK: Holiday Parade of Lights & Tree Lighting

Celebrate Spring


  • Oxnard and surrounding area and Channel Islands is blooming with wildflowers this year due to the abundant rainfall!
  • Filled with flowers of all colors, Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden is celebrating the history of Lucky Baldwin’s days in the 1880s when he owned a vast and successful ranch on the site. He built the Queen Anne Cottage and the Coach Barn, both now historic landmarks, bringing Victorian sensibilities to a region better known for rowdy cowboys and the wild west. They’ll have stagecoach rides, horses, blacksmith and weaving demonstrations, roping, panning for cold and more on May 6, 2017.
  • See dozens of springtime events on our California Events Calendar!

OC Market Place Faves are Back

Lisa Haley & Zydecats

For fans of the accordion, the Orange County Market Place in Costa Mesa returns in 2015 with the Elvis Festival, Accordion Big Squeeze Festival and Rock ‘n Roll Concerts. The action has already begun with the St. Patrick’s Green Festival Irish music and dancers, then continues on before the OC Fair takes place in July. Good times are guaranteed for all at this affordable $2 admission event. If you look for coupons you can even get in free. There’s so much to listen to, dance to and see in The OC!

California What’s New

This year travel is expected to be up for Memorial weekend though vacationers will generally not travel as far. Where are visitors going for their chosen destination? The Number One choice in California remains San Diego. Las Vegas, NV additionally sees a large amount of traffic between Spring Break and Memorial Weekend.

Calling all U.S. Service Members who Love Golf!

Since its inception, Desert Classic Charities, the charitable entity that organizes the Humana Challenge, has contributed more than $52 million to the Eisenhower Medical Center and surrounding Coachella Valley nonprofit organizations with mentoring programs for children, social services, and food and safe shelter for the less fortunate.  In the spirit of giving, Humana Military Outpost returns to host U.S. Service Members at Humana Challenge in 2013.

Humana Challenge will provide free grounds admission to active duty, Reserve, and military retirees along with their dependents in La Quinta.  Back by popular demand, the Humana Military Outpost returns to host active duty, Reserve, and military retirees at the 2013 Humana Challenge in partnership with the William J. Clinton Foundation at the Arnold Palmer Private Course at PGA WEST from Thursday, Jan. 17 – Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013.

An expanded and exclusive hospitality pavilion located between the first tee and ninth green offers its guests climate-controlled, indoor seating, outdoor patio seating overlooking the golf action, and complimentary food and beverages.

Veteran groups who would like to attend the Humana Military Outpost should have a representative contact Humana Challenge Tournament Services Manager Amanda Croteau at (760) 346-8184, ext. 269 in advance to make arrangements for their group to attend. Space is limited and is on a first-come, first-served basis. Groups must RSVP by January 7, 2013.

The PGA TOUR is the premier membership organization for touring professional golfers, co-sanctioning more than 100 tournaments on the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour.