Holiday festivities on tap in east county

Mark your calendars for “Shop Small Saturday,” Nov. 30, 2019. Support your local establishments and get ready for the holidays.

And it’s true — Christmas is coming and sooner than you think … at least for some of us. As this update goes to press, local holiday celebrations everywhere are gearing up, and Santa’s elves are busy planning bigger and better community events with the help of local chambers of commerce and other entities.

On the eastern end of the county, Portola has re-branded their celebration on Dec. 6, from 5 p.m to 8 p.m., naming it simply, “Christmas in Old Town.” This is fitting as the popular holiday event has taken place in historic Old Town Portola for many, many decades.

Organizers hope to revitalize Portola’s event with community support, bringing more lights and glitz to Commercial Street, a larger outdoor holiday market, more prizes for children, a bigger and brighter “Parade of Lights,” a bonfire, Santa and more entertainment for families and friends. This is a huge undertaking, and LSCC is pleased to partner with the City of Portola, local merchants and others to make this event possible.


LSCC is still taking vendor applications for the holiday market and is looking for more parade participants. Parade organizers invite you to light up your vehicle, your mount (horse, bicycle, boat, quad, etc.,) your person or your pup. It’s a great way to advertise your business or just have fun.

Participation in the holiday market and/or the parade is free. If you are interested in either or both of these activities, or want to lend a helping hand with lighting up and decorating Christmas in Old Town, please contact us at 836-6811, and we will get you the forms or information you need.

The celebration continues Saturday, Dec. 7, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., when Graeagle Merchants pull out all the stops for their family-friendly “Graeagle Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting.” Enjoy trolley rides, pictures with Santa, a bonfire and tree lighting. Stop in participating merchants’ open houses for refreshments, and enter a prize drawing for a chance to win “Graeagle Bucks.” Must be present to win.

And finally, we just wanted to say what a great October we had out here in Eastern Plumas County. Lots of end-of-season visitors exploring the area, taking in our fall colors, eating at local restaurants and visiting boutique shops for the holiday gifts, with lots of successful events for visitors and locals alike. Lots of folks are already planning their next visit.


Visitors sometimes stop by our visitor center on their way out of town to say good-bye. I’m reminded of how fortunate we are to live and work in a small rural community where people are friendly and go out of their way to help — even if by doing so doesn’t directly benefit them. I can give many examples of local retail merchants honoring long-expired gift certificates, or sending someone to another merchant when they don’t have what a customer needs, or making a call for a customer when they don’t have to. It is this sort of personal treatment that keeps people coming back. It’s why I call Plumas County “home.”