If you're planning to spend Thanksgiving in Yosemite and really want to get into the swing of the holidays, we have just the thing! Don't miss the annual Sonora Christmas Parade, held the Friday after Thanksgiving. This event is a Sonora staple. Enjoy the homemade floats, antique cars and a long-standing tradition in a charming small town that is sure to lift your spirits and warm your heart.
Events like the Sonora Christmas Parade are what makes this region so special. Download our free Vacation Guide for a list of other exciting local celebrations, as well as our selections for the best things to do and see in the area. This guide will make planning your trip easy no matter what time of year you visit!
What to Expect at the Sonora Christmas Parade
The city of Sonora is located about 30 minutes from Groveland. This historic Gold Rush town features a charming Main Street that celebrates its history as one of California’s oldest towns and its reputation as “Queen of the Southern Mines.”
The first parade was held in 1983 and quickly became a tried and true annual tradition. The Sonora Christmas Parade is always held the day after Thanksgiving and begins promptly at 5:30 p.m. rain or shine. Sonora’s parade doesn’t disappoint with plenty of floats, colorful lights and local marching bands, dancers, and antique cars decorated for the season.
Adding to the festive spirit, many of the local merchants stay open after hours. Visit with Santa, enjoy a warm mug of cider, and maybe even pick up a Christmas gift or two!
Other Holiday Events & Activities
The Sonora Christmas Craft and Music Festival
While you’re in town for the parade, you may want to check out the Sonora Christmas Craft and Music Festival at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds. This event is held annually on Thanksgiving weekend. You can peruse more than 100 artist booths as well as enjoy music, street performers, carolers, and decorations. Don’t miss the home-cooking-style festival kitchens and bake shops.
Christmas in Groveland
Every year on Saturday after Thanksgiving, downtown Groveland shops stay open longer to help kick off the big Christmas shopping weekend. Browse our local boutiques and select unique gifts for your friends and family back home. Enjoy carolers, treats, activities, and hot cocoa into the evening. It’s a fun, festive, local event to get you in the holiday spirit.
Where to Stay for the Holidays
With holiday activities like the Sonora Christmas Parade and Christmas in Groveland, you can’t help but get in the spirit of the season. After you experience these local events, you’ll want to relax and recharge. The perfect place to do just that is Hotel Charlotte. Here, you’ll be welcomed by our friendly staff, who can get you settled into one of our cozy hotel rooms or vacation rentals. Enjoy our amenities, indulge in a delicious meal at our restaurant Fork and Love, as well as a hearty breakfast each morning. It’s a great way to kick off the holiday season.
Check our availability and book your favorite room today.