MARTINEZ, Calif. – The Martinez Recreation Department’s annual Holiday Frolic will have more events this year as it expands to a two-day celebration, and multiple downtown stops are participating.
The celebration opens at 11 a.m. Friday with the Martinez Arts Association Christmas Boutique at the Old Train Station, 400 Ferry St.
Santa Claus will be visiting his very own Santa House at Main Street Plaza, in the 600 block of Main St.,
The Try Hards, a band made up of Alhambra High School students, will perform for donations at 5 p.m. Friday at Main Street Plaza, where children also will be able to make the ChildTime’s Edible Holiday Tree, a free event, as long as supplies last.
Among the free Main Street activities taking place at the plaza will be face and fingernail painting, temporary tattoo applications and a Christmas Sleigh selfie station.
Citrus Salon, 620 Main St., will offer free hair painting from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The city’s holiday tree lighting ceremony will take place at 5:30 p.m. in Ignacio Plaza, across from Martinez City Hall, 525 Henrietta St. Admission is free.
Another returning popular event is the free Children’s Holiday Light Parade, which will start at 6:30 p.m. Friday at City Hall. Floats, groups, organizations, clubs, businesses and others may join in the procession. Applications to participate are available at City Hall and online at www.cityofmartinez.org or by calling the Recreation Office, 925-372-3510.
Free lighted wands will be distributed to the first 500 children who register for the parade.
Musicians, performers, lighted vehicles and floats are welcome, too, and children may decorate and drive their electric vehicles, tricycles or wagons in the parade.
Friday’s activities wrap up with the free annual Ugly Sweater Contest, at 7:30 p.m. at Barrelista Café, 734 Main St. Prizes will be awarded in 12 categories.
All of Saturday’s events are free as well, and most will start at 10 a.m. and last until 1 p.m.
Candy Cane Lane will be set up at Martinez Library, 740 Court St., and the Reindeer Stop will be at Martinez Veterans Hall, 930 Ward St.
Frosty the Snowman will welcome visitors with hot cocoa at the Martinez Senior Center, 818 Green St., where people also can browse Frosty’s Gift Boutique.
The Sports Center and Basketball Hoop, at Estudillo and Escobar streets, also will have holiday activities, as well as the Martinez Museum, 1005 Escobar St., which will become the Gingerbread House.
Hot Dog Depot, 400 Ferry St., will be the site of Winter Express.
Face and fingernail painting and temporary tattoo application will take place at Main Street Plaza.
An ornament workshop will be offered at Barrelista Café, 734 Main St.
Two other events will take place at other times Saturday.
The Martinez Arts Association Christmas Boutique will be open at the former Southern Pacific Train Depot, in the 400 block of Ferry St., from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and the Snowflake Stop will be at Five Suns Brewing, 701 Escobar St. Unit C from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday.
One more seasonal event is being offered by the Recreation Department. Residents and visitors may have breakfast with Santa from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, at the Martinez Senior Center, 818 Green St.
Among the selections will be pancakes, toast, sausages, scrambled eggs, juice and coffee. Santa will be available for Christmas photographs. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for those younger than 10.
The Recreation Department also is host to some of Santa’s Elves, who are ready to send friendly letters to Santa’s friends, describing updates on Rudolph, the elven workshop where toys are made and other holiday activities. The letters would arrive about a week before Christmas and are available in Spanish. Donation of a first class stamp per letter are welcome.
Reservation for the letters must be made by Dec. 10, and can be made online at www.cityofmartinez.org, by phone at 925-372-3510 or in person at the Martinez Recreation Office, on the second floor of City Hall, 525 Henrietta St.
At Martinez Library, the free Graham Cracker “Gingerbread” House Extraveganza will be at 1 p.m. Dec. 15; Snowflake Storytime will be at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 14 and the Chinese New Year Celebration will be at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 28.
Among the Recreation Department’s winter camps is Winter Wonderland Engineering with LEGO, for those in kindergarten through fifth grade, from 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 2 through 4, at Golden Hills Park Building on Bernice Lane and Blue Ridge Drive. Cost is $95 for residents and $100 for nonresidents.
The Skyhawks Winter Sport Camp, for those 6 to 12, will be from 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 2 through 4 at Rankin Tavan Field, 100 Buckley St. Cost is $119.
Let It Snow! Winter Camp, for those 4 to 7, will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 2 through 4 at Nancy Boyd Park, 90 Church St. Cost is $60 for residents and $65 for non-residents or $23 a day, cash or check paid at the camp.
Penguin Camp Day, for those 4 to 11, will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 7 at Nancy Boyd Park, 90 Church St. Cost is $23 online or, by cash or check only, at the camp.
Hot Cocoa Camp Day, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 15, is for those 4 to 11 at Nancy Boyd Park.
The Recreation Department’s Babysitter’s Workshop, for those 11 to 15, will have one session from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 8 and another session from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 7 at Martinez City Hall, 525 Henrietta St. Cost is $67 for residents and $72 for nonresidents.
Registration for those camps and classes may be done online at www.cityofmartinez.org or by calling the Recreation Department at 925-372-3510.