You know what Humboldtians don't mess around with? Them holidays! We do 'em up big.
While it's rare that we experience the kind of "White Christmas" that would give Bing Crosby something to croon about -- we seem to average, oh, one per decade -- Humboldt has made up for it by doing some incredibly white things around the holidays! Here's a rundown of the Humboldt Holiday Highlights:
PARADE OF PARADES:
Our biggest holiday events of the year all seem to be ones that move slowly past your face. In short, Humboldt loves to put Christmas lights on vehicles.
Fortuna kicks off the season's parade-a-palooza with its Electric Lighted Parade on Friday, Dec. 9. A mixture of things to come, expect tractors and trucks decked out in Christmas sparklies to depart the Redwood Village Shopping Center at 6:30 p.m. and hit all of Fortuna's relevant streets.
Perhaps the most attended and certainly the loudest is, of course, the annual Trucker's Christmas Convoy, taking place this year on Saturday, Dec. 10. The brightly colored big rigs begin their journey at Eureka's Redwood Acres at 6 p.m. and wind their way through Eureka bellowing their one-note versions of "Jingle Bells" to the delight of ears young and old.
Leave it to the Cream City to bring it all back home. Ferndale's annual Lighted Tractor Parade will pack Ferndale's Main Street on Sunday, Dec. 18. The farm equipment starts rollin' at 7 p.m., but if you're a person who eats, get down there at 4 p.m. to grub down at the Ferndale Community Center.
YOUR TOWN LOVES CHRISTMAS:
Most of Humboldt's population clusters find a way to celebrate Jesus' birthday in one way or another. Here's how your town does it:
Eureka: Centering in Old Town, Eureka's Holiday Open House ushers Humboldt into the holidays on Thursday, Dec. 1. With the requisite visits from Santa, carolers, holiday treats and later-than-normal store hours, Thanksgiving will be but a distant memory.
It should also be noted that Arts Alive! on Saturday, Dec. 3, will look a lot like that first thing. So, in case you miss it ...
Arcata: Santa? Check. Carolers? Check. Shops open late? You better believe it. Arcata celebrates its Season of Wonder and Light on Friday, Dec. 2. The Plaza will be dressed to the nines and ready to support your holiday gift-buying habit.
It should also be noted that Arts! Arcata on Friday, Dec. 9, will look a lot like that first thing. So, in case you miss it...
McKinleyville: Santa gets around. He'll be at McKinleyville's town holiday love-in on Thursday, Dec. 1, for the annual Holiday Celebration running from 5-8 p.m.
It should also be noted that the McKinleyville Arts Night on Friday, Dec. 16, will look a lot like that first thing. So, in case you miss it...
Fortuna: The Friendly City sings! In addition to its own Holiday Open House on Dec. 9, on Sunday, Dec. 11, the annual Fortuna Christmas Music Festival at the River Lodge will pummel your ears with Christmas cheer. The jam-packed event begins at 12:30 p.m. and features over 10 local ensembles. Listen up!
Ferndale: We've said it in these pages before: Ferndale is the Christmas Champion. Proceedings kick off on Dec. 2 with Hospitality Night Open House, featuring all the festiveness you'll need (see above).
But the hits keep on comin'. On Saturday, Dec. 3, Santa hits the streets of the Cream City at 10:30 a.m. while a Christmas Brass Band provides you with a shopping soundtrack from 2-4 p.m. That night, the 42nd annual Christmas Celebration in Song will again drench the Ferndale Community Church with sing-along goodness at 8 p.m.
To the outside world, Humboldt is known for its flora of one sort or another. It's only fitting that we rock some rockin' local Christmas greenery.
One community has the market cornered in this category. The biggest living Christmas tree in the country -- the universe, perhaps? -- belongs to Ferndale. Ferndalians light their festive flora on Sunday, Dec. 4, at 5:30 p.m. Afterwards, head over to the Portuguese Hall for the annual linguica and beans dinner. Rule: You must never leave the cowtown hungry.
Even if it doesn't measure up to Ferndale's, every town's gotta have a tree. Eureka? It lights its tree by the Gazebo during the Holiday Open House on Dec. 1. McKinleyville? Macktown also lights up Dec. 1 during a townwide Holiday Celebration. Arcata? Dec. 2, head to Jacoby's Storehouse during the Season o' Wonder and Light. Orick? Just kidding. All Orick's trees have been made into burl bears. Duh.
We can also report one holiday bummer: There will be no tree at the Eureka Inn this year. Humbug!
So while it isn't even Thanksgiving yet, like it or not, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Get jolly or face consequences.