For most Americans, the day after Thanksgiving is synonymous with one thing: Black Friday.
But for Turlockers, Black Friday isn't black at all – it's all about the lights.
“Everything is focused on Central Park and the traditional lighting of the tree,” said Dana McGarry, Downtown Property Owners Association manager.
The annual Turlock Festival of Lights Christmas Tree Lighting will be held from 4 to 9 p.m. Nov. 29., in Downtown Turlock's Central Park. The park is located at the intersection of Main Street and Golden State Boulevard.
The main event, as always, will be the 7 p.m. tree lighting ceremony. Mayor John Lazar will be on-hand to count down to the big moment, when the switch is flipped and Turlock's Christmas Tree begins to shine.
And the tree won't be the only thing to light up. All of Central Park will come to light, with special Christmas lights which “dance” to music.
“It's super groovy, super cool,” McGarry said.
Guests will be treated to free carriage rides, courtesy of Peppermint Creek Carriage, a Santa's Village in Rainbow Fabrics, and performances from youth singing groups. Cruzin' Critters will also have a wide array of exotic animals on display, including a giant tortoise.
“They were a big hit last year, and they were at Taste of Turlock this year and again were a huge hit,” McGarry said.
Vendors will also be selling their wares along Main Street, with temporary booths set up from Center Street to Broadway.
And, of course, the vast majority of downtown merchants will be open throughout the Festival of Lights, offering Turlockers a chance to get started on their Christmas shopping.
“The merchants are getting excited and prepared for all the extra visitors,” McGarry said.