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Lynn Ledbetter, of Antioch, decorates with a Christmas theme as she prepares her home to be one of six homes on the Antioch woman's Club Holiday Tour in Antioch, Calif., on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013. (Dan Rosenstrauch/Bay Area News Group)

Communities throughout East County have filled their calendars with activities to welcome the holiday season -- enough to please the child in all of us down to the crankiest Scrooge.

Santa will make appearances at traditional and lighted boat parades, as well as Christmas tree lightings. Holiday boutiques offer all manner of gifts and home tours provide ideas for holiday décor. Add to these a holiday health run, the wonderful Nutcracker ballet, concerts and selecting the perfect Christmas tree and you may be hard pressed to get any non-holiday entertainment.

Parades

Brentwood starts the holiday ball rolling at 3 p.m. Saturday with its annual Holiday Parade and Winter Walk About on First Street. The Walk About features arts and crafts boutiques, activities for kids, Santa's Village inside the All Inked Up bookstore with plenty of photo ops, elf stops, Christmas carolers, strolling minstrels, hot chocolate and the Taste of Downtown Brentwood Restaurant Tour.

The lighted parade, "Walking in a Winter Wonderland," begins at 5:30 p.m. with decorated floats, cars, horses and more. Restaurant tour tickets are $10 in advance, $15 the day of the tour. For more information call 925-634-3344.

Discovery Bay hosts is 11th annual Parade-of-Lights, "A Miracle on Discovery Bay Blvd.," Dec. 7 at 6 p.m. when thousands of participants, lighted floats, dancers, marching bands and more wind their way through the streets.

For more information call 925-235-0987.

Dec. 14, from 4:30 to 9 p.m., the Discovery Bay Yacht Club puts on the Christmas Lighted Boat Parade with all manner of floating craft decorated and lit for the holidays. For more information call 925-383-1965.

Santa and Mrs. Claus join the festivities Dec. 14 at 5 p.m. at Bethel Island's San Joaquin Yacht Club Lighted Boat Parade. They will be joined by festive participants waving from decorated boats and on shore. For more information call 925-684-9985.

Old Town Pittsburg adds to the parade fun Dec. 14 at 11 a.m. with its 2013 Holiday Parade complete with fantastic floats, marching units, dance and drill teams, the Pittsburg High School Marching Band and more, all in a holiday mood. The parade runs along Railroad Avenue between Eighth and Third streets. For more information visit http://oldtownpittsburgca.com.

Home tours

The Brentwood Education Wins Holiday Home Tour on Dec. 7 offers a chance to enjoy the sights and sounds of the holidays, pick up decorating ideas from homes and businesses decked out for the season and support education. The tour runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., beginning and ending at Club Los Meganos in the Trilogy at the Vineyards neighborhood, 1700 Trilogy Parkway.

Start with registration and map pickup and end with a post-tour reception featuring libations, refreshments, silent auction and raffle. Tickets are $35 in advance, $40 the day of the event. For more information visit www.EducationWins.org.

The Antioch Woman's Club hosts its 59th Annual "Home for the Holidays" Christmas House Tour Sunday, Dec. 8, from noon to 4 p.m., with a reception following at VFW Post 6425, 825 Fulton Shipyard Road, where there will be hors d'oeuvres, a dessert table, candy bar, champagne, punch and coffee. Proceeds benefit local charities and Antioch High school student scholarships. Tickets are $25. For more information call 925-777-0725.

Tree lightings and more

Dec. 7 marks the annual tree lighting ceremonies in Oakley, Discovery Bay and Pittsburg. The Oakley Christmas tree event takes place at Civic Center Plaza at 5 p.m. with choral music from the Oakley Elementary School District and Freedom High School choirs. Be prepared for free refreshments, games, crafts and a visit from Santa. For more information call 925-625-7044.

Old Town Pittsburg hosts its tree lighting at 5:30 p.m. at Railroad Avenue at Fourth Street.

At 8 p.m. the Discovery Bay community gathers to celebrate the season and its annual Christmas tree lighting event, hosted by the Discovery Bay Lions. Be ready with cameras as Santa will be making a guest appearance. For more information call 925-235-0987.

When the time is right to pick out that perfect Christmas tree, Smith Family Farm at 4430 Sellers Ave. in Brentwood offers a great selection of fresh-cut noble and Douglas firs, handmade wreaths and garlands. That done, sit around a cozy fire enjoying holiday music and hot cocoa, then visit the country store for special ornaments, gifts and locally grown nuts. Come on the weekend for a special visit and photo op with Santa. For more information call 925-625-5966.

Boutiques

Join Antioch Covenant Church on Dec. 7 for its third annual Holiday Boutique. Enjoy the season with the local community while making a dent in your holiday shopping list. There will be vendors and food for your shopping needs. The boutique runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 1919 Buchanan Road. For more information call 925-754-3626.

Oakley's Freedom High School PTSA will hold its Holiday Boutique on Dec. 14 with vendors, crafts, raffles and a bake sale. Santa will be present for photos. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 1050 Neroly Road. For more information call 925-418-4079.

Old Town Pittsburg is the scene for two weekends of Holiday Boutique, Dec. 7, 8, 14 and 15 at Galleria Vidrio, 690 Railroad Ave., from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Bundle up the family and head to Old Town for holiday shopping fun.

Entertainment

Nutcracker Ballet fans have two chances to get their fill.

On Dec. 7 and 8 the Black Diamond Ballet Theatre returns to the Pittsburg High School Creative Arts Building, 250 School Street, to present a full length production of the holiday classic. Under the artistic direction of Pittsburg native Sharon Sobel Idul, the cast of professional dancers joined by more than 30 local ballet trainees presents a memorable Nutcracker. Tickets are $15 to $20. For more information visit http://www.eastcountylive.com/event_detail.php?event_id=4318.

The Ballet Company of East County presents its ninth annual production of the Nutcracker with four performances, two each on Dec. 21 and 22 at the El Campanil Theater, 602 W. Second Street, in historic downtown Antioch. The cast is composed of ballet students from throughout the area who have been in rehearsals for the past 14 weeks. Tickets are $18 to $24. For more information call 925-240-5556.

The Pittsburg High School Creative Arts Building, 250 School St., will ring with the sounds of the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West on Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. This 40-piece ensemble from Travis Air Force Base promises an evening of familiar and classic melodies for outstanding family holiday entertainment. Free tickets are available at the Pittsburg Chamber of Commerce, 985 Railroad Ave. For more information call 925-432-7301.

More holiday fun

Antioch is again holding its Holiday Run and Walk for Health on Dec. 14 at Contra Loma Regional Park, 1200 Frederickson Drive, benefiting local schools, youth and libraries and promoting a healthy community. Along with one- and three-mile run/walks, a 10K run and kid dashes with Santa, the day includes a Health Fair with vendors providing health testing, fitness information and healthy food and drink sampling. For more information and to register visit www.holidayrun.org. Registration fees from $20 to $30.

So Big Co-op Preschool hosts a Winter Kid Fest at the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds, 1201 W. 10th St., Antioch, on Dec. 14 from noon to 4 p.m. The day offers family fun and games, kid's arts and crafts, pictures with Santa, food and drink, raffle, prizes and more. Bring one unwrapped toy and receive a free raffle ticket. Admission is free. For more information call 925-757-6474.