Pittsburg and Bay Point will be celebrating the holidays this month with a variety of special events.

Pittsburg will hold its 25th annual holiday parade Saturday, followed by a tree-lighting ceremony that will use recycled decorations for the first time.

The parade along Railroad Avenue will feature floats, fancy cars and musical and dance entertainment. It starts at 11 a.m. at Eighth Street and ends at Third Street.

"We've got some exciting participants," said Timi Tumbaga, parade coordinator for the Pittsburg Arts and Community Foundation, which along with Pittsburg and the Old Town Pittsburg Business District Association, are event sponsors. "We're expecting about 25 to 30 participating groups in the parade."

Participating groups include members of the Black Diamond Ballet Theatre involved in the production of the "The Nutcracker," the Pittsburg High School Marching Show Band and members of Club Yahualica on horseback.

"In the past, we've had somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 people come out to watch the parade," Tumbaga said.

Children's activities, including face-painting and cookie-decorating and performances by a magician and a juggler, will take place from noon to 4 p.m. in the Old Town Plaza at Fifth Street and Railroad Avenue.

The tree-lighting ceremony will take place later at 5:30 p.m. at Railroad Avenue and Fourth Street.


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"It's actually a living tree. The tree this year is decorated from recycled materials" that include beach balls, milk cartons, and aluminum cans, said Tumbaga. "And the lights on the tree are LEDS lights. It definitely is a green tree."

Before going to Pittsburg's holiday activities, you might want to check out the fourth annual "Breakfast with Santa" event from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday at the Ambrose Community Center, 3105 Willow Pass Road in Bay Point. There is a $3 charge for the pancake breakfast, although children under 12 can eat for free.

Consider bringing along a camera to take photos of Santa with the kids. Music will be provided by the Riverview Junior High School Band. If you're still yearning for another tree-lighting ceremony, come to Bay Point's fourth annual holiday tree lighting ceremony from 5:30 to 7:30 on Dec. 13. It takes place at the Ambrose Community Center and features free refreshments, holiday carols, the Riverview Junior High School choir and demonstrations of recreational programs by the youths who participate in them. The event also features free horse-drawn carriage rides.

"It's kind of a way to cap off the season," said Ken Gray, recreation program coordinator for the Ambrose Recreation and Park District. "We have two huge carriages that go around the parking lot. They are absolutely gorgeous, lit-up carriages. It's totally free, and believe me, the parents and children love it."

Event sponsors include Henkel Corp., Allied Waste, Golden State Water Co., Pittsburg Disposal, Supervisor Federal Glover (through a Keller Canyon Mitigation Grant) and the Bay Point Chamber of Commerce. The Home Depot in Pittsburg donated the tree.

Contact Eve Mitchell at 925-779-7189. Follow her on Twitter.com/EastCounty_Girl.

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