San Ramon officially welcomes the holiday season with its 11th annual Bishop Ranch Tree Lighting Ceremony from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday at Bishop Ranch One.

The event has moved to a Friday evening due to the requests of residents, says Monica Magee, community and outreach coordinator for Bishop Ranch, and has continued to grow from the 300 people in attendance its first year to more than 3,000 attendees last year.

You can't miss the beautifully decorated 70-foot white fir tree brought down from Burney, Calif., by Carlton Christmas Trees. Standing tall and festive in all its glory at 6111 Bollinger Canyon Road, the evergreen was decorated by the Bishop Ranch Landscaping Team.

In addition to the tree lighting happening at 6:30 p.m., there will be live music and entertainment provided by the choirs from Dougherty Valley High School and Windemere Ranch Middle School, some dancers from the cast of San Ramon Valley Dance Academy's Impressions of the Nutcracker, Keenan Webster, Talking Woods Trio and Triquetra fire dancers.

There will also be sleigh rides, an expanded snow play area for kids 12 and younger and free face painting by some helpful elves.

Take a photo with Santa and enjoy some refreshments provided by local vendors. Don't forget to bring a coat, sweater or canned food to donate to the One Warm Coat collection drive and the Food Bank of Contra Costa.

Parking is available at Bishop Ranch One or across the street at Bishop Ranch Two.

SANTA'S REINDEER: The reindeer are taking a break and dropping in for some fun at the annual Holidays on the Farm this Saturday at Forest Home Farms from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Meet the reindeer from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and stroll around the historic grounds. Shop at the Holiday Market for unique gifts from more than a dozen vendors, visit with a Victorian Santa, tour the Glass House Museum all decked out in its holiday attire and see the teddy bear history exhibit.

Fun activities for the whole family include Victorian ornament making, stuffing your own teddy bear, old-fashioned games, tractor rides, sheepdog demonstrations and entertainment.

While you're there, pick out the family Christmas tree at the tree lot. Admission is free, and there is food available for purchase. Some activities require a fee.

The City of San Ramon and the San Ramon Historic Foundation present the annual event. Other sponsors include the Kiwanis Club, AT&T U-verse and Chevron.

For more information, visit www.sanramon.ca.gov or call 925-973-32284.

HOLIDAY SPIRITS: "Bah Humbug, Scrooge's Christmas Carol" will be presented by the San Ramon Community Theater for the next two weekends.

Directed by Colleen Vitaliss and choreographed by Kai Aikawa, the Dickens' classic will be performed Dec. 7 through Dec. 9 and Dec. 14 through Dec. 15 in The Front Row Theater at the Dougherty Station Community Center, 17011 Bollinger Canyon Road. Shows are at 7:30 Friday and Saturday evenings, and matinees are at 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Tickets are $16 for adults, $13 for children. Matinee tickets are $11 for all ages. Purchase tickets at www.sanramonperformingarts.com, or call 925-973-2787. For more information, call 925-389-7529 or visit www.sanramoncommunitytheater.org.

PERFORMING ARTS: For more than a quarter-century, the San Ramon Valley Dance Academy has performed what has become a holiday family tradition.

"Impressions of The Nutcracker" will be presented Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 15 and Dec. 16 in the Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center, 10550 Albion Road. Shows are at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 1 and 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

Performances end with a visit from Santa Claus and a chance to meet and take photos with performers. Tickets are $22 or $19 for seniors and children. Buy tickets at the theater box office, www.sanramonperformingarts.com or call 925-973-2787.

Contact Monica Lander at landerfamily@comcast.net.

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