This is the big holiday weekend in the valley, as Dublin sets its Christmas tree ablaze Thursday, and Livermore and Pleasanton fill the streets for holiday parades Saturday.

Dublin's annual lighting of the community tree will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. this evening at the Dublin Civic Center, 100 Civic Plaza, near the fountain.

The Dublin school district children's choir and the Dublin High School jazz band will perform. Refreshments will be served and Santa Claus will make a visit.

Both Livermore and Pleasanton will paint the town red and green with their annual holiday parades on Saturday.

The Pleasanton Hometown Holiday parade and tree lighting will be from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday on Main Street. The parade will be led by a local high school marching band.

The ceremonial lighting of the tree by the mayor follows at about 6 p.m. in front of the Museum on Main. The event includes a community sing-along and a visit from the big jolly man himself. Main Street will be closed starting at 3:30 p.m. for the festivities.

To learn more, visit www.ci.pleasanton.ca.us.

In Livermore, the 17th Annual Downtown Livermore Holiday Sights & Sounds Parade will run down First Street, from M Street to McLeod Street, beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday.

The parade lasts about an hour and features local marching bands, displays and a special appearance by Santa Claus.

The ceremonial lighting of the holiday tree follows at First Street and South Livermore Avenue. For more information, visit www.livermoredowntown.com or call 925-373-1795.

Reach Jeremy Thomas at jethomas@bayarea- newsgroup.com.

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