Five Fun Christmas Celebrations around Los Angeles

2016 has been a somewhat rough and contentious year in our country. So as the days dwindle down into a hopefully brighter 2017, why not cast your cynicism aside and lean into the festive events around town that celebrate the spirit of Christmas. Embrace your inner child as you grab a hot chocolate, sing a holiday carol and be dazzled by various sparkling lights during these Christmas celebrations around Los Angeles.

'Irving Berlin's White Christmas' at the Pantages
Nothing says Christmas like a lavish production of one of the iconic holiday stories, "Irving Berlin's White Christmas." Adapted from the 1954 movie starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, this lavish stage version follows two song and dance men as they put on a Christmas show at a Vermont Inn alongside a talented sister act. Love, snow and cheer are in store for all, as everyone will be dreaming of a "White Christmas." The show plays a limited run through December 4 at the historic Pantages Theatre.

Culver City Tree Lighting
As part its Centennial year, Culver City is throwing a Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration on December 1 at the Town Plaza adjacent to the Culver City Hotel and ArcLight Cinemas. Businesses have pitched in for the hot cider, cocoa and cookies as folk dancing groups and local choirs entertain the public. There will even be a visit from Santa Claus (as well as the city Mayor) as the 22-foot Rocky Mountain pine is lit with 7500 LED lights. It's nice to see a Christmas tree lighting that actually occurs in December – (we're looking at you The Grove LA, who disgracefully lit their tree soon after Halloween).

LA Harbor Holiday Afloat Parade
Kicking off December 3 is the LA Harbor Holiday Afloat Parade in LA Harbor. Celebrating its 54th year, this year's theme is "Hollywood at the Harbor" and the parade's Grand Marshall is Jaina Lee Ortiz ("Rosewood"). Each boat along the one-mile route will be decorated in holiday and Hollywood themes and will be escorted by the official Tall Ships and Maritime Ambassadors of the City of LA, "The Irving Johnson and Exy Johnson." This judged event stars at 6:00 p.m. in the Port's East Basin and can viewed along the San Pedro Waterfront, Ports O' Call, Warehouse #1, Cabrillo and Holiday Harbor Marinas.

Festival of Carols at Walt Disney Concert Hall
Want to get in the holiday singing mood? Then look no further than the "Festival of Carols" at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Grant Gershon conducts the Master Chorale as they perform holiday classics and even a few undiscovered tunes that will warm your heart. Expect such favorites as "Deck the Hall," "Winter Wonderland," "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," "Brightest and Best," "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," and more. The Chorale performs December 3 and 10.

The Original Farmers Market
From December 18 through Christmas Eve, the Original Farmers Market on Fairfax presents a diverse selection of fun and eclectic Christmas cheer. Throughout the week catch afternoon and evening performances by the Dickensian Strolling Carolers, the Hamilton School Choir, Einstein's Caribbean Christmas Band, Mariachi Fiesta as well as participatory events like Recycled Cork Animal Crafts, Holiday Juggling with Scot Nery, and Christmas Karaoke with Danny Ray. All events are free, so have a little hot (or cold) toddy and get in the holiday spirit.

Author's bio: Lori Huck works in television development as well as writes on entertainment, travel and the arts. She's a fan of the vibrant arts scene in Los Angeles and is a member of various film, television, and arts organizations.

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