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American Canyon Santa Claus

Santa will be appearing at several holiday events this year in American Canyon, beginning this weekend.

American Canyon this weekend will be the place to go for snowball fights, a light parade, fun run and Christmas tree lighting, with more holiday activities to follow throughout December.

“We are very excited with what we have in store this year,” said Recreation Coordinator Alana Behn.

Behn said the theme this year is “March of the Toys,” and will be featured in events this weekend and beyond.

On Friday, the city will host the annual community tree lighting ceremony at Shenandoah Park beginning at 6:30 p.m. The evening will also feature a lighted parade, photo opportunities with costumed characters and Santa Claus, carriage rides, food vendors, a screening of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” and a holiday marketplace.

Hundreds of runners will gather the next morning on Saturday, Dec. 1, at the wetlands for the annual Reindeer Run. Check-in starts at 8 a.m., and the 5K/10K races will start at 9 a.m. at the Wetlands Edge trailhead.

Saturday afternoon from 12-5 p.m. will feature Snow Day at Shenandoah Park, a popular family event for locals and residents from nearby communities.

“This year we are focusing on our new village ‘Land of Misfit Toys’ for Snow Day,” according to Behn.

Snow Day will include its “famous” snow play area, themed villages, a giant slide, inflatable games, jump castles, trackless train rides, food vendors, and more. Snow Play Fast Passes will be on sale for $3 until Nov. 29 at the Parks and Recreation Office, 100 Benton Way, or online. Click on the “Magic of the Season” link at" target="_blank">

Later in December residents can take a selfie with Santa and his sleigh in the Walmart parking lot, Dec. 15-16 from 6-9 p.m. This opportunity is provided by the American Canyon Fire Protection District, and visitors are warned ahead of time that Santa might have to leave unexpectedly if his firemen helpers get a 911 call.

“When he’s not bringing joy to children, Santa is busy saving lives, so visits will take place based on non-emergency response availability,” reads a holiday flyer produced by the Parks and Recreation Department.

For two nights, Dec. 18-19, residents can band together on a holiday scavenger hunt known as “I Spy an Elf Competition” from 6:30-9 p.m. starting at the Senior Multi-Use Center, 2185 Elliott Drive.

Pre-registration is required, and can be completed at the Parks & Recreation Office, the Senior Center, or by phone 707-648-7275.

Finally, the event that many locals look forward to each year — the Holiday Home Decorating Contest — will take place Dec. 17-20. Sponsored by Eagle Vines Realty, this year’s contest features the theme “Toy Canyon.”

Homeowners can enter any of three categories: Best Use of Elves, Best Use of Toys, or People’s Choice. The winner of the first two categories will receive $75. The People’s Choice winner will receive $50.

Register with the Parks and Recreation Office by Dec. 13. An entry form is available online at

All holiday events are free to enter, thanks to multiple sponsorships, according to Behn.

Sponsors this year include American Canyon Orthodontics, American Canyon Pediatric Dentistry, Ted Stumpf Windermere Real Estate, and the American Canyon Army Recruitment Station.

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American Canyon Eagle editor

Noel Brinkerhoff has been editor of the American Canyon Eagle since 2014. Prior to that he covered state politics in Sacramento for the California Journal.