Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day, but it should not be the only day on which we give our thanks for all that we have and enjoy. Every day should be filled with thanks, especially for those of us who live in our wonderful city of Elk Grove. Yes, Thanksgiving is about turkeys and eating a lot of good food and enjoying our families. It is also about taking advantage of the shopping bargains of the week. But, do take some time today to count all your blessings and the good fortunes of your life and those of your loved ones.

The Old Town Elk Grove Dickens Faire– Thanksgiving Week means “Dickens” in our historic Old Town. The event will take place tomorrow, Nov. 30, on Elk Grove Boulevard. It will be a busy and festive place to be. Everything starts at 10 a.m. and continues to 4:30 p.m. Then, the Christmas tree lighting ceremony will take place from 5-7 p.m.  

The street will be filled with vendors, and the Old Town shops will have plenty of items for Christmas shopping. There will be no parade this year, but there will be something very special and new with the lighting of Old Town’s Christmas tree.

Elk Grove has had a giant Christmas tree all lit up for the holidays for many, many years. It was on the corner of Elk Grove Boulevard and Elk Grove-Florin Road on the Joseph Kerr Middle School campus. Many groups were involved including the Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club of Elk Grove, and the then-Elk Grove Fire Department. I hope someone can tell me more about the tree and when it was changed to Old Town.

This is the schedule for the 2019 tree lighting ceremony:

5:00 PM - Fortune School Drum Line

5:15 PM - Soul Purpose Dance Company and Albiani Musical Theater Company

5:30 PM - Carly Rhoades

5:45 PM - Story Time with Santa

6:00 PM - Tree Lighting

6:05 PM - Carly Rhoades

6:10 PM - Cocoa and Cookies with Santa

All the events are free and sponsored by the Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce Leadership Team!

Angela Perry is our Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce CEO-President, and she is also the president of the Old Town Foundation. Our remarkable and dedicated community leader tells us this:

“Come join us for the traditional Tree Lighting in Old Town Elk Grove, and stay for Cookies and Cocoa with Santa! Santa will also be available for pictures, so be sure to bring your camera!”

Our special treat will be the wonderful changes to the tree lighting, and for that we thank the members of the Chamber Leadership Team of 2019.

Old Town Elk Grove - Leaving the Lights On - Elk Grove Chamber’s Leadership Elk Grove Class of 2019 partnered with Old Town Elk Grove Foundation to produce the 2019 Tree Lighting ceremony.

 “While we were saddened to lose the parade in Old Town, we are very excited about the new opportunities available,” Perry said. “The Leadership group has presented several fun and innovative ideas to enhance the holiday feel in Old Town. The tree lighting ceremony will include performances and new tree and other decorations throughout the district, and we are so excited to see the final product.

“We will enjoy performances by Elk Grove’s Teen Idol, Carly Rhoades and others and have cookies and cocoa with the one and only Jolly Saint Nick himself. The finale will take place at 6 p.m. when Santa will light the new and improved Old Town Christmas Tree.”

Leadership Elk Grove is a group of business leaders with many talents and interests in the  history and traditions of Elk Grove.

The Old Town Elk Grove Foundation works to preserve the history of the area and promote it as a destination where families can enjoy events, shopping and the history of our city.  The Dickens Faire is a long standing and beloved holiday event which brings thousands of people out to the Old Town area.

These are the members of the 2019  Leadership Team of the Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce: Irene Alvarez-Zamzow, Kaiser Permanente; Nathan Bagwill, city of Elk Grove; Sarah Costa, Sutter Health; Lisa Jenise Dawson, Elk Grove Police Department; Rachel Hudson, SMUD; Scott Jaggar, Methodist Hospital of Sacramento; Patrick Nelson, Republic Services; Maura Ramay-Miljkovic, Kaiser Permanente; Jamie Boulet, State of California Correctional Health Care Service; Marilyn Sakai, Lee & Sakai LLC; Michele Steiner, Cosumnes River College; and Georgina Vaughn, Methodist Hospital of Sacramento.

We thank all the members of the Leadership Team and the leaders of the Old Town Foundation and the Chamber for their work to make our holiday season so special! Copies of the Old Town Historic Tour will be in the Dickens special edition of the Citizen.

NOTE: I will have a booth and be selling History Happened Here books for scholarships at the Dickens Faire, and I hope to see many readers there. Look for me near the Brickhouse restaurant, and I thank Rebeca Gordon, the organizer, and Angi Perry for the wonderful opportunity to be there.

Here is more – we will have two holiday events on Saturday, Dec. 7: Elk Grove Illumination Holiday Festival on Civic Center Drive, and the Wilton Winter Festival at the Wilton Community Center.  


History Happened Here, Book 1 – River, Oaks, Gold

History Happened Here, Book 2 – Fields, Farms, Schools

We the People, a Story of Internment in America

All book proceeds go for student scholarships, and I thank the many purchasers who have made possible the 75 scholarships with each one $1,000  – make your check for books payable to Laguna Publishers and send to me at 9227 Lamprey Drive, Elk Grove, CA 95624.  Books are $20 apiece and California sales tax is included. Add $3 for shipping of one or two books; $5 for 3-6 books. Call me at (916) 685-0606 or email me at And, you can always purchase books at meetings of the EGUSD Board of Education and the city of Elk Grove. Look for me in the entry area of both places. And look for me at the Dickens Faire!