Season of Wonder and Light

Arcata Main Street, local businesses, and members of our community come together every year for this celebration, in the heart of historic Arcata. This year, more than ever, we encourage everyone to come together in downtown Arcata to enjoy holiday sights, sounds, community and good cheer throughout the month. The Plaza, the Historic Jacoby's Storehouse, and the Downtown are wreathed in lights and garlands by Arcata Main Street. Shop, wine and dine with extended holiday hours, and especailly join us on Dec. 2 for our annual Open House and Ceremony of Wonder & Light.

Season of Wonder & Light


  • Friday Dec. 2, Holiday Open House 5-9 p.m.

    • Kathe Lyth's  Redwood Coast Choir with songs of peace & joy
    • Stories by Paul Woodland, and live music
    • Blessings of the season by Bryan Jessop
    • Local handmade sweets and apple cider
    • SANTA & MRS CLAUS arrive at 6pm!
    • FREE Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides
    • Add your wishes to the Community Wish Tree
    • Ugly Holiday Sweater decorating with SCRAP Humboldt
    • Sign-ups for the Ugly Holiday Sweater Run
    • Downtown store are staying open late - check out all the Holiday Window displays and enjoy refreshments
    • Toss your spare change into jars @ participating stores to benefit Arcata House Partnership, throughout the month
  • Sunday Dec. 4, Ugly Holiday Sweater Run, 10 a.m.

  • Friday Dec. 9, Holiday Arts! Arcata, 6-9 p.m.

    • Art, music and festivities
    • FREE Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides
    • Community Caroling throughout the Downtown - meet on the Plaza

Extended store hours throughout Arcata

Major shopping Give-Aways at participating stores

Please consider volunteering to help make the magic happen! LightLoveLife


In 2015, the Season of Wonder and Light opened with a special Open House Friday Dec. 4, at 5 p.m.. Families and friends came to the Arcata Plaza to fill the holidays with peace, love, joy, health, wonder… and light!

The new Lighting Ceremony featured stories, songs, wishes, and the lighting of the trees. A mix of guests and entertainment for both adults and children included Kathe Lythe’s Redwood Coast Choir, and Donald Forrest reading an excerpt from the Eureka Symphony’s Christmas Production of Scrooge adapted from Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol. Bryan Jessup from the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship shared a few words and blessings. Young stilt walkers provided lights, while Talvi the Finnish elf was our MC.

Arcata Main Street provided fresh local Clendenen’s cider, Comfort of Home Cookies, and sweet mandarins, served by the Greenview Playground Committee. A host of elves from US Bank will help with the festivities, while the Community Pride and Peace Project joined us.

Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived at 6 p.m. via horse-drawn carriage for jolly conversation, photos and candy canes. FREE horse-drawn carriage rides were offered throughout the evening.

Mad River Union : Proclamation from the City of Arcata with Open House details


Participating stores added to the festivities by offering a creative shopping adventure – the ARCATA HOLIDAY PASSPORT. Simply Macintosh’s window on G Street displayed all the prizes - THANK YOU. Winners were announced on Saturday, Dec. 22nd.

Congratulations Ceva Courtemanche from Hensel’s Ace Hardware, Grand Prize winner of the 2015 Arcata Holiday Passport project! In addition to randomly winning the yummy gift basket from Pasta Luego, she won $200 cash from Arcata Main Street. Her video about her experience says a lot about why we did it and why we’ll do it again next year with expanded opportunities to play and win. Thank you to everyone who participated and shopped local!


Friday, December 11 – Arts! Arcata – 6-9 p.m.

A very special Holiday Arts! Arcata featuring art, live music, free horse-drawn carriage rides, festive holiday store windows and displays, refreshments, and extended hours at more stores than ever. Enjoy one of the final days of Chanuka in the glow and sparkle of lights throughout downtown Arcata.

Jacoby’s Storehouse featured a 24ft Grand tree. Holiday music was performed by the AHS Madrigal Singers, ArMack Jazz Band, and several small ensembles. Students created several exciting sets, all in the holiday spirit including titles like “Hot Chocolate!” from the movie Polar Express, We Wish You a Merry Christmas, Winter Wonderland, Angels We Have Heard on High, O Christmas Tree, and more! Rain prevented students from also riding around in Arcata's Antique Fire Truck.

Arts! Arcata on Facebook has lots of photos about the art shows in downtown Arcata in December.

Friday December 18 – Caroling and extended store hours

Members of the Arcata Interfaith Gospel Choir and Arcata Main Street caroled through downtown Arcata from 6-8 p.m. The rain didn't stop us!

Many stores around the Plaza stayed open late for the 3rd Friday in a row, giving shopper achance to take advantage of their extended hours, in-store refreshments, complimentary gift wrapping, and the highest quality gifts and products in all the land.



While you’re shopping downtown, please consider dropping yourSPARE CHANGE into containers on the counters of several downtown stores as a benefit to ARCATA HOUSE. Arcata House is a community-based nonprofit organization created in 1991 as a partnership between local churches, the City of Arcata and residents of the area who believed that ending homelessness was the responsibility of everyone in the community.


A number of stores participated in Arcata Main Street’s Window Decorating Contest, just for fun, a bottle of champagne, a plaque and haut holiday respect !

  • Bang! Bang! took 1st place in the “Wonder” category.

  • Heart Bead was 1st in the “Giving” category.

  • Zen was voted tops in the “Light”‘ category.

  • Honorable Mention goes to Simply Macintosh for hosting all the Passport Prizes in their window – which is all about GIVING~

  • Arcata Exchange had high marks in all 3 categories.

There are dozens of other gorgeous holiday window displays around town. We highly recommend you see them soon! Thanks to our local businesses who make this town sparkle and shine! The full set of photos can be seen HERE.

bang bang

We asked for a ladder and got the whole team!

Special thanks to our Participating Holiday Passport stores, and the following Season of Wonder & Lights Sponsors