The Santa Maria Valley is the Central Coast’s best-kept secret during the holidays and year-round. Adults, kids and families alike can explore and indulge in several festive events happening in December to celebrate the season.

The 21st annual Santa Maria Parade of Lights will be held on December 3, 2016, and is presented by The Rotary Clubs of Santa Maria & Nipomo, the Santa Maria Times and KCOY.

Floats, bands, dancers, nonprofit organizations and other community groups will travel up Broadway from Stowell Road to Main Street for the parade, drawing approximately 2,500 participants, 250 community volunteers, local city and law enforcement personnel, and more than 100 Rotarians who have helped make the Christmas Parade of Lights a signature event for the Santa Maria Valley.

Parade organizers accept up to 105 applications to participate in the Parade of Lights. $600 will be given away to the overall float winner, plus $200 for first place and $100 for second place in seven categories. The Christmas Parade of Lights has been organized under Rotary leadership since 1995. For more information, visit:

The Foxen Canyon Wine Trail is hosting Christmas on the Trail on December 10 and 11, 2016, featuring 13 wineries along the historic Foxen Trail.

Guests will receive a passport with 20 squares printed on the back. Each square equals a 1 oz. pour that they can redeem at any of the 13 participating wineries. Each passport is accompanied with a commemorative item, a GoVino logo glass, special wine discounts and small bites at each winery on Saturday.

The Foxen Canyon Wine Trail is the epitome of the beauty of Central California. The wineries on Foxen Canyon produce award-winning wines in a friendly, welcoming setting, while also providing jobs in viticulture and in the service industry.

The participating wineries are: Andrew Murray Vineyards; Cambria Winery; Cottonwood Canyon Winery; Fess Parker Winery; Firestone Vineyard; Foxen Vineyard & Winery; foxen 7200; Kenneth Volk Vineyards; Koehler Winery; Martian Ranch & Vineyard; Rancho Sisquoc Winery; Riverbench Vineyard & Winery; Tres Hermanas Winery; and Zaca Mesa Winery.

Passports are $45 each and can be purchased through Eventbrite at: For more information on the event, contact Elizabeth Gunn-Baumann at

The 55th annual Old Town Orcutt Annual Christmas Parade is on December 10, 2016, and has been a holiday favorite since 1961. Started by the volunteer fire department, the parade remains a hometown afternoon event. Parade-goers will see kids, dogs, floats, animals, cars, bands and a special appearance by Santa Claus.

The quaint town of Orcutt was named after William Warren Orcutt, and was founded in 1906. The town was founded at the height of oil production in the Santa Maria Valley and soon became a center of trade and shipping. Today, Orcutt is home to specialty shops, restaurants, wine tasting rooms and miles of hiking trails.

For more information on the Christmas parade, visit