The holiday season is just around the corner. What better way to kick it off than with tree lighting ceremonies in Monterey, Carmel, and Pacific Grove? With caroling, holiday treats, and Santa appearances, these beautiful holiday traditions are far more than lighting up a tree in a public square or park: they are a rich experience for the whole family.

Our local tree lighting ceremonies offer wonderful choices to begin a new tradition, or to keep up or renew an old family tradition. Choose one, or overindulge in holiday cheer and attend them all! Note that weather and other factors can cause scheduling changes. Please visit the websites you see here, or contact the appropriate chamber of commerce before making your plans to ensure you have the most up-to-date information.

Enjoy the spirit of the season, and consider starting it with a tree lighting ceremony or three! Happy Holidays!

Local Tree Lighting Ceremonies 

Monterey’s Cannery Row

  • Date/Time: Friday, November 27, 5-9 p.m.
  • Location: Steinbeck Plaza, in front of Bubba Gump’s
  • Details: This is the 21st Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony. It’s f-r-e-e, and is open to everyone. Your family and friends are invited to join in the holiday spirit, good cheer, and festivities.


  • Date/Time: Friday, December 4, 3:30-7 p.m.
  • Location: Devendorf Park, Ocean and Junipero Avenues
  • Details: More than just a holiday Tree Lighting, this event includes Carmel’s Holiday Party as well. The Monterey Fire Department is chipping in for Santa’s transportation this year! There will be a performance and recital of “Twas the Night Before Christmas” by the Carmel Middle School Chorus, Junipero Serra School kids, and many others. Refreshments are being provided by the Monterey Bay Area Chapter of the American Red Cross. And for Candy Canes, the Sunset Center is doing their part. At 5:45 p.m., Mayor Burnett will light the tree. Immediately following, you and your family can enjoy Carmel Plaza’s annual open house, right up to 7 p.m. For up to date information, please visit the event’s website.

Pacific Grove

  • Date/Time: Monday, November 30, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
  • Location: Jewell Park, Forest Ave and Grand Ave
  • Details: This year, the event will begin with live entertainment by school bands and choruses. That will be followed up by caroling and refreshments at Chautauqua Hall. And yes, Santa is planning on making an appearance! Tree lighting begins at 5:30 p.m. Please visit their website for more information.


This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

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