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Free: Old Sacramento's Theatre of Lights

Watch "A Visit from St. Nicholas" shimmer before your eyes in the historic district.

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    Free: Old Sacramento's Theatre of Lights
    Sacramento Historic District
    Watch "A Visit from St. Nicholas" shimmer before your eyes in the historic district beginning on Wednesday, Nov. 22.

    IF YOU'VE EVER LINGERED... around K and Front Streets in Old Sacramento, and taken in the vintage buildings, the ones from a couple of centuries back, you likely said something like "if these places could talk." Or you thought it, at least, because the walls and doors and windows of the district really have seen the generations go by, not to mention plenty of famous characters from our state's early years. The tales, then, do flower around the river-close, museum-filled area, and finding them is as easy as jumping into an underground tour in the summertime or calling upon a local institution for a look at a train- or automobile- or Gold Rush-related exhibit. But right around Thanksgiving? The tale changes up for a few weeks, all to tip a hat to the coming yuletide and all of the cheer and merriment it delivers. That's when Macy's Theatre of Lights, a multi-night presentation from "...the Old Sacramento Department of the Downtown Sacramento Partnership in cooperation with Downtown Sacramento Foundation (DSF), with the City of Sacramento and Old Sacramento merchants" sweeps grandly into the neighborhood. 

    IT'S FREE, and with large-scale illuminations, and complementary music and sound, it presents "A Visit from St. Nicholas," or, as many of us usually refer to it, "'Twas the Night Before Christmas." But Clement C. Moore's iconic, know-every-word treat isn't the only part of the 20-minute performance; onlookers will also "(d)iscover how early pioneers experienced the calamities — and revelry — that befell the new city in the 1850s," with the exteriors of the surroundings "light(ing) up with color." The cost to see this unusual and historical and alfresco holiday presentation? It's free, as mentioned, but that's worth mentioning twice. Night #1 in 2017 is Thanksgiving Eve, the final evening is Christmas Eve, and while it won't run every evening, Theatre of Lights will glimmer on multiple November and December nights. Check out the schedule, then go Old Sac for a very 19th-century expression of the holiday, with some contemporary techno dazzle adding a hefty amount of wow.