Holiday At The Rancho Dec. 1

by The Editors on November 21, 2012

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On December 1, 2012 celebrate the beginning of the holidays with the City of Carlsbad’s Annual Holiday at the Rancho celebration at Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic State Park.

Enjoy the tree lighting ceremony, cookie decorating, face painting and pony rides. Write your own letter to Santa and create wooden gift tags, ornaments and more. Get some holiday shopping done at the craft boutique or tour the Hacienda. The evening will also feature a very special visit by Santa himself, who will light the 14-foot tree. Bring a blanket and a chair and finish the evening gathered around the giant outdoor movie screen for the classic film, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

The festivities begin at 5 PM. Tickets for this magical Carlsbad holiday tradition are $8 at the door or $5 if you buy them before November 29, 2012 at one of the Carlsbad Community enters. Click here for photos from years past (2008, 2009), or follow the jump for the official information.Holiday at the Rancho coming Dec. 1

Blending holiday spirit with a bit of western history, the City of Carlsbad will celebrate the season at its Holiday at the Rancho event Saturday, Dec. 1, from 5 to 8 p.m., at Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park.

The event will feature pony rides, a cowboy-hat-wearing Santa and a holiday movie under the stars, among other treats, at the park, located at 6200 Flying L.C. Lane.

Presale tickets are available at $5 per person from now until 4 p.m. on Nov. 30, and tickets at the door are $8. Children under three are free.

Admission includes crafts, face painting, holiday shopping, cookie decorating, a lighting of a 14-foot tree, an outdoor screening of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and entertainment by groups like the Carlsbad Community Theatre and the Carlsbad Performing Arts Academy.

Children can also sit on the lap of the western-styled Santa, a unique moment that parents can capture with their own cameras or pay $3 for a souvenir photo.

Rachael Shay, special events supervisor for the City of Carlsbad, said the Holiday at the Rancho is a community holiday celebration that highlights the City of Carlsbad and Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park’s rich history.

Attendees can get a taste of this history by taking part in a 30-minute guided tour of the Hacienda. Tours will take place at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Once a working ranchero, the park was owned by actor, philanthropist, poet, preservationist and rancher Leo Carrillo.

“We are so lucky to have this unique property in Carlsbad,” Shay said. “It lends itself to a nostalgic holiday.”

Among the highlights of the event is the screening of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” which will start at 6 p.m. People can set up blankets or low-backed chairs to watch the holiday classic movie on a large outdoor screen.

Parking is available at Leo Carrillo Elementary School or on surface streets. Parking will be limited at the Carrillo Ranch, and half of the lower lot will be used for disabled parking.

To purchase tickets, please contact the Harding Community Center at 760-602-7519 or visit

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