Country stars and donkey rides grab your saddle for this year's Holiday festivals. They've got music, Christmas trees, shopping and no holiday festival would be complete without Santa. High Desert folks have their pick of the weekend's merriment.

Calico Ghost Town Holiday Festival

Friday, Saturday & Sunday
Tree lighting ceremony 5:30 p.m. Saturday
Ghost Town Road
Admission: $6 for Adults, $3 for children 6-15, free for children 5 or younger

Calico Ghost Town event planners said they aimed for a Holiday Festival that embraces the new and still honors tradition and the town's heritage.

The Holiday Festival combines what used to be two separate holiday events: the Heritage and the Christmas Festival.

Noele Wayne said this year's Festival will feature old customs including staged gun fights, photos with Santa, and, of course, the tree lighting ceremony.

But what's new this year is the Calico donkey rides offered for children Saturday and Sunday.

"We're really branching out with different ideas of ways to entertain the locals let people know this is a place to be entertained," Wayne said.

Throughout the weekend various musical guests will perform including Billy Erickson, a singing cowboy and Calico Ghost Town regular.

Also performing is Debby Clinkenbeard, Americana folk artist originally from Yermo.
"She is local to the area and that's really neat," Wayne said.

Other Festival activities include caroling, store freebies, cookies and hot cocoa, and a reading of "The Night Before Christmas."

"It's a family-friendly experience that's very affordable," Wayne said. "If you're looking for something to do with your family that doesn't cost a lot of money, this is the way to go."

For more information visit www.calicotown.com.

Fort Irwin Winterfest 2011

Friday & Saturday
Darryl Worley concert 3 p.m. Saturday
Tree lighting ceremony 5:15 p.m. Saturday
Fort Irwin Town Center
Admission: free and open to the public

In keeping with the move to make Fort Irwin "a community of choice," the post will be hosting it's first ever "Winterfest" celebration.

Though the post always had a holiday-themed event and Christmas tree lighting ceremony, event organizers said they wanted to make a bigger deal out of it this year.

Country star Darryl Worley will be performing for the event Saturday and afterward meeting with fans. Worley had produced 18 singles and three number one hits: "I Miss my Friend," "Have you Forgotten?" and "Awful, Beautiful Life."

The Winterfest will kick off Friday with Christmas tree sales and Town Center shopping. The event will also feature a breakfast with Santa Saturday morning, followed by Santa's workshop, both at Reggie's Restaurant.

Photos will Santa will be from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Visitors to Fort Irwin must possess government-issue ID and provide vehicle registration and proof of insurance if driving.

For more information call (760)380-5879 or visit www.fortirwinfmwr.com.


Contact the writer:
(760) 256-4123 or klucia@desertdispatch.com