How to Experience a Victorian Christmas in Ferndale, California


Step back in time to experience a Victorian Christmas in the historic village of Ferndale, California. This quaint village off Highway 101 along California's "Lost Coast" has been preserved just as it was when it was built in the nineteenth century. The citizens go all out during the Christmas season to welcome tourists and give them the experience of an old-time celebration surrounded by classic gingerbread architecture.

Step 1

Greet Santa on the first Saturday in December as he makes his first appearance of the season in a horse-drawn carriage, riding along Ferndale's colorful Main Street. The village has been voted "America's Best Painted Town" by the National Register of Historic Places. Enjoy the Village Brass Band serenading the crowds in period costumes. Put the kids in front along the parade route to catch the bags of goodies Santa and his elves toss along the way. After the parade, head to the Ferndale Community Church to enjoy the Ferndale Community Choir's Annual Christmas Celebration in Song.

Step 2

Witness the lighting of the tallest living Christmas tree in America on the first Sunday evening in December. This colorfully decorated and lighted giant spruce at the end of Main Street is visible from miles away. The ceremony includes bands and singing groups playing and singing traditional carols in the Victorian tradition. Gather with costumed citizens and visitors after the ceremony to sample the free cookies and punch that are part of the tradition.

Step 3

Get into the spirit of the season on the second Saturday in December along with the Ferndale residents. The village invites everyone to join the fun and dress up in Victorian costumes. Stroll under the Christmas lights and decorations along Main Street and stop into the shops, antique stores and boutiques for unique Christmas decorations and gifts. Enjoy the strolling barbershop quartets, carolers and brass bands. Buy period newspapers detailing the holiday events and schedules from the newsboys hawking their papers along the street.

Step 4

Stay for the Christmas Lighted Tractor Parade on the second Sunday in December. Antique and modern tractors from all over this farming community roll along Main Street. Many of them pull decorated floats filled with holiday singers and performers.

Who Can Help

  • Ferndale Event Schedule
Keywords: christmas, victorian, experience, ferndale, california

About this Author

David Barnes has been a freelance writer since 1974. His work has appeared in numerous publications including "Readers Digest," 'Westways Magazine," "Southland Magazine," "Private Practice," "Medical Economics" and "Grit." He holds a master's degree in English from California State University, Long Beach and a Bachelor of Arts in accounting from National University. David is a Certified Public Accountant.