Entertainment & Events

‘Tis the season for Balboa Park’s December Nights Festival

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Balboa Park will host the 33rd annual December Nights Festival beginning this Friday.

Sometimes it’s tough to indulge in the spirit of Christmas…or any other winter holiday when the local ice cream man still jingles down our San Diego, sun-dried roads in December.

But Balboa Park is making it easier to indulge this Christmas kicking off their 33rd annual December Nights, running this Friday and Saturday. There will be lights, dancing, carnival rides, food and the mood: It’s time to celebrate the holiday season.

Oh, yeah. Did I mention it’s free? That’s right. The only billing going on there is December Nights reputation as the “largest free community festival in San Diego.” That’s hard for even a Scrooge to pass up. More than 300,000 people are expected to partake in this two-day event.

Even Museums at the Park will benevolently kick their doors open wide enough for Santa, all his reindeer, and any of you who care to peruse the rarities. Participating Museums will be free from 5 – 9 p.m. on both evenings.

Among the featured activities of December Nights will be the International Cottage Christmas Festival, which highlights various holiday traditions from around the world with music, costumes and dance.

But it would be impossible to get the flavor of these traditions without sampling the food; so enlighten your taste buds with fried plantains from Panama, or test your palate with Palestinian hummus and falafel, or maybe you’d like to try the Paella from Spain or the bratwurst from Germany.

The festival lasts from 5 p.m. until 10 on Friday Dec. 3, and from noon until 10 p.m. on Saturday Dec. 4.

Photo by Stan Shebs.

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