WITH UPDATES: What's canceled and what's still happening this holiday season in Siskiyou

Skye Kinkade
Mount Shasta Herald
People gather in 2019 to see the lighting of Mount Shasta's Christmas tree in front of the Mount Shasta Police Department and city hall.

COVID-19 has thrown a wrench in a lot of holiday plans. From turkey trots to tree lightings, several longstanding Siskiyou County traditions have been canceled. After a sharp increase in cases over the past weeks that landed the county in the state's "widespread" tier, several more local events bit the dust. Here's the latest on what's canceled and what's still happening this holiday season.

Still happening: Siskiyou Golden Fairground's Holiday Market

It's the the traditional Holiday Gift Fair with a twist for 2020 – the market will be held 100% outdoors on Saturday, Nov. 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Siskiyou Golden Fairgrounds, 1712 Fairlane Road in Yreka.

Canceled: Mount Shasta's Community Thanksgiving

A tradition in Mount Shasta for more than 30 years, volunteers decided to postpone this year's Community Thanksgiving event. "We are truly saddened to make this decision," said longtime organizer Dawn Fazende, "but under the present circumstances, and the fact that we depend solely on volunteers, our concerns for the public's safety is foremost in our decision."

Canceled: Scott Valley Schools' Turkey Trot

Due to youth sports restrictions in the state of California and social distancing guidelines, the Scott Valley Union School District will not hold a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning in 2020.

"Keep those tail feathers ruffled for 2021!" the district said on the event's webpage. 

Canceled: Weed's Run for Food

Siskiyou Food Assistance's traditional Thanksgiving morning run won't take place this year, although families are still encouraged to go out for a jog on Thanksgiving, snap a photo, and email it to runforfood.weed@gmail.com to possibly be featured on the race's Facebook page. 

SFA is also looking for support during North State Giving Tuesday on Dec. 1 to replace the funds they'll lose without the Run for Food.

Canceled: Dunsmuir Rotary's Global Thanksgiving

A potluck and celebration of cultural diversity and world peace, Dunsmuir Rotary will not host their annual Global Thanksgiving event in 2020.

Canceled: Athens Country Christmas light display

Dave and Cathy Athens, who usually decorate their Mount Shasta yard with tens of thousands of lights and invite Santa to visit on the weekends, won't be decorating this year.

The couple, who work for Mt. Shasta Area Newspapers and appeared on ABC's "The Great Christmas Light Fight" in 2017, plan to bring their massive display back next year, "better than ever."

Still happening: Boy Scout Christmas tree sale

As is tradition, Mt. Shasta Boy Scout Troop 97 will be selling Christmas trees this year.

The tree lot, located adjacent to the Black Bear Diner in Mount Shasta, will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 27th, 28 and 29, and December 5 and 6. If not sold out, they'll man the tree lot again on Dec. 12 and 13.

The cost for the trees is $7 per foot. 

Canceled: Mount Shasta Light Parade and Tree Lighting

UPDATE: The Mount Shasta Chamber of Commerce decided to cancel their annual holiday events after Siskiyou County was bumped into the purple, or "widespread" reopening tier on Nov. 17.

ORIGINAL STORY: An extra block will be cordoned off to give revelers more room to safely spread out to watch this year's tree lighting in front of Mt. Shasta City Hall, said Mount Shasta Chamber Director Kaila Burns. 

The fourth annual holiday light parade is scheduled for the day after Thanksgiving: Friday, Nov, 27. The parade starts at 6 p.m. and the traditional tree lighting will follow promptly. There will be no vendors at the event, as in years past.

Attendees are asked to wear a mask, and to respect social distance.

Yreka's Christmas tree lighting in 2018.

Canceled: Yreka Holiday Parade

UPDATE: The Yreka Merchants had been working hard in the past few weeks to carry on the tradition of the Holiday Parade on Thanksgiving weekend. "Sadly, the latest orders from our governor have prompted the cancellation of the event," organizers announced on Facebook.

ORIGINAL STORY: The Yreka Merchants Association is hoping to continue the tradition of the annual Holiday Parade in 2020, although final arrangements haven't been made. If the event goes forward, it will be held the Saturday after Thanksgiving, on Nov. 28.   

Plans to be COVID-19 safe include having spots along the route where people can watch the festivities from inside their vehicles.

Canceled: Mount Shasta's Reindeer Run

Event organizers have decided against hosting the annual 5k Reindeer Run this year in Mount Shasta, which usually takes place the morning after Thanksgiving.

Still happening: Madrone Hospice, Inc.'s Light up a Life

Although it will be held online this year, families who make a donation of any amount will hear their loved one's name called during Madrone Hospice, Inc.'s Light up a Life candle lighting ceremony. 

The Dec. 4 ceremony, set to begin at 5 p.m., can be accessed via Facebook Live, YouTube Channel MT15, and Channel 4. 

Those who donate $50 or more will also receive a special remembrance ornament. To donate call Madrone at 530-842-3160.

Up in the air: College of the Siskiyous Holiday Craft Fair

UPDATE: College of the Siskiyous is deciding whether to hold their annual Holiday Craft Fair on Monday, Nov. 30.

ORIGINAL STORY : Strict safety measures will be in place at this year's one day Holiday Craft Fair on Dec. 5, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the COS Gymnasium (800 College Avenue in Weed). The event will be open to the public but will be limited to 120 people at a time in the gym, including crafters and staff. There are 30 booths and flow patterns that encourage physical distancing and one-way traffic. While at the event, all in attendance must follow official CDC Guidelines for COVID-19 indoor events.

Still  happening: Fort Jones Christmas Tree Lighting

Friday Dec. 4 on Main Street Fort Jones at 6 p.m.

Up in the air: Weed's Olde Fashioned Christmas

The Weed Chamber of Commerce hasn't decided whether they'll have their traditional celebration this year, or a version that looks a little different, said a representative from the Weed Chamber of Commerce.

Up in the air: McCloud's Victorian Christmas

Organizers of McCloud's expansive holiday celebration are planning to change up their festivities, but final plans haven't yet been made.

Canceled: Mercy Mt. Shasta Hospices' Light up a Life

Mercy Mt. Shasta Hospice has decided to cancel this year's Light up a Life gathering, said manager Kristine Neel. Lights will go up in front of the hospital, but the traditional ceremony of remembrance will not take place in 2020.

Still happening: Montague's Christmas Bazaar and Tree Lighting

Shop from local crafters, artists & small business owners at Montague Hall on Saturday, Dec. 5 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Event includes free ornament painting for the kids, sponsored by J. Cota Forestry, raffle baskets and small concessions.

The city's tree lighting will be held at 6 p.m. at Rail Road Park. The hall will open again after the lighting so children can visit Santa at 6:15 p.m.

Canceled: Candles in the Canyon

Dunsmuir's Chamber of Commerce has decided to cancel all their annual holiday gatherings this year.

ORIGINAL STORY: Dunsmuir's big holiday celebration is still up in the air, said a representative from the Dunsmuir Chamber of Commerce.

Canceled: Pancakes with Santa

Dunsmuir Rotary has canceled all in-person events this holiday season.

Still Happening: Fort Jones Lions Club's Fireman's Breakfast

The event is scheduled for Dec. 12 from 7 a.m. to 11  a.m. with drive through/take out only. Contact Mark Earys at (530) 598-2162 with questions.

Still happening: Fort Jones Christmas Parade

The Fort Jones Christmas Parade is set for Saturday, Dec. 12 at 1 p.m. Parade entry forms can be picked up at Mechanics Bank. 

Still happening: Fort Jones Christmas Craft Fair

Marble Rim Gallery will host the craft fair on Dec. 12, but due to COVID-19 it will be held outdoors from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the parking lot of the old bowling alley (across from the Chevron Station) at 11219 N. Hwy. 3. 

Includes local vendors, crafts and more. Masks and social distancing are required, in accordance with Siskiyou Public Health public safety measures. Contact Marble Rim for more information by calling (530) 468-5442.

Still happening: Santa's Sleigh

As he has done for more than 70 years, Santa's Sleigh will make its rounds on Mount Shasta's streets this year, but things will look a little different, said Mount Shasta Fire Department Chief Matt Melo.

Normally a two-night event, in 2020, Santa, Mrs. Claus, elves and other Christmas characters will appear on one night only: Saturday, Dec. 19. The sleigh will depart City Hall around 5 p.m. and embark on a route that will be shortened with half the stops.

Kids won't be able to sit on Santa's lap, but they will be able to drop him a letter in a box or email him (details coming soon, Melo said).

Still Happening: Yreka YMCA's Ugly Christmas Sweater Run

The Siskiyou Family YMCA will host its 9th annual Ugly Christmas Sweater run and walk event on Dec. 19. The race begins at 10 a.m. at Siskiyou Family YMCA, 350 N, Foothill Drive in Yreka. There will be a 2 mile run/walk or a 5 mile run option for holiday revelers. Cost is $10 for all participants and includes a race t-shirt.

Up in the air: Night of Lights

Tentatively scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 5, the Yreka Merchants are working on a Night of Lights. More information to come.

Up in the air: Ugly Sweater Wine Walk

Tentatively scheduled for Dec. 12, the Yreka Merchants are working on an Ugly Sweater Wine Walk. More information to come.

Skye Kinkade is the editor of the Mt. Shasta Area Newspapers and the Siskiyou Daily News. She is a fourth generation Siskiyou County resident and has lived in Mount Shasta and Weed her entire life.