Santa trades in his sleigh for a boat on a joy ride through Trinidad

Gateway town to the California Coastal National Monument will also open historic lighthouse

For immediate release

TRINIDAD, California – This scenic North Coast town, a popular destination for vacationing Californians, is mixing things up for the Yule holiday as it celebrates the 8th annual Holidays in Trinidad this December.

On Sunday, December 12th, the community will welcome Santa Claus as he leads a flotilla of lighted fishing boats on wheels and a marching band as they parade through town from the Trinidad Harbor. Trinidad Town Hall will then host a soup and salad dinner featuring clam chowder from the Seascape restaurant, a landmark eatery between the Trinidad Pier and Trinidad Head.

Afterwards, guests can work off their meals dancing to Tidepool High Divers band in a fundraiser for the Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse, which stands sentinel at the entrance to the Trinidad Harbor and Trinidad State Beach.

A mainstay of selfie pictures for decades, the landmark lighthouse is a replica of a working light station on the far side of Trinidad Head, which has guided vessels into Trinidad Harbor since 1871. In 1914, the hidden lighthouse, which juts 200 feet above sea level on a headland cliff, survived a wall of water generated in a severe storm, the highest recorded wave on the West Coast.

On Saturday, December 4th, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the lighthouse’s operation, the Bureau of Land Management is opening it up to rare public tours from 10 am to 3 pm, complete with living history performances, from 11 am to 1 pm.

After touring the lighthouse, visitors are encouraged to hike the remainder of the 1.5-mile loop trail atop Trinidad Head, which features a seacliff forest, rock outcroppings and panoramic views of Trinidad and the surrounding coast.

“This is a gorgeous place. You can walk around the head and get a 360-degree view. Anywhere you look, it’s a great view,” Jim Kenna, the former BLM state director, said on a visit.

During both weekends, Trinidad businesses are extending their hours to welcome holiday visitors. Suggested stops include a flea art market with food vendors and live music, a Christmas boutique featuring jewelry and lighthouse memorabilia, a book signing at the Trinidad Art Gallery, tastings at the award-winning Moonstone Crossing winery , an open house at the Trinidad Land Trust and historic exhibits at the Trinidad Museum.

And after fresh local fare at the Seascape Restaurant, they can stop at the nearby Santa’s workshop by the Trinidad Harbor boat launch for holiday gifts.

The 8th annual Holidays in Trinidad, a seaside town of some 300 residents in Humboldt County, about 290 miles north of San Francisco, is made possible by a community partnership that includes the Trinidad Civic Club, a non-profit devoted to town improvements and stewardship of the Memorial Lighthouse; and the Trinidad Harbor, which is managed by the Cher-Ae Heights Indian Community of Trinidad Rancheria and includes vacation rentals, boat launch, fishing pier, fish charters, bait and tackle and gift shop, seafood restaurant and beach.

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