Between Dec. 26 and 31, visitors to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park are encouraged to “come for the gingerbread houses and stay for the bonfires” as winter nights are celebrated in the park.

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More than 20 shops and museums in the state park are participating in the gingerbread tour. This is the third year in a row that the merchants in the state park have collaborated to create one-of-a-kind gingerbread houses, some as replicas of historic buildings, some made with creative ingredients found within the store, some true gingerbread concoctions created by pastry chefs.

Maps can be found at the various merchants in the park as well as the Robinson-Rose Visitor’s Center. Maps can also be downloaded at www.oldtownmexicanfood.com.  The houses will be on display from now until Jan. 1.

After touring the gingerbread houses, visitors are invited to roast s’mores around the bonfire in the middle of the state park, sponsored by Fiesta de Reyes.

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Starting at dusk, join carolers and other performers from until 9 p.m.

Both events are family friendly and free-of-charge.  Fiesta de Reyes and Old Town San Diego State Park Merchants Association are sponsoring these events. There is free parking available in the Caltrans parking lot on Taylor Street in Old Town after 5 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends. For more information, visit www.oldtownmexicanfood.com or call 619-297-3100.

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— New Tracks Will Be Debuted at Launch Party on Friday —

This Friday, Luis Max & Blue Moon will host a special celebration at Fiesta de Reyes from 6 to 9 p.m. to commemorate the release of their highly anticipated album, “Azul.”

The 12-track compilation features cover songs and original works. Luis Max & Blue Moon describe their sound as “New Flamenco,” which is a fusion of Latin, pop, rock, jazz and blues. The album will be available for purchase and specially priced at this event, and band members will make themselves available to sign them.

“Give the gift of music this holiday season”, says Luis Max. “We have worked so hard on this album over the past two years and we are excited to finally offer it to our fans”.

Luis Max & Blue Moon entertains at Fiesta de Reyes every Friday night. Free parking is available all day in and around the state park as well as in the Caltrans parking lot on Taylor Street on the weekends. For more information call 619-297-3100 or visit www.oldtownmexicanfood.com.

 -Celebrate the Season in 1800s-style with Family-Friendly Events All Weekend —

Bonfires, piñata parties, gingerbread houses, the 63rd-annual Las Posadas procession and other holiday-themed activities will bring a festive air to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park during the second weekend of December.

On Saturday, Dec. 14, Old Town San Diego State Historic Park hosts Holiday in the Park. All of the museums, stores and restaurants in the park will be open and richly decorated. Guests will enjoy special holiday treats, activities and extended shopping hours, along with strolling carolers until 8:30 p.m. Special holiday hay rides will be also offered by horse-drawn carriage around the park until dusk.

Attendees will have the chance to see more than 20 gingerbread houses spread throughout Old Town San Diego State Historic Park shops and museums. The park will be offering tours of the most impressive creations at 1, 3 and 5 p.m. Visitors should meet at the Robinson-Rose Visitor Center 15 minutes before the tour is scheduled.  The tour will conclude with a live performance of Hansel and Gretel by state park interpretative staff in the newly restored schoolhouse.

The highlight of the event will be the “Winter Workshop,” formerly the El Fandango Restaurant, which will feature crafts such as cornucopias, wrapped peanuts, popcorn-cranberry garland making, and dried fruit decorations from noon to 4 p.m.  The Wells Fargo Museum will also be hosting a free letter-writing station where people of all ages can send a letter to anyone, including Santa Claus.

Saturday night will be capped off with a crackling bonfire in the middle of the park with free s’mores and hot chocolate, sponsored by Fiesta de Reyes. Carolers dressed in period attire will lead the crowd in a traditional sing-a-long of holiday songs around the fire until 9 p.m.

The beloved Las Posadas procession is hosted on Sunday, Dec. 15. This centuries-old tradition is being celebrated in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park for the 63rd consecutive year.  The Park Merchants Association and Write Out Loud reenact the biblical journey of Mary and Joseph through the town of Bethlehem.  The event begins at 2 p.m. with a musical pre-show in the state park, with the live theatrical procession starting promptly at 5 p.m.  A piñata party, sponsored by RUST General Store and Wallach and Goldman, and bonfire, sponsored by Fiesta de Reyes, will follow at 6 p.m.  

Fiesta de Reyes, Old Town San Diego State Park, Write Out Loud, and the Old Town Historic State Park Merchants Association are sponsoring these events. There is free parking available in the Caltrans parking lot on Taylor Street in Old Town all day on weekends. For more information about any of these events, visit oldtownmexicanfood.com or call 619-297-3100.

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On Saturday, Dec. 14, Old Town San Diego State Historic Park hosts Holiday in the Park. All of the museums, stores and restaurants in the park will be open and richly decorated. Guests will enjoy special holiday treats, activities and extended shopping hours, along with strolling carolers until 8:30 p.m. Special holiday hay rides will be also offered by horse-drawn carriage around the park until dusk.

Attendees will have the chance to see more than 20 gingerbread houses spread throughout Old Town San Diego State Historic Park shops and museums. The park will be offering tours of the most impressive creations at 1, 3 and 5 p.m. Visitors should meet at the Robinson-Rose Visitor Center 15 minutes before the tour is scheduled.  The tour will conclude with a live performance of Hansel and Gretel by state park interpretative staff in the newly restored schoolhouse.

The highlight of the event will be the “Winter Workshop,” formerly the El Fandango Restaurant, which will feature crafts such as cornucopias, wrapped peanuts, popcorn-cranberry garland making, and dried fruit decorations from noon to 4 p.m.  The Wells Fargo Museum will also be hosting a free letter-writing station where people of all ages can send a letter to anyone, including Santa Claus.

Saturday night will be capped off with a crackling bonfire in the middle of the park with free s’mores and hot chocolate, sponsored by Fiesta de Reyes. Carolers dressed in period attire will lead the crowd in a traditional sing-a-long of holiday songs around the fire until 9 p.m.

Nothing says Christmas time like homemade tamales. Barra Barra Saloon is offering a special tamale menu to get your family in the holiday spirit. The menu features holiday tamale favorites such as brisket, chorizo con papas, rajas con crema, seafood and shrimp, and chile colorado. Sweet dessert tamales are also available in strawberry with raisins, or pineapple and roasted coconut with vanilla and walnuts. Each tamale is $2.50 and a dozen can be ordered for $24. Call 619-297-3100 to order yours today.

On Sat. Dec 14, Old Town San Diego State Historic Park hosts Holiday in the Park. All of the museums, stores and restaurants in the park will be open and richly decorated. Guests will enjoy special holiday treats, activities and extended shopping hours, along with strolling carolers on this evening until 8 p.m. Guests will also be able to view gingerbread houses in the merchant shops and enjoy s’mores by the bonfire.

Elaborately decorated gingerbread houses will be a highlight of Holiday in the Park.

The beloved Las Posadas procession is hosted on Sunday, Dec. 15. This centuries-old tradition is being celebrated in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park for the 63rd consecutive year.  The Park Merchants Association and Write Out Loud reenact the biblical journey of Mary and Joseph through the town of Bethlehem.  The event begins at 2 p.m. with a musical pre-show in the state park, with the live theatrical procession starting promptly at 5 p.m.  A piñata party and bonfire follow at 6 p.m. 

The 63rd-annual Las Posadas re-enacts the biblical story of Mary and Joseph’s search for a birthplace for the Christ child on December 15 at 5 p.m. in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.

During the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, winter evenings are celebrated in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.  Join carolers and other performers from dusk to 9 p.m.  Sponsored by Fiesta de Reyes, free s’mores ‘round the bonfire are the highlight of the evening.

Free s’mores and hot chocolate at bonfires in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, sponsored by Fiesta de Reyes.

For information about the Fiesta de Reyes family, which includes the Casa de Reyes Restaurant, Barra Barra Saloon, the Cosmopolitan Restaurant and Hotel and 19 boutique gift shops, visit oldtownmexicanfood.com or call 619-297-3100.  Plenty of free parking is available all day on the weekends in the Caltrans parking lot on Taylor Street, just two blocks from Fiesta de Reyes.