Christmas tradition sweeps into town this weekend.
Saturday night features both the opening and first walk night at Christmas Tree Lane and the 24th annual Clovis Children's Electric Christmas Parade.
Another holiday tradition, TubaChristmas, is Saturday afternoon. (For more info on all these, see 7 Things to Do on Page 4).
We know about these things. They're staples of the Christmas season around Fresno.
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You know what's not a tradition around here? A night of Santas bar-hopping in the Tower District. Or a party celebrating Festivus – the made-up holiday from "Seinfeld."
The former is SantaCon – a worldwide event in which people dressed as Santa congregate and frolic around their city. It's happening this year in 219 cities in 29 countries.
"I want the Tower District to be a sea of red Santas," says Skippy, the morning show host on radio station New Rock 104.1 (KFRR, FM), who's been the chief organizer of Fresno's inaugural SantaCon after previously attending SantaCon in San Francisco.
Fresno's version launches Saturday, with Santas starting to meet up at 6 p.m. at Livingstone's. Bar hopping begins at 7 p.m. "Santa needs a mental health day," Skippy explains.
While Santa is in the name, the party's not exclusive to people in Santa outfits. In fact, it sounds a bit like Christmas-oween.
"I'm going as a snowman," Skippy says. "I would love to see an entire eight-reindeer team. Nobody's going to be there telling you, 'You can't participate, you're not Christmas-y enough.' "
Tonight's Festivus Festival at Fulton 55 is also, by definition, not discriminatory. Festivus, is after-all, a nondenominational holiday – at least according to Frank Costanza, who in the TV show "Seinfeld" created the holiday.
Festivus has lived on in pop culture even after "Seinfeld" went away. There are other Festivus celebrations in other cities. But tonight's is Fresno's first.
It's organized by the team behind The Dirty Dowdy Podcast (dirtydowdy.com).
"With all the corporate holiday stuff that goes on," says creator Chris Dowdy, "you have Christmas and Black Friday beating you over the head. This is a completely nondenominational holiday that's for fun."
The Fresno version includes Festivus staples like The Airing of the Grievances, Feats of Strength and the Festivus pole. Beyond that, a handful of local bands and comedians will be performing. It starts at 7 p.m. Cover is $5, but you can get in free by liking, sharing and commenting on the Dirty Dowdy Facebook page.
Are this weekend's first-year holiday happenings for the Christmas Tree Lane crowd?
Maybe. Maybe not.
But, hey, if they go well, Fresno's list of holiday traditions might just get a little diversified.