It’s going to be a football-intensive weekend for Bay Area sports fans, with both a Niners game and a Raiders game taking place on Sunday afternoon. Earlier, on Sunday morning in Downtown San Jose, there will be a whole lot of Santas (and other costumed characters) taking part in the Santa Run Silicon Valley. The Parol Lantern Festival on Saturday in San Francisco brings a traditional Filipino flavor to the holiday season; and for a Victorian style Christmas, there’s the Great Dickens Christmas Fair at the Cow Palace, taking place both days this weekend. Finally, SMART Train opens not one, but two, new stations on Saturday with a modified schedule in place through the end of December (In January the agency will roll out a whole new timetable).
START: Santa Clara Street at Almaden Boulevard
FINISH: Market Street at Park Avenue – that is, at Plaza de Cesar Chavez, site of Christmas in the Park
Sat, Dec 14 and Sun, Dec 15 from 10am-7pm, continuing Saturdays and Sundays thru Dec 22:
Cow Palace: Great Dickens Christmas Fair and Victorian Holiday Party. Visitors can immerse themselves in a world of music halls, theatres, pubs, dance parties, and charming shops and interact with characters “from the imagination of Charles Dickens and the sometimes saucy world of the Victorian stage.”
Sat, Dec 14 from 4pm-8pm: In San Francisco’s South of Market District: 17th Annual Parol Lantern Festival and Parade takes place (A parol lantern is a home-made lantern that adorns Filipino homes during the holiday season, symbolizing hope, blessings, luck, peace, and light). Festival is held in Yerba Buena Lane, Jessie Square and St. Patrick’s Church. Parade begins at 6pm at Jessie Square (736 Mission Street between 3rd and 4th Streets, next to St. Patrick’s Church), goes out on Yerba Buena Lane, crosses Mission Street into Yerba Buena Gardens, loops around the Esplanade, and heads back to Jessie Square for the (approximately 6:30pm) awards ceremony, live entertainment, Filipino food, etc. Map of parade route is here (scroll down):
From Sat, Dec 14 thru Tue, Dec 31, SMART will operate with a temporary timetable that includes service to the new Larkspur station and weekend-only service to the Downtown Novato station.
On January 1, SMART will roll out a NEW timetable featuring expanded service on weekdays, more train trips, and better connections to regional transit services.
An important item for SMART-to-Larkspur-Ferry commuters to be aware of: After Friday, Dec 13, Golden Gate Shuttle Route 31 between the San Rafael Transit Center and the Larkspur Ferry Terminal will cease operating. SMART’s new Larkspur station is about an eight-minute walk from the Larkspur Ferry Terminal and there are no plans to run a shuttle between the two stations, so presumably there will be a good deal of pedestrian traffic.