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Thanksgiving events to kick off the holiday season in Utah

By Jacob Klopfenstein,  |  Posted Nov 13th, 2017 @ 11:59pm

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SALT LAKE CITY — Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching, and the Christmas season is just around the corner. There are many holiday-themed events happening around Utah to celebrate Thanksgiving and kick off the rest of the winter season.

Following is a roundup of select events that are happening across the state in the next few weeks. If you have an event you think should be added to this list, email

Nov. 20: Luminaria at Thanksgiving Point

This event starts on Nov. 20 and runs through December. The mile-long walk features 8,000 programmable lights at Thanksgiving Point, 3900 N. Garden Drive in Lehi. Luminaria will be open from 5-9 p.m. daily. For more information about ticket pricing, visit

Nov. 20: Bountiful Main Street Christmas Lighting Ceremony

Bountiful kicks off the holiday season with a Christmas lighting ceremony along Main Street from 6-8 p.m.

Nov. 20: Layton Christmas Lighting Ceremony

Layton will start the holiday festivities with a program starting at 6 p.m. at the Layton High School Auditorium, featuring performances from local school choirs. Following the music, the Christmas lights will be lit at Layton Commons Park.

Nov. 21: Trans Siberian Orchestra at Vivint Arena

Trans-Siberian Orchestra. (Photo: Deseret News Archives)

The renowned rock-classical crossover act returns to Salt Lake City on Nov. 21 as part of its winter tour. The group will be performing two shows featuring Christmas music and other winter tunes in its 2017 touring show “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve.” For more information, visit

Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23: Feast With The Beasts at Hogle Zoo

Hogle Zoo invites families to visit the zoo “while the turkey is in the oven” to see the animals on Thanksgiving Day. The event takes place from 10 a.m to 1 p.m. at the zoo, 2600 E. Sunnyside Ave. Kids can make crafts and see animals playing with pumpkins and turkey-shaped piñatas. For more information, visit

Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23: Thankful 13 Half Marathon

This half marathon, 5K and kids run starts on the Jordan River Parkway Trail in Lehi on Thanksgiving morning and is a benefit for the Now I Can Foundation. For more information, visit

Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23: Lindon Community Thanksgiving Dinner

Lindon’s annual community dinner will take place Thanksgiving Day at the Lindon City Community Center, 25 N. Main St., from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is free, but people can donate food, time or money to help out. Call 801-785-5043 for more information.

Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23: Moab Community Thanksgiving Dinner

The WabiSabi thrift store will be putting on a community dinner at the Grand Center from 2-5 p.m. Call 435-259-2553 for more information.

Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23: Murray GivingThanksGivingHope Run

Now in its 10th year, this event takes place at the Jordan River Parkway Germania Pavilion, 5243 S. Murray Parkway Ave., at 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Runners and walkers can choose from distances of 2K, 5K and 10K. All proceeds from the race will go to Shriners Hospital for Children, and the goal is to raise $5,000.

Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23: Pilgrim 5K at Thanksgiving Point

(Photo: Thanksgiving Point)

This costume run starts at 8 a.m. Thanksgiving morning at Thanksgiving Point, 3003 N. Thanksgiving Way in Lehi. Runners are encouraged to dress in traditional pilgrim gear as they make their way through the course filled with pilgrim scenery. Visit for more information.

Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23: St. George Gobbler Run

Gobbler Run. (Photo: Ravell Call, KSL, File)

This run starts at 8 a.m. Thanksgiving morning, and runners can choose from 10K, 5K and 1K distances. The run starts at Crosby Family Confluence Park: 1953 S. Convention Center Drive. Visit for more information.

Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23: Spanish Fork Festival of Lights

Spanish Fork City will illuminate Canyon View Park, 3300 E. Powerhouse Road, on Thanksgiving night. The lights will stay up through New Year’s Day. The cost is $8 per car. Visit for more information.

Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23: South Davis Thanksgiving Day race

Runners can choose from 10K, 5K and 1K distances in this annual race, which starts at 8 a.m. Thanksgiving Day in Bountiful. Visit for more information on how to register for the race.

Nov. 24: SLC Annual Community Coat Exchange

This event, which has been held the day after Thanksgiving since 2005, will be at Pioneer Park from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Need a coat? Come get one. Have a coat? We know someone who can use it! For more information, visit

Nov. 24: Christmas in Color

Photo courtesy of Christmas in Color

Boasted as "Utah’s biggest, brightest holiday light show," Christmas in Color will open on Friday, Nov. 24 at the Provo Towne Centre Mall and Salt Lake County Equestrian Park in South Jordan. Christmas in Color offers a mile-long, drive-through light show that synchronizes the choreography of 1.5 million LED lights with upbeat holiday music. For more information, visit the website.

Nov. 24: Community Holly Days in Vernal

This community event happens Friday from noon to 8 p.m. People can get information for all the free activities at the information booth at Cobble Rock Park near Main Street and Vernal Avenue. Visit the website for additional information about the event.

Nov. 24: Santa’s Grand Arrival in Orem

Santa will arrive at University Place Mall in Orem, 575 E. University Pky., at 9:30 a.m. on the day after Thanksgiving.

Nov. 24: Temple Square Christmas Lighting

(Photo: Spenser Heaps, KSL, File

Christmas lights at Temple Square in Downtown Salt Lake City will be unveiled the day after Thanksgiving at 5:30 p.m. and will continue being illuminated until Jan. 2.

Nov. 24-26: Elf: The Musical

This musical, based on the 2003 movie of the same name, tells the story of Buddy, an elf who travels from the North Pole to New York City to reconnect with his father. There will be five performances of the show at the Eccles Theater from November 24-26 as part of the Broadway at the Eccles series. For more information, visit

Nov. 25: Parowan Christmas in the Country

This event starts at 10 a.m. at the Iron County Fairgrounds in Parowan and will include a bazaar, Santa parade, Christmas concerts, candle light parade, home tours, lighting ceremony and more. For more information, call 435-477-8190 or visit

Nov. 25: Heber Valley Outdoor Tree Lighting Celebration & Sing-along

The event will be held at the Midway Town Hall Saturday, November 25 at 6 p.m. The Swiss Miss and the High Valley Arts Singers will lead a Christmas Sing-a-long as they turn on the lights at the Midway Town Square. Free cookies and cocoa will be provided by Suss Cookie Co. and Grand Valley Bank. Kids can get their picture taken with Santa & Mrs. Claus by Twyla Dawn Photography and Lola’s Artisan Street Kitchen will serving a hot gourmet dinner. For more information, visit

Nov. 25: Ogden Christmas Village lighting

The annual Christmas Village will begin illuminating the downtown Ogden area on Nov. 25 and will include a unique setting of cottages modeled after Santa's village. It will be on display until Jan. 1. Check the city website for more details of activities.

Nov. 27: Jewel’s Handmade Holiday Tour

Singer-songwriter Jewel will visit Salt Lake City on her 2017 tour, along with guests Atz, Atz Lee and Nikos Kilcher. She will perform Nov. 27 at the Eccles Theater. For more information, visit

Nov. 27: Draper Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Draper city officials will kick off the Christmas season with a tree lighting ceremony at Draper City Park from 6-8 p.m. on Nov. 27.

Nov. 27: Cottonwood Heights Tree Lighting Ceremony

Cottonwood Heights will kick off the Christmas season with a tree lighting ceremony, starting at 5 p.m. at City Hall, 2277 E. Bengal Blvd. This year’s event features a Christmas gift boutique and an appearance from Santa. Visit for more information.

Nov. 27: Santa Comes to Alpine

Santa arrives in Alpine Nov. 27 at 5 p.m. at the Legacy Park north pavilion by Alpine City Hall. The Alpine City Christmas lights also will be turned on at this event.

Nov. 28: Naples City’s 1st Annual Tree Lighting

Naples City is holding its first annual Christmas tree lighting event on Tuesday, Nov. 28 at 7 p.m. at the Naples City Offices, 1480 E. 2850 South. The festivities will include a children's choir, hot chocolate and donuts and a visit from Santa Claus. For more information, visit the city's website.

Nov. 29: Lights On! 2017 at the Gallivan Center

Get festive as the Gallivan Center Plaza lights get turned on for the 2017 holiday season, including a 60-foot-tall Christmas tree. There will be a DJ, food trucks and ice skating performances. The event starts at 4 p.m. Nov. 29 and admission is free. Visit for more information.

Nov. 30-Dec. 2: Christkindlmarkt

Inspired by German Christmas markets, this event starts at 11 a.m. Nov. 30 at This Is The Place Heritage Park, 2601 E. Sunnyside Ave. Food, music and vendors await people who want to experience a unique cultural event. Visit for more information.

Dec. 1: Light the Night in South Jordan

South Jordan City kicks off the holiday season with a Christmas tree lighting ceremony at 6:30 p.m. at South Jordan City Plaza, 1600 Towne Center Drive. Visit for more information.


Jacob Klopfenstein,
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