Calistoga's Holiday Parade Is Tractor-riffic

Big wheels go for the glow at this winner of a wine country must-see.

Calistoga Tractor Parade

SPYING A SPARKLY TRACTOR, far out in the distance, across a field of leafy greens or bountiful berries? It isn't a total rarity 'round our state. For sometimes, especially as the year draws to a celebratory close, you'll come across work-hard vehicles that happen to be wearing a few extra bulbs, strings, and swag, if the owner is feeling especially festive. But seeing a whole bunch of big, on-the-go movers done up in their merriest finery is much more unlikely, unless you happen to be standing in the heart of Calistoga around the first part of December. For that's the where and when of the annual...

CALISTOGA LIGHTED TRACTOR PARADE, a procession that remains a cheer-worthy stand-out among California celebrations. And why do fans show up to do some high-spirited applauding, year after year? Because tractors rocking a twinkly glow move through the heart of the wine country hamlet, as do a host of large-of-size vehicles, the sort of trucks and such that don't always get the parade love in other parade-holding towns. Might you see the sort of construction rigs you've only seen hauling copious amounts of earth at a big dig? Powerful vehicles have been known to show over the past 24 years, for sure. Look also for vintage pick-ups, fierce, flatbed-pulling machines, wheel'd wonders fronted by mega grills, and more mondo truckage.

AND THE BEST PART? These larger working vehicles typically require extra decoration and lights, which gives the parade its distinctively dazzling look. It's all free to watch on the evening of Saturday, Dec. 7, so ride your own rig for the pretty town and its pretty phenomenal way to greet the holidays, with all of those gargantuan grills, hefty tires, and tractor-terrific icons on the roll.

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