(photo by Brandon Wise)

CITYWIDE — The season of cheer will be in full swing after this weekend of tree lightings, holiday walks and festivals.

Montana gets festive<p>

Montana Avenue’s annual holiday walk begins today at 5 p.m. and lasts until 9 p.m. Enjoy decorations, treats and live music at various participating businesses.

Marmalade Café, located at 710 Montana Ave., is serving hot chocolate and oat currant scones. Platino, located at 909 Montana Ave., is featuring live music and truffles.

Live music is also playing at Seasons on Montana (1021-A Montana Ave.) with Djembe drums and at Weathervane (1209 Montana Ave.). Mom’s the Word, located at 910 Montana Ave., has live music as well as homemade fudge and hot apple cider.

For something more filling, have a bowl of homemade chili and some apple pie while listening to the Santa Monica High School choir at Dr. Gunning Eyecare, located at 1312 Montana Ave.

The sound of the holidays<p>

The city’s first Christmas tree lighting is Saturday at 5 p.m. on the 1300 block of the Third Street Promenade, where Grammy Award nominee Brian McKnight will light the 22-foot tree.

McKnight & Sons and radio station 94.7 The Wave will supply music, and The Wave will also give away promenade store gift certificates, signed CDs and tickets to The Wave’s holiday show.

Lighting up Main<p>

Main Street begins its celebrations Saturday at 6 p.m. on the lawn in front of the California Heritage Museum. The Samohi choir will once again sing Christmas carols as the trees are lit.

After the lighting, Santa Claus will lead a candlelit walk down Main Street to the Edgemar Center for the Arts, where a Christmas tree made out of shopping carts will also be lit.

The choir will be joined by the Off Their Jingle Bell Rockers while participants stop in over 40 shops to admire decorations, look around and enjoy snacks.

The family-friendly party ends at 9 p.m.

Ho-ho-ho<p>

Santa Claus is coming to town this Saturday with help from the Santa Monica police and fire departments. First responders will help Santa spread holiday cheer by distributing thousands of candy canes to good boys and girls as part of the 17th annual “Candy Cane Drive.”

Santa’s scheduled stops are:

• 10:30 to 10:50 a.m. — Douglas Park, California Avenue at 25th Street

• 11:00 to 11:15 a.m. — Reed Park, California at Lincoln Boulevard

• 11:25 to 11:50 a.m. — Third Street Promenade at Wilshire Boulevard

• 1:15 to 1:30 p.m. — Virginia Park, 2200 Virginia Ave.

• 1:45 to 2:00 p.m. — Marine Park, Marine Street at 17th Street

• 2:15 to 2:30 p.m. — Clover Park, Ocean Park Boulevard at 25th Street

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