By December 3, 2020 0 Comments Read More →

HolidayView- Gifts with Sparkle

By Chris Murphy

2020 is a year that needs some sparkle!
Rockin’ Holiday will be back, brighter and more sparkly in 10th St Plaza. You can expect some fun surprises this year as we create a safe distance version for you and your families to enjoy. This year, even the buildings surrounding the plaza will be included for this walk-by and drive by experience thanks to our friends at the Ceres Cruise In. Unfortunately, our friends at Modesto On Ice will not be opening and sadly we can’t have Rockin Santa and the Rockin’ Elves. We will have the Rockin North Pole, Rockin Snow and our amazing Rockin’ Tree for your holiday fun. We are trying to make sure we keep as much magic as we can for this season and to make a no-cost Holiday experience for downtown Modesto. As we bounce back and forth between “red” and “purple” it is unclear if the Brenden Theatres will open, but they are still allowing us to have our home base there and thanks to our friends at Ralston’s Goat for providing the musical support and our friends at Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group, Collins Electric and Stuart’s Steakhouse for the support But one thing for sure, we want to make 10th St as magic as possible.
Learn more @rockinholiday

The Spirit of Giving has gone virtual this year. This is an important event to help raise funds for the City of Modesto Parks Department for Low Income and Disabled assistance and benefitting the Modesto Gospel Mission. Sign up ends quickly on December 1st, but make sure that you register and run.

Let’s have a backwards parade! This year, the parade will be be you the visitor and the floats and exhibits will be parked and all of our people can walk or drive by and enjoy that holiday spirit. We hope you come out and cruise downtown. The Rockin Holiday Tree Lighting will be at the beginning of the parade at 5:30 so that the tree and the Rockin North Pole will all be lit up when you cruise though. There will be Rockin Snow, great music from Gravel and Grace, sparkly lights and lots of fun.
December 5 – 5:30 pm 13th and I street to 10th St to K Street.

Tasty and Good Gift Ideas
For the holidays or any time, give the gift of Stewart and Jasper California Almonds! Stop in to the store in McHenry Village and check out the great selection of tasty treats just for the holidays, including the new Candy Cane Cheesecake Almonds and Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate or Chocolate Toffee Almonds in Holiday Bags. They even have a Dashing Reindeer Gift Box. With over 50 gourmet flavors of almond products, beautiful gift baskets and so much more…there is something for everyone on your list and even those who are not!
You can also order online at

The wonderful smell of the holidays
There is a cool local candle company that is making a Christmas holiday line of candles so your house can smell like Christmas Tree, Peppermint Mocha or even Gingerbread. This is really fun, they smell great, brighten up your home and they are locally made.

The Gallo Center has a created a package of holiday presents that will go great under a tree or in a stocking hung by your chimney with care. For just $40, you get these three Gallo Center-themed gifts: a beautiful Christmas tree ornament that looks just like the front of the Center; an all-new jigsaw puzzle featuring the hit shows at the Center; and, a royal blue, soft and comfy face mask to proudly wear when out and about! Your purchase will help support the temporarily-closed, non-profit Gallo Center for the Arts during the COVID-19 crisis. Pick up your gift in the Gallo Center lobby during these time: Mon & Tues: 12 – 2 pm Wed: 3 pm – 5 pm Order at

State Theatre Store
The State Theatre has a new online store and you can shop a variety of gift bundles for the film lover in your life, or get one for yourself to help support the State. From Popcorn, to movie tickets to wine, you can find something great at

Santa Spotting
Don’t miss the amazing Santa HQ in the Vintage Faire center court presented by HG TV Magazine. Even during COVID, you can book an appointment to check the Naughty or Nice meter, check out the Elf academy and make your own membership card and check out the magic Elf mirror. Then you can meet Santa and purchase one of the photo packages. With all of the shopping and dining opportunities, you can take care of everything on your list. Learn more at<> There may be some sightings of Rockin’ Santa at Rockin Holiday so stay tuned to ModestoView. Don’t forget to track Santa on Christmas Eve at the N.O.R.A.D tracker at<>

Let’s Ice Skate!
Our friends at RAM Farms in Turlock have created a safe skating season. This outdoor rink is a great way to experience some holiday skating. Make sure to get an advance ticket as skate rink capacity is limited to 25% of normal.

Give the Gift of Modesto USA
There are three great places to get cool Modesto stuff. The McHenry Museum store has really great historical gifts. The McHenry Mansion Gift Store has amazing ornaments, books, local teas and many other items. Visit Modesto also has some cool Modesto stuff for your friends and visitors and of course, Modesto Graffiti USA has some great Graffiti Themed items like coffee cups, shot glasses, sunglasses, t-shirts and even baby onesies and bibs.

Gene Winfield Coloring Book
One of Modesto’s greatest legends and has building custom cars for more than 70 years has his own coloring book. This amazing Official GENE WINFIELD Coloring Book features but a few of his amazing Classic builds and Movie Cars. This is a coloring book that will interest any kid or car enthusiast. Order his new and get it in a few days.

Shop Local Please
This year, shopping local is more important than ever. Our performing arts spaces have gift cards for future events, you can give gift certificates for our local restaurants and of course, there are some great local items that make the perfect holiday gift and help our restaurants through this difficult time. A trip through Modesto’s Farmer’s Market can take care of your entire shopping needs. Some of our local food producers have great gift packs like Stewart and Jasper & Sciabica, our friends at Intrinsic Elements have great gift for the soul, boutiques like Bonnie J will make you look great, and antique and curio stores like Crow Trading, and Harmony Tie Dye have interesting gifts for that hard to find friend or family member. So don’t forget your friends and family this year and let’s support our local boutiques and businesses.

Visions of Sugar Plums
Marie Rodin is making her amazing holiday Sugar Plums again this season and they are delicious! Did you know that they are kind of dried fruit treat with spices, orange zest, nutmeg and powdered sugar and other ingredients? We threw out the challenge to our friend Marie Rodin last year and she is all set to make some sugar plums for the Rockin Holiday tree lighting and the Modesto Holiday Reverse Cruise Parade! We are so excited and we hope you all will like them so she will do them all season long. Stop in at 10th and J for a huge selection of tasty, healthy and local treats and gift packages at Rodin Farmer’s Market.

Holiday Movies at the Drive In
Our friends at the Ceres Drive – In, now called the “Cruise In” have delivered great and creative movie weekends at a new winter price of $20 per carload. Family Suites are There are some great holiday classics and believe it or not, Die Hard is a Christmas Movie and the hall of fame Christmas Vacation. This December, they have teamed up with the Gallo Center for the arts to do a series of classic family holiday movies. The 40 x 100 ft screen is bright and there are tasty concessions and you can bring your chairs to hang out by your car. Each space is 12’ and safe distanced.

Dec 4 – Polar Express
Dec 5 – The Nutcracker – Gallo
Dec 5 – Die Hard
Dec 6 – Christmas Vacation
Dec 11 – Frozen II
Dec 12 – A Christmas Story – Gallo
Dec 12 – Nightmare Before Christmas
Dec 13 – Elf
Dec 18 – The Santa Clause
Dec 19 – It’s a Wonderful Life – Gallo
Dec 19 – Hollywood Knights – (Classic Cars Invited)
Dec 20 – Miracle on 34th St – Gallo

As the guidelines change and more events are posted, we will be working hard to add any new events to our amazing calendar. Scan the code to get our ap, and scan the code to connect with us on social media.
You can always log on to or go to @modestoview on Facebook and Instagram to be in the know.



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About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.