Holidays on the horizon: Tree-lighting event coming to Monterey shopping center

In this provided file photo, Santa joins the crowd at Del Monte Shopping Center for the annual tree-lighting event.

Admit it. Once Halloween’s over, the holidays are practically here.

Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s will arrive as swiftly as Santa can wrangle a reindeer.

With the holidays come plenty of festivities – and in many cases – chances to be charitable.

In about two weeks, Salinas-area folks will get such a chance at Del Monte Shopping Center in Monterey.

From 5 p.m. To 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, the shopping center will hold a free, holiday tree-lighting event. Attendees can expect live holiday entertainment by Eight Second Ride, cookies and hot cocoa, and a visit from Santa himself.

The man in red will do the honors of lighting the holiday tree.

Each attendee who bring three cans of food will receive a raffle ticket – and a chance to win gift cards to his or her favorite store.

They’ll also leave with a little Christmas cheer, knowing they’ve helped support the Food Bank of Monterey County.