2020 Fall Activations Preview

Frankie Wenson

It’s time to spruce things up!

It’s hard to believe that the end of the year is right around the corner. Even though 2020 didn’t turn out the way a lot of us thought that it would doesn’t mean we can’t get excited for the holiday season. This year we are pausing the Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink and Theatre of Lights but have some new fall activations in store for you and your loved ones to make new memories this season.

Happening Now:

Live at the Waterfront (Now – October 22): You still have time to safely enjoy the sounds of live music from a distance while dining al fresco at the Old Sacramento Waterfront! Live music will happen on Thursdays from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. at Waterfront Park until October 22. Make sure you grab a bite to eat from your favorite local restaurants and utilize extended patio dining available at Waterfront Park on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 12:00 pm – 5:30 pm.

Live at Ali Youssefi Square (Now – October 30): If you are out and about in #DowntownSac you can also enjoy live music at Ali Youssefi Square on Wednesday’s and Friday’s from 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. while you enjoy your lunch. Limited physical distance seating will be provided and guests are encouraged to arrive early, order takeout and listen to music on their lunch break!

Movies Under the Stars (Now – October 30): You can experience all your Halloween movie favorites with Movies Under the Stars presented by Crest Theatre and Xfinity every Thursday and select Fridays in October at 7:00 p.m. in Ali Youssefi Square in #DowntownSac! Purchase your tickets now at 

Souls of the City: Día de los Muertos Walk  (Now – November 6):  Sol Collective and the Sacramento History Museum and Alliance are proud to invite the community to once again celebrate Día de los Muertos at the Old Sacramento Waterfront. In order to keep our communities safe and healthy from COVID-19 this year they are offering an alternative experience to the annual Souls of the City: Día de los Muertos ​festival. You can visit the installations displayed throughout several buildings at the Old Sacramento Waterfront including Heywood, Fat City, Lady Adams, Fratt, Tower Garage, and many more. Most of the altars, installations, and artwork will be indoors and on display through the outside windows. The exhibit will be available for the public to view from now through November 6th.

Coming Soon:

Spooktacular Photo Contest (October 15 – November 1): Who is ready for a spooky good contest? Halloween might look a little different this year but we encourage all of you witches, wizards, princesses, and superheroes to safely explore the historic district this Halloween season. Dress up in your Halloween costume and discover all of the amazing photo ops at the Old Sacramento Waterfront! Masks shouldn’t be scary and are highly encouraged. Don’t forget to submit your spooktacular snapshot for a chance to win ghoulish prizes.

Waterfront Wheel (October 30 – January 31, 2021): To be located at the newly activated Waterfront Park (in front of Rio City Café), a visually-exciting and whimsical 65’ Ferris wheel, operated by Brass Ring Amusements, Inc, will take center stage for the holidays with rides offered on Friday, October 30 and continuing daily through January 31, 2021. Offering fantastic views of the city atop the “Waterfront Wheel,” riders must be at least 42” to ride and in the same household in each open-air cart (that holds up to four people). Once debuted, hours of operation for the Waterfront Wheel will be Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. with special holiday hours. The cost to ride the Waterfront Wheel will be $6 per rider.

Holiday Tree Lighting (November 25):

Note: This photo was taken last holiday season in 2019.

To add to the holiday festivities and continue the spirited tradition for families throughout the region, a 60’ holiday tree will stand tall at Front & K Streets at the Old Sacramento Waterfront and will be lit for the first time on Wednesday evening, November 25 (Thanksgiving Eve), at approximately 6 p.m. As always, the holiday tree presented by Dignity Health will remain in place to inspire holiday spirit through the New Year. While crowds are not encouraged for the tree lighting, the community can watch a short ceremony that evening that will be live-streamed on the Old Sacramento Waterfront Facebook page. Plus, visitors, shoppers and diners to the historic district can enjoy seeing the tree and enhanced holiday decorations and taking family photos or holiday selfies anytime they visit the Old Sacramento Waterfront during the holiday season!


We hope that these current and upcoming activations will help make your holiday season merry and bright. Let us know how you’re planning to experience the holiday season safely by tagging us at @DowntownSac or @OldSac!