Every year on the first Friday in December, Murphys celebrates the start of the holiday season with a Community Open House from 5 to 8 pm. Admission is free, the streets are closed, and we are ready to celebrate. Open House is a great time to peruse Murphys’ shops, tasting rooms, and restaurants, see what’s new, visit with old friends, admire the community tree, and appreciate our small-town spirit.

A favorite of locals, the annual event is an old-fashioned community celebration featuring a holiday parade, treats, and entertainment hosted by Main Street merchants, restaurants, wineries, and the Murphys Business Association.

Musicians and carolers fill the streets with the sounds of the seasons; Santa arrives with the parade and stays for photos with the kids.  You may find him strolling around near the Murphys Historic Hotel right after the parade or stop by the V Bistro to share your wish list with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Parking can be a little tricky at Open House.  Please remember that the Black Bart Parking Lot will be unavailable until after the parade.  Free public parking, including accessible parking, is available at the Masonic Hall (Church Street), Old School House Parking lot (60 Jones Street), and in the parking lots of businesses, and on the streets. The Masonic Hall Parking lot provides the most accessible parking and is located within just a short, level block of the event area with most of the route closed to traffic.  However, that lot fills up quickly, so you’ll want to get here early if you are planning on attending the parade.

Main Street is closed to traffic during this event, and we ask that all cars be moved before the start of the event to allow for the parade.  Please be considerate and don’t block driveways or park in areas marked with No Parking signs.  Our streets are narrow, and parking along the sides could prevent our public safety vehicles from getting through in the case of an emergency.

Please do not park in a parking area within the event boundary if you will need to leave before the street reopens.  We cannot allow you to drive your vehicle on the closed street and we’d hate to see you trapped at the event.

First Aid and Lost & Found help is provided by the Murphys Firefighters Association located at the corner of Main Street & Church near the town tree and Hovey Tasting Room.

The parade begins promptly at 5:30 pm at the corner of Algiers and Main Street by the Murphys Historic Hotel and extends all the way to the intersection with Big Trees Road so there is plenty of room to spread out and still see the entire parade.  Announcers will be located at the start of the parade, at the corner of Church and Main near the Hovey Tasting Room and in front of the Black Sheep Tasting Room in the Arbors Shopping Center.

2023 Parade Details
Those folks wishing to participate in the parade this year should use our online form to submit your application. Or contact Jody Jurgens Garcia at murphysopenhouseparade@gmail.com after October 26th.  You can see the Rules & Regulations here or download the Murphys Open House Parade 2023 Form & Murphys Open House Parade Rules and Regulations to your device to fill out later. Everybody is welcome, and we’d love to see your family, friends, organization, musical group, or children’s group participate. Space is limited, though, so don’t wait too long to get those forms back to us! (Parade Full for 2023)

Activities!

Carolers, and other entertainers, are welcome to join us on the street throughout the event; just contact us in advance, so we know to expect you.

Santa and Mrs Claus will be hanging out at V Bistro again this year. Bring the kiddos, bring a new unwrapped toy to donate, and take pictures with Santa! They will have cookies, hot chocolate, cider, and special goodie bags for the kids. Let’s see what we can do to help the less fortunate families in our community!

V Restaurant, Bistro & Bar is a proud sponsor of Toys For Tots. They will be collecting toys for local families in our county who could not otherwise afford to give their children a special Christmas. They will be collecting toys until December 5th, and there’s no need to wait until Open House to drop off your donation, do it anytime between now and December 5th.  You may also drop toys off at Jane & Jean and Chloes while doing a little clothes shopping.

Cedar Creek Realty will be hosting the Grinch. Stop by Murphys Cedar Creek Realty office to meet the Grinch in person. Enjoy a cup of hot coffee, chocolate, or cider, and take a memorable photo with the Grinch!
Have you ever actually had a chestnut roasted on an open fire?  Stop by the Spice Tin during Open House and taste a freshly roasted chestnut.
Visit Serendipity during Murphys Open House to Meet the Makers of the Artisan Collective, enjoy coloring activities for all ages, or make a purchase to receive a bingo card and a chance to play & win during Open House.
The Murphys Fire Department & Firefighters Association will have their usual booth on the corner of Church and Main near the town tree at the Hovey Tasting Room.  Support our local public safety folks by purchasing a warm sweatshirt or just making a donation.  They help keep us all safe year-round.
Many of our wineries and restaurants offer live music on weekends and during events…times may be slightly impacted by the parade this Friday.
Other 2023 Open House Highlights
Murphys Irish Pub will feature Anthony Delaney from 7-10 pm with more live music throughout the weekend and beyond!
Boyle MacDonald hosts live music at the tasting room on their rooftop deck every Friday from 6-8pm. Graham and Laura will be performing the evening of Open House.
Murphys Creek Theatre will be performing One Christmas Carol Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of Open House weekend.  As a community gift and fundraising event, Murphys Creek Theatre is proud to offer “pay-what-you-can” tickets for this production. The theatre believes that the magic of live theatre should be accessible to all, especially during the holiday season when the spirit of giving and togetherness is at its peak. By implementing this ticket model, they aim to ensure that everyone can experience One Christmas Carol, regardless of financial circumstances. In the spirit of generosity, Murphys Creek Theatre encourages those who can to “pay it forward” by contributing a little extra when purchasing their tickets.
Sequoia will be playing at Milliare Winery from 3-5pm on Friday to help you get in the mood for Open House.
Creative Cookware will be hosting a Messermister Knives Event with special gifts with purchases Friday & Saturday – limitations apply.
Thank you to the Murphys Firefighters Association, Calaveras Volunteer Sheriffs, local businesses, community members, and the Murphys Business Association board members and supporters who make this event possible!
And a special thank you to all of our 2023 Firepit Sponsors!
Bright Eyed & Bushy Tailed
Calaveras Visitors Bureau & Calaveras Wine Grape Alliance
Cedar Creek Realty
DEA Bathroom Machineries
Ebbetts Pass Accounting
Gateway Press
Gold Electric
Jane & Jean Boutique
Murphys Pourhouse
Murphys Vacation Rentals
Newsome Harlow Wines
Proper Pruning