OREGON – As the weather grow colder and leaves fall, many in Oregon turn their attention to a favorite even of the season – the annual Candlelight Walk.
The event, in its 35th year, is set for Saturday, Nov. 27 from 3-8 p.m.
Liz Vos, executive director of the Oregon Area Chamber of Commerce, said that this is her third year being involved in planning Candlelight Walk with other volunteers.
“We meet every month to talk about ways to make everyone’s Christmas brighter, and everyone involved has that Griswold spirit where we just want to make the holidays so special for everyone,” she said.
Vos sat down to answer some questions about Candlelight Walk.
Question: How long does it take to plan the Candlelight Walk every year?
“Answer: We begin planning Candlelight Walk in April every year. The committee comes together with fun new ideas they’ve thought about over the winter and we try to do something new and exciting every year to keep building on the festival.”
Q: What makes this event such a special one for Oregon?
A: “Oregon is kind of a Hallmark Christmas town already. Everyone knows each other, we help our neighbors, we shop locally at our friends stores, and plan special events together. Candlelight Walk is a special event because we all come together and transform the town into a magical little Christmas town. The garland and bows are matching, the lights are twinkling, and people are walking around shopping and sipping hot coco, enjoying free wagon rides with friends, and smiling at Santa and the kids.”
Q: Do you know the history of the event, why it was started?
A: “Candlelight Walk began in Conover Square Mall 35 years ago. The store owners at the time wanted to invite everyone to a Christmas Walk to do something special for their holiday shoppers. We’re happy to honor the spirit of the founders, and as Oregon grew: the Christmas cheer spread throughout town too. All of our local businesses love having you out to visit and thank you for shopping small for the holidays!”
Q: The horse drawn wagon rides are a favorite. Who are the people with the horses and wagon doing the ride, and how long has that been a feature of Walk?
A: “Mr. and Mrs. Cargill and their family facilitate the horse drawn wagon rides. It’s such a special feature and thanks to the support of our sponsors we’re able to offer them for free to visitors. This year we’ll have more fire baskets to warm you up while you wait and of course hot coco too. Horse drawn wagon rides have been a feature for over 20 years and oh what fun it is to ride!”
Q: Finally, anything special that people can look forward to this year?
A: “There are so many new things this year. Santa and Mrs Claus will be located at Ukulele Station America (the little stone cottage at 1000 W Washington St.) Can you just imagine the adorable Christmas pictures at the little stone cottage? We’ll be offering a free shuttle from the Kid’s Winter Carnival which will now be located at Oregon United Methodist Church 200 S 4th st. They have so much room there for activities, so no one will feel cramped! We’re even adding more activities like a cake walk and an inexpensive craft for adults too.
“Kids at the Winter Carnival who are 3 and under can play games, make crafts, and visit our balloon artist for free. Kids over 3 can purchase a $5 wrist band that night for unlimited crafts, games, and balloon figures. Visits with Santa are always free. Oregon United Methodist Church will also have a very special feature this year: A live nativity!
“The shuttle will run frequently to bring families to and from Ukulele Station America where they’ll wait at the large space in the new Oregon’s Music Garage to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus one on one. There will be fun little things for them to see and do while they wait and of course they’ll be entertained with music. Families wanting to see Santa please utilize the shuttle instead of driving to Ukulele Station America.
“We’re bringing back the Holiday Gift Fair with your favorite handmade and hard to find items. It will be located in the basement of the Coliseum. Be sure to stop in to do your shopping and see the space newly transformed. We do not have access to the main floor of the Coliseum this year.
“The Madrigals will be back signing our favorite songs of old, the OHS band will perform at Northside BarbaQ event space 117 N 4th St. Our tree lighting, live music, and dance performances will surely be special. We’ve also added nearly 10,000 lights to the town’s Christmas tree this year. Thanks to our presenting sponsor Woods Equipment for lighting up Oregon for 75 years!
“There are some new features, we’re bringing back attractions from 2019. As always, we’re just here to make the holidays a little more magical for locals and visitors alike who just love a small-town Christmas! If anyone has any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us any time at 815-732-2100.”