On into Christmas season

Bend Christmas tree lightingWith the Thanksgiving weekend (and particularly Black Friday) now behind us, it’s now time to look ahead to the Christmas season! Two of the big kickoff events are this week.

(Though for me personally, it really isn’t the “Christmas season” until at least December…)

The annual downtown Christmas tree lighting is taking place this Friday, November 30th starting at 6pm, on the corner of Newport and Wall. Santa will be on hand to light the tree at about 6:50, then:

After the lighting, Santa will parade down Wall to Minnesota where he will then light up Minnesota with the most spectacular display ever in Downtown Bend!

Visit with Santa at the Plaza at Franklin & Wall next to Starbuck’s afterwards!

There will be caroling, local choirs, music and dance groups; and sections Wall Street and Newport Avenue will be closed from about 5:45 to 7:15 that evening (Wall from Newport to Oregon, and Newport from Wall across the bridge to NW 3rd).

And then, on Saturday, December 1st is my favorite holiday event: the Bend Christmas Parade! (Also what I consider to be the proper start to the local Christmas season.) The parade starts at noon downtown, though you’ll want to be there earlier to find a good place to watch. This year’s theme is “A Picture Perfect Christmas.”

The parade route is the same as every year: it starts on the west side of the river, at Newport Avenue and Harmon Boulevard, heads east up Newport across the bridge, turns south on Wall Street, and west on Franklin Avenue. It skirts Drake Park on Franklin and Riverside Boulevard to cross the Galveston bridge back to Harmon.

Some years for the parade are downright freezing, but the current forecast shows 54 degrees with a chance of a shower on Saturday, so that won’t be too bad at all. Can’t wait!