Cottage Grove

Hooked on a feelin’, high on believin’ … ’tis the season

Danna Merryday/For The Chronicle

COTTAGE GROVE – Hang on to your mistletoe, the Grove is going full ”holidaze” this weekend. The events that are sweeping into town like a polar blast run the gamut from serene to large-scale – something for everyone!
On Thursday, Dec 5, join Cottage Grove Rotary for the Annual Children’s Christmas Party. There will be Arts & Crafts, refreshments, games, a time to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus, and chances to win a fully decorated tree. This decades-long tradition starts a 6 p.m. at Bohemia Elementary School, is geared for families, and is free!
On Friday, there are a number of choices for you to consider. It’s opening night for Cottage Theatre’s production, ”Oliver!” This local production of the smash musical version of Charles Dickens’ novel ”Oliver Twist” features such well-known and spirited songs as ”Food, Glorious Food.” This Victorian twist is sure to put you into a holiday mood. Performances start at 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and 2:30 p.m. for the Sunday matinees. ”Oliver!” runs through Dec. 22. More info and tickets at
Over at the CG Armory, also on Friday night, the Coast Fork Willamette Watershed Council will be hosting their annual Winter Watershed Soirée. This evening helps raise money that supports the Watershed Council’s efforts toward restoration of our Coast Fork River and watershed education.
Music, food, a Wine Wall, Dessert Dash and silent auction all allow you to support the work that this dedicated group does for our community. Tickets are available at The Bookmine, at the door or at The website also has information about the generous sponsors helping with the event and the programs the CFWWC provides throughout the year.
To step back in time, plan on visiting Dr. Snapp’s House, which is decorated with Victorian period accuracy and is the location of a Christmas Bazaar. The Prospectors & Gold Diggers Club is hosting the event and offering a nice selection of handcrafted gift ideas, treats, Christmas and secondhand items for sale.
If you have never seen the inside of the home of one of Cottage Grove’s early doctors, this is the perfect opportunity. Hours are Friday from 4 to 6 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call Cindy Weeldreyer at 541-915-0113.
When you visit Dr. Snapp’s house, you can take a few additional steps and experience another Cottage Grove tradition: the newly reopened and dedicated J. Polk Currin Swinging Bridge. The Jingle Rush Run/Walk will cross the bridge on Saturday. For details on how to get in on this early-morning fun run, go to
Which brings us to Saturday, and hardly do I know where to begin. Probably the best thing is to check out Cottage Grove Chamber of Commerce’s event calendar and click on ”Christmas in Cottage Grove” for a full listing of everything that is happening Saturday. Joining the Chamber are the City of Cottage Grove, EBID, the Main Street Program and countless volunteers who will be turning the town into a winter wonderland.
If you are not jogging with the Jinglers you can opt for Breakfast with Santa at South Lane County Fire and Rescue at 233 E. Harrison Ave. Santa will be serving from 7-11 a.m., and while it’s free, you could land on Santa’s nice list if you brought a new unwrapped toy for ”Toys for Tots.” Thank you!
The Downtown activities include a Scavenger Hunt (forms available at area shops starting at 10 a.m.); be sure to find whatever you can and turn in your form at City Hall by 7 p.m. Santa will be there from 5:30-8 p.m. for pictures.
The big elf will also be at the Tree Lighting Ceremony at 5 p.m. at All-America Square/Opal Park to kick things off. Hayrides and the Block Party is from 5:30 to 8 p.m. You can catch your ride at 5th and Main Street.
At the Opal Center starting at 7 p.m., go old-school with 16mm Christmas Cartoons.
To support the CG Carousel project and to experience the artistry of spoken word by Rickie Birran, head to the Calvary Chapel, 1447 N Pacific Hwy, at 6:30 p.m. for his ”Telling of the Tale of Scrooge.” Bah Humbug, but refreshments provided. Donations at the door.
All along the Downtown stretch, local merchants will be offering discounts, deals, refreshments and a great selection of unique gift items. For a listing of some of what you might find, check the Chamber listing.
At the Armory, the South Valley Farmers’ Winter Market will be running extra late. Regularly open Saturdays from 1 to 4 p.m., they are getting into the holiday spirit by staying open until 6 p.m. Besides their great local produce, the farmers are being joined by crafters, bakers and a very special dance program. This great cultural experience is yet another great gift to the Cottage Grove community from the organization, Music Money 501(c)(3).
From their Facebook page, here is what you can expect to experience: ”Tumelo Michael Moloi, from Johannesburg, So. Africa, will give a free, all-ages Pantsula Dance Workshop and perform the Gumboot Dance. Pantsula is a street dance with African swag. Gumboot is the creative expression of human communications derived from mine workers when prevented from speaking. Both are very physical dances … join the fun, bring the kids.” The workshop/performance will be from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m.
Here is a smattering of other possibilities: Holiday Bazaar-Silent Auction at CGHS, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: bake sale, painting workshop, crafts and vendors (benefits youth bowlers); Sip ‘n’ Shop, Stacy’s Covered Bridge Banquet Room, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Shop the Grove: unique gift ideas, live music, Santa, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Gathering Place, 119 ”L” St.
One last suggestion: The Village Green has recreated an European Christmas Market complete with half a million lights, bratwurst and gluehwein.
The market will have many vendors and will run on most nights through Dec 31. And while there is so much to do downtown, there is a special draw to take in the market this weekend as there will be live reindeer featured this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Just saying.
Well, that is a lot to pack into just one weekend, as well as one column. Regardless of your cultural, religious or spiritual proclivities, I hope there is something that you may want to participate in for your own enjoyment, but also to help our community by supporting the ”keep it local” movement. Remember, every dollar spent locally helps your community members.
So Creswellians, we Grovers would love to see some of our sister-city members down here for the festivities. Happy beginnings of the holidays!

You can reach Dana Merryday at 541-942-7037 and [email protected].



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