Holiday festivities underway

The scene is looking merry and bright around the Southern Willamette Valley, with plenty of family-friendly events kicking off this weekend. 

In Cottage Grove on Saturday, Dec. 3, the Chamber is hosting a full day of holiday events. Have breakfast with Santa at the fire station, go on a Christmas tree walk, enjoy music from folk rock band Ten Spiders, or decorate holiday cards at the Crafty Mercantile. 

“There is nothing better than the community, businesses, and volunteers all coming together to watch Santa light the Town’s Christmas Tree and then enjoying the festivities together,” said Georgia Haskell, Cottage Grove Chamber office and membership manager. 

The Chronicle’s Holiday Guide

The historic armory will be full of booths at the Holiday Bazaar from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., and Main Street will be lined with colorful window displays as a part of the downtown window decorating contest. 

“This year we don’t have to contend with restrictions, which will be nice. We will be able to get back to some of our favorite traditions, and bring in some new ones,” said Haskell. 

Santa will make a jolly trip around town, starting at the firestation from 7 – 11 a.m., then flying over to Coast Fork Brewing and Feed Store from 2 – 4 p.m. and making his final stop at City Hall from 6:30 – 8 p.m. 

The Cottage Grove Museum will host its annual holiday event, Stained Glass and Candlelight, after a two year hiatus. The museum will continue its tradition of illuminating the historic stained-glass windows while historian Joanne Skelton offers a window by window tour. The museum’s newest exhibit, “Bundle Up!” will be open during the event, showcasing coats, hats and scarves worn in Cottage Grove during the early 1900s. 

“Seeing the community all together, it is a magical experience,” Haskell said.

In Springfield, the Oregon Riders Society’s (ORS) Oldest and Coldest Christmas Parade returns for its 70th year on Saturday, Dec. 3, at 1 p.m cruising down Main Street. This year’s theme is “Rock Around the Christmas Tree.” 

Jane Falls, past president of the Springfield Rotary, is gearing up for the club’s debut in the Oldest and Coldest Parade. As a reflection of the club’s give-back attitude, the float will feature wrapped Christmas gifts, featuring local projects the Rotarians have worked on over the years.


“Each present will have a big sign that describes a little bit about the projects that we’ve done — everything from creating running trails by the McKenzie-Willamette to the dog park by Lively Park, Pre’s Running Trail development, to playgrounds at the Springfield High School for its parenting program,” Falls said.

The parade will begin on the corner of 21st and Olympic streets, winding its way down to Mohawk, eventually reaching downtown. 

Brenda Hughey the ORS president said, “It really is something to be proud of. I know all of us here with the Oregon Riders Society are excited to donate their time to putting smiles on everyone’s faces.”  

The Springfield Chamber is also getting in on the fun this holiday season, encouraging the community to “shop small” with its new Willamette Valley E-gift Card. The gift card program helps support local business throughout the holiday season, supporting purchases at retailers and restaurants downtown. 

“It only takes a small change to make a big difference. That small change can be as simple as making one good decision to spend local and local-online, first,” said Vonnie Mikkelsen, president and CEO of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce. 

In Creswell, the annual Winter Lights celebration kicks off on Saturday, Dec.10 on Oregon Avenue. The Creswell Winter Lights is an all-day event, including visits with Santa, a Christmas tree auction, holiday market place and a holiday light parade. 

Browse the festive holiday at the Creswell Community Center with 15 local vendors. One vendor, Ellyn Clardy Mole with Ellyna Amalia Designs, is excited to participate this year. Mole moved to Creswell in April of 2021 with her husband Troy. 

“It’s nice to come full-circle and actually participate in it this year. I’m excited to see what people are interested in,” Mole said. 

Get photos with Santa from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and 5 – 7 p.m. Mrs. Claus will make an appearance with activities for children and stories in the Creswell Public Library from 1 – 3 p.m. 

Bid on a tree at the Christmas Tree Silent Auction from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. at the Masonic Lodge, benefiting Creswell First! This will be its second year sponsoring the event. Last year, $577 was contributed to youth programs through Creswell First!. 


“Everybody feels good. People get beautiful trees for their homes. The decorating team celebrates a successful event … everyone wins,” said Steve Carmicheal, president of Creswell First!

The festivities conclude with a Light Parade, free hot cocoa/cider and live music from 4 – 7 p.m. on 1st Street and Oregon Avenue.

The Creswell Community Singers will perform with the Creswell Middle School choir, conducted by Eric Telfer. 

“I really enjoy working with younger folks as well as the group that the Creswell community singers … music is fun for me, but working with the people is what makes it very, very special,” said Mary Ellen Yost, choir conductor. 

The Creswell Chamber of Commerce is hoping for the parade to take off. “This year, we’re really really hoping to see it grow. Even if there’s only 25 entrances, that’s a quarter of the size of the Fourth of July parade,” said Ruth Ann Seim, community engagement specialist for the Creswell Chamber. 

Larissa Garcia, Erin Tierney-Heggenstaller, and Ryleigh Norgrove contributed to this report. 



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