Community, Creswell

Creswell Winter Lights hit the right notes

CRESWELL  –  Underneath trees encircled with white lights,  paper cups were filled to the brim with hot cocoa during the Creswell Winter Lights festivities as residents lined Oregon Avenue and awaited the parade of lights.  

Following the holiday market at the grange, the main event kicked off with music performed by the Creswell Community Singers and the Creswell Middle School choir at the fire station. 

 “Our community is one of the most spectacular groups of people who support the children of our area with music,” said Jaque Robertson, intertim choir director and former Creslane principal. “There are many school districts in our state and in our country that do not have music instruction, elementary through middle school or high school, but Creswell does. Right here in front of you is an example of how important it is to have kids who are learning to enjoy singing and to enjoy music.” 

Of course, Robertson acknowledged Mary Ellen Yost’s unfortunate absence, saying, “We’re keeping her in our thoughts and our prayers hoping that she would get better,” she said. 

Yost, who taught music for three decades at Creslane Elementary School and has led the community choir since October 2016, suffered serious injuries in a car accident Friday, Nov. 25, on Dillard Rd. Yost has been in the ICU at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland since the accident. 

Creswell Middle School Choir director Eric Telfer expressed a similar sentiment. 

“It’s really awesome that, given what happened with Mary Ellen,  that the community still rallied together to make sure that this happened and took place. It’s awesome for Creswell to do this,” he said.

The choirs sang classic holiday carols, with the middle school choir often echoing the Creswell Community Singers. 

Eric Telfer also directed the middle school choir with his original song, “Snow is Gently Falling.” As the merry carols concluded, residents made sure to grab a cup of cocoa as temperatures fell, awaiting the much-anticipated light show. 

“I’m very thankful it didn’t rain tonight,” said Creswell Community Singer Candy Riddle. 

The parade featured Creswell City Council, decorated trucks from residents and the American Red Cross, Mexican Folk dancers from Comunidad Y Herencia Cultural, Little Miss Rodeo Oregon Sweetheart and, of course, Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

RuthAnn Seim, Community Engagement Specialist for the Creswell Chamber of Commerce played Mrs. Claus for the second year. 

“It’s just so much fun because the kids, especially the little girls, are so enamored with Mrs. Claus,” she said. Seim told a story of a little girl in a sparkly red dress who just had to have a picture with Mrs. Claus “Her mom said all she could talk about was seeing Mrs. Claus,’ said Seim. Patrick Dearth, president of the Creswell Grange, played Santa Claus alongside Seim. 

Resident Betty Beckner was impressed by the high-stepping horses, saying she has always wanted horses ever since she was a kid: when she used to ride horses at her friends house.

This year’s parade was a step above the last, which the Chamber only hopes to grow in the coming years.

“I love this place at Christmas- it’s beautiful. Absolutely gorgeous… It’s a great town and a great place to raise children,” said resident Lisa McFarlane.



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