Santa and Mrs. Santa will be chauffeured by the Oregon Fire Department to the Ogle County Courthouse Square on Saturday, Nov. 30 to kick off the Christmas season at the 27th annual Candlelight Walk.
Santa will light the Christmas tree on the courthouse lawn at 4 p.m. to begin the festivities.
Entertainment, good food, and giveaways are just a small part of the evening's events which will be held from 4 to 8 p.m.
The event is sponsored by the Oregon Chamber of Commerce.
Luminaria will light the downtown, compliments of the Oregon Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and Oregon High School Key Club.
A Winter Quarter Carnival for kids ages 3 to 10 is one of this year's new features.
Chamber president Debbie Leffelman said the Oregon Park District and two 4-H clubs have teamed up to provide games that youngsters will enjoy at a cost of 25 cents in the lower level of the Coliseum. Franklin Street will between Fourth Street (Ill. 2) and Third Street will be closed to traffic and transformed into Candy Cane Lane for the evening.
Businesses throughout the city will extend their hours for shoppers to find holiday bargains, gifts, and refreshments.
Youngsters can visit with Santa and Mrs. Santa in the lower level of the Oregon Coliseum, at the corner of Franklin and Fourth (Ill. 2) Streets after the tree lighting until 8 p.m. and then walk down Candy Cane Lane on their way to see Santa's reindeer at First National Bank and shop at Conover Square.
A Holiday Gift Fair featuring numerous vendors will be held at the Coliseum, offering a variety of items and information.
In the downstairs, the Gingerbread Kitchen and Pizza Hut will serve a variety of food. More food will be offered on Candy Cane Lane.
Entertainment from music to drama to dance will be offered throughout the evening at the Coliseum. Conover Square will host live entertainment, refreshments and plenty of holiday décor.
Shoppers can also sign up to win prizes and a $250 shopping spree in the Red Bow Give-A-Way.
Register at participating businesses, which will display the large red Candlelight Walk Bow.
Shoppers can also get involved in the Hysterical Holiday Hunt. Collect clues from designated Red Bow sponsor locations and answer the questions for a chance to win the grand prize package of dinner at LaVigna and an overnight stay at the White Pines Inn.
A few of Red Bow Sponsors have hidden clues strategically placed at their businesses, and the chamber officers have created silly Holiday Hints to help participants hunt down the answers. Find the location, (listed on the form), follow the clue, and then search for the answer at each participating location.
Forms to participate can be picked up during normal business hours from the Oregon Chamber Office, Oregon City Hall and the Oregon Park District.
They will also be available during Candlelight Walk at the chamber located inside the Oregon Coliseum.
All completed forms must be turned back in to the chamber no later than 8 p.m. on Nov. 30.
Horse-drawn wagon rides will be available all evening, taking riders throughout the downtown to view holiday lights and decorations.
Candlelight Walk began as Oregon merchants' way of showing appreciation to their customers.
"Candlelight Walk originated many years ago inside Conover Square Mall. The business owners inside this specialty mall wanted a way to say thank you to a community that had supported them throughout the year," said Debbie Dickson, the chamber's executive secretary. "This much loved holiday event has blossomed into a community tradition that is now attended by folks from far reaching distances."