Streets thronged with shoppers, Christmas music and decorations, and a visit from St. Nick definitely put Oregon in a holiday mood Saturday evening.
“Our 31st annual Candlelight Walk went off fabulously well,” said Debbie Dickson, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director. “Since this is not a gated event with entry fees, there is no way to have an accurate head count, but my best, and conservative, guesstimate would be at least 2,000 people.”
The appearance of several PAW Patrol characters outside Washington Street businesses drew families to the downtown.
Nine-year-old Evan Stahl, of Davis Junction, and his three siblings got to see them outside Gramma’s Attic.
“I was surprised they were here,” he said.
Sharon Bocker, owner of Gramma’s Attic, said the characters were popular.
“Everybody wants to see PAW Patrol,” she said with a chuckle.
Amy Levan, of Forreston, brought her family to see them and ended up shopping for her six-month-old daughter at Gramma’s Attic.
“She needs a Christmas dress,” she said. “I thought I would find that here.”
Down the street at Creative Designs, owner Carol Bellows said the crowd was steady.
“I haven’t sat down yet,” she said with a smile. “They get a kick out of the live mannequins in the window, and then in they come.”
Several businesses featured the live mannequins in their front windows.
“The PAW Patrol characters and live mannequins in business windows on Washington Street were a huge hit with everyone, as was the ‘pop-up’ Edibles Mini Market,” Dickson said.
The crowd filled Conover Square as well.
On the second floor, Marsha Behrens was manning the Eagle’s Nest Art Group’s cookie table.
“There’s lots of people shopping, and we’ve got lots of homemade cookies,” she said. “Everyone is in a festive mood.”
Youngsters and their parents lined up in the basement of the Coliseum for a turn to visit with Santa after his annual arrival by Oregon firetruck.
Upstairs, shoppers visited vendors offering everything from Christmas crafts and sweet treats to pillows, jewelry, and accessories.
The lines were also long down on Candy Cane Lane, where the Oregon Lions Club and Cliff’s Donuts offered tasty fare.
The Oregon Boy Scouts helped kids young and old make S’mores around the fire stands.
Horsedrawn wagons, complete with sleigh bells, provided rides all evening throughout the downtown.
Mild temperatures and clear skies were an added bonus for the holiday event.
Dickson said the chamber and local business have been planning for months for Candlelight Walk.
“It takes a tremendous amount of support to make this event happen,” she said. “We are so grateful to our sponsors, the generous loan of resources from many organizations, and the team effort invested for the benefit of our community.”