Most wonderful time of the year starts with local tree-lightings
Thanksgiving dinner is done. Whatever was left over — how are we expected to eat all of that wonderful, rich food, anyway? — has been put away in the refrigerator.
We may be eating leftovers from Thanksgiving for a week, but it's time to get ready for Christmas and other December holidays.
In Tigard, Tualatin and Sherwood, the season traditionally begins with ceremonial tree-lightings at the heart of each community. Those festivities are next Friday, Dec. 1, and Saturday, Dec. 2.
Starry Nights and Holiday Lights, the City of Tualatin's annual winter festival, begins with live music courtesy of the Tualatin High School brass ensemble at 5 p.m. Friday, at the Tualatin Commons, 8325 S.W. Nyberg St. Other bands and choirs from local schools will perform — including the Tualatin High Crimsonnaires, the school's elite a cappella group — throughout the evening.
At 6 p.m., Santa Claus will arrive with an escort from the Tualatin Police Department at the Commons. Once Santa is on the scene, the floating holiday tree on the Lake of the Commons will be lit up.
At the Tualatin Commons, there will also be holiday crafts for children, as well as hot cocoa from Starbucks and cookies from New Seasons Market.
Santa has a pretty quick turnaround, as he's due for the Downtown Tigard Tree Lighting at 6:45 p.m. Traditionally with the help of a Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue crew, Santa will turn on the holiday lights on the big sequoia tree at Liberty Park, in the 12000 block of Main Street across from McDonald's, Rite Aid and Value Village, as a crowd looks on.
After the tree-lighting itself, Santa will head over to Ballroom Dance Co., 8900 S.W. Commercial Ave., to take pictures with kids and hear their holiday wishes. Cocoa, cookies and crafts will also be available.
The Tigard Downtown Alliance is responsible for the annual tree-lighting in Tigard.
The next day, Saturday, is the Sherwood Holiday Festival. Sherwood goes big in ushering in the December holidays, with a community parade at 4 p.m. before the tree-lighting itself.
This year's parade route will start near the parking lot of Kohl's, 16685 S.W. 12th St., and proceed to Cannery Square Park, 22622 S.W. Pine St. Anyone can join the parade as long as they register at the staging area between 3:15 and 4 p.m.
Music by local school choirs, free refreshments that include hot dogs, cookies and hot beverages, kids' crafts, a silent auction, and a live Nativity scene produced by St. Paul Lutheran Church will provide attendees with plenty to enjoy in Old Town Sherwood during the festival. The holiday tree will be lit up in Cannery Square as the centerpiece of the festivities following the parade.
Craft activities will be held at the nearby Sherwood Masonic Lodge, 22536 S.W. Washington St.The Sherwood Holiday Festival is organized by the nonprofit Sherwood Robin Hood Festival Association, with the support of local businesses and other groups. The association also puts on the annual Sherwood Robin Hood Festival every July.