Tigard merchants to illuminate 13 Main Street trees
In order to keep downtown Tigard festive during the holidays amid social gathering bans due to COVID-19, four merchants are pitching in to illuminate Main Street trees.
Beginning on Saturday, Nov. 21, some 13 trees will be illuminated for "Light the Night," thanks to the efforts of Chris Haedinger of Beach Hut Deli, Travis Diskin of Curiosities Vintage Mall, Derrick Wright of Senet Game Bar, and Chris Sjolin, co-owner of Cooper Mountain Ale Works.
Haedinger rallied local merchants to pitch in for the event using warm, white lights to decorate the trees that already line Southwest Main Street.
"We're turning the lights on at 5 p.m., and that's it," said Haedinger, noting the plan is avoid any public gatherings due to COVID-19 restrictions. "I put one up already. I did a test run outside my store and had that up maybe three weeks ago, and it looks pretty good."
Haedinger said there had been talk of illuminating the trees for several years by a larger group in the past, but this was the year the four businesses decided to do it.
"It's basically those four businesses pitching in money, including installation," said Haedinger, whose goal is to bring a little more festive atmosphere to the downtown core as it gets dark earlier now because of the end of Daylight Savings Time. "The city has given us approval … so everyone is aware of it."
Haedinger's Beach Hut Deli, which was named the 2020 Tigard Chamber Business of the Year, has been open for more than three years.
Haedinger said the lighting of a town square or main street is a tradition he encountered during time living in his native Switzerland, which he left for the United States 13 years ago. It's an event that happens in many cities throughout Europe as well, he said.
"Usually it's the first Sunday in December, (the first day of Advent) that they turn the lights on and every town has it," he said. "It's kind of what the entire of Europe is doing the same way and it stays up until Jan. 6, Three Kings Day."
"When Chris approached me with his idea, I was totally on board," Wright, of Senet Game Bar, said in a statement.
Sjolin of Cooper Mountain Ale Works — formerly known as Max's Fanno Creek Brew Pub — said he's looking forward to illuminating the street with the lighted trees as well.
"We are so excited to do our part to bring some brightness to Main Street Tigard," he said.
At the same time, the new Universal Plaza being built on Burnham Street will have community haikus projected in lights on a building next door to it form 4 to 10 p.m. each night during the holidays. In addition, there will be three "twinkle trees" installed at the plaza, which will be turned on Dec. 1.
Also on view will be art installations, including a "musical bench" installed by Tualatin Valley Creates and apple box seating. However, those installations will not be sanitized, according to a city official, and anyone age 5 or older must wear face coverings and maintain social distancing.
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