It's Time to Light Up the Central Coast

By Gretchen Ammerman | Monday, November 25, 2019

These days it seems retailers won't be satisfied until we are unwrapping Christmas presents while dressed in a Halloween costume and eating turkey with stuffing and cranberries. I've found that hearing "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" coming through speakers when jack-o-lanterns are still around can kinda kill the mood by the time Christmas actually arrives. 

Yet as jaded as I can get, there are still a few things that spark that holiday glow and even bring a tear to my eye. Mainly: watching the lighting of a big outdoor Christmas tree and seeing a kid's face light up at the sight of Santa.

Santa will be pretty busy on the Central Coast for the next week or two attending public tree lighting ceremonies. Check out this list of upcoming holiday events to help increase your chances of catching him and slipping him your wish list.

Christmas Ornament Make-n-Take and tree lighting at the Lincoln City Cultural Center | Friday, Nov. 29 

Drop in from 2 to 5 p.m for a free workshop where artist Krista Eddy will help create snowflake tree ornaments made with old book pages. The books were donated by the Driftwood Public Library and were destined for the dumpster. This is your opportunity to give them new life.

At 5 p.m. the tree out will be lit outside. Inside, cookies, hot chocolate and festive choral music await in addition to a visit with Santa Claus, a jolly vendor fair and family photo opportunities.

Depoe Bay Christmas Tree Lighting at the Whale Fountain | Saturday, Nov. 30

From 4 to 6 p.m. Depoe Bay Chamber of Commerce volunteers will serve hot chocolate, cider, cookies and candies. Tree lighting will be at 5 p.m. The evening ends with caroling and socializing.

Toledo Tree Lighting Gala and Community Christmas Party | Saturday, Nov. 30

Toledo welcomes the holiday season with a triumvirate of three stellar events. Saturday evening begins with the lighting of the Toledo Christmas tree on Main Street. Once it and all the onlookers are illuminated with the holiday spirit, a community party and holiday bazaar kicks off in the Elks Lodge. Santa will be there spreading cheer. Bring the family, and snack on cookies, hot chocolate, cider and coffee and start your gift shopping among the vendors' selections. 

Florence Holiday Festival, Saturday, Dec. 7

Gather in Historic Old Town Florence starting at 3:30 p.m. for this annual event which includes live entertainment, warm beverages, Santa’s arrival by firetruck, holiday season sales, hayrides, caroling and the mayor’s Tree Lighting Celebration at 5:30 p.m.

Is  there anything cuter than a kid who still believes in Santa?

If you have a favorite memory of a tree lighting and Santa sighting, please share it in our comments section! For other things to do on the Central Coast, check out our Daytime Events calendar. For evening entertainment, our Nightlife page steers you to the top happenings on the Central Coast.

About the Author Gretchen Ammerman
Gretchen Ammerman received an Environmental Science degree from Humboldt State University and was soon running a state environmental agency in Hawaii. She gave it up for the glamorous life of the freelance writer. This led to steady employment as a newspaper editor in Lincoln City, OR, where she knew she was doing well when the paper was threatened with a lawsuit within a week. Though the work was rewarding, she returned to freelance writing to have more freedom to explore the beautiful state of Oregon with her adopted dog, Scout.