Santa’s list: Lights, skates, gingerbread, nuts! – it’s the holiday season

December 2015 Posted in Community

By Laura DeVito

At first, I wasn’t sure it was actually him but his jolly laugh, rosy cheeks, snow white beard and twinkling blue eyes gave him away, even though he was wearing jeans, a flannel shirt and a baseball cap. A newcomer, I quickly learned Santa Claus’ second home is Silverton.

And with all the holiday appointments he has in Silverton, Mt. Angel, Scotts Mills and Silver Falls State Park, it’s no wonder he spends so much time here.

Believing happiness and joy are contagious, Santa Claus shared he thinks there is something magical about living in a small town. And while he wouldn’t share who is on his naughty and nice list, he did divulge where he plans to be celebrating this festive season. Here is his list:

Christmas at the Garden features a new ice skating rink this year. Photo by Jim Kinghorn.

Christmas at the Garden features a new ice skating rink this year. Photo by Jim Kinghorn.

Christmas at The Oregon Garden
There’s something about twinkling holiday lights that concoct the perfect setting for getting into the Christmas spirit and sharing Christmas cheer. An adventure to The Oregon Garden’s light display should be a must-do on everyone’s list, Santa Claus said.

He is especially excited about the ice skating rink open now to Jan. 3, seven days a week. To work off all the cookies and other sweets he’ll be eating, Santa plans to be at the ice skating rink from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Saturdays.  The holiday lights and artisan market are open four days a week – Thursday through Sunday – from now to Jan. 3.

The holiday light adventure starts with a trip though the candy cane tunnel that leads to the magical world of floating umbrellas, brilliantly lit flowers and more. There is music and food to enjoy.

For those keen on meeting Santa’s reindeer, they will be in from the North Pole to visit Dec. 10 – 13.

To see the entire schedule, visit 

Christmas in Scotts Mills
Santa’s first Christmas tree lighting of the year will be Thursday, Dec. 3,  6 p.m. at Scotts Mills’ City Park. In the spirit of giving, guests are asked to bring nonperishable food items that will be donated to the Scotts Mills Food Cupboard.

Scotts Mills Elementary School students will present their holiday program atMonday, Dec. 7,  6 p.m. at the auditorium at Silverton High School.

The members of the Scotts Mills Friends Church are collecting winter hats for children from now to Dec. 11. If you would like to donate a hat, please drop it off at Scotts Mills Friends Church, 520 Grand View Ave. or at the Scotts Mills Community Center at Fourth and Grand.

Silverton Tree Lighting

Silverton Tree Lighting

Silverton Tree Lighting
It’s a time-honored tradition for community members to gather in Town Square Park on the First Friday of December – this year Dec. 4 around 6 p.m. to listen to holiday songs, enjoy hot chocolate, pop  letters to Santa Claus into the post box and visit with friends.

This year, Santa Claus is making a grand entrance escorted into Town Square Park by the Silverton High School Marching Band. He will then hop onto a ladder of a Silverton Fire Department truck, be lifted into the air and wave a magic wand to light the town Christmas tree at 7 p.m. After the tree lighting, Santa looks forward to meeting with children at the United Methodist Church, next to Town Square Park.

After the tree lighting, community members are invited to visit local shops and restaurants for First Friday. Make sure to bring your Silverton Shop Hop Passport and get stamps for a chance to win prizes. The Shop Hop runs through Dec. 15. Purchasing items at local businesses, is a good way to say thanks and support businesses that do a great deal to support the community, accordint to Santa.

Santa Mouse and Santa Claus
While out and about on Saturday, Dec. 5, make sure to stop by Silverton High School for the Santa Mouse Bazaar from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be handmade crafts, holiday gift drawings and homemade baked goods. And if you missed visiting Santa Claus on Friday, he will be at Santa Claus and Corn Dogs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Oak Street Church, 502 Oak St. The free event includes pictures with the jolly ol’ elf, crafts, cookies and of course, the church’s famous corn dogs.

Mount Angel’s Hazelnut Festival
Given the hazelnut groves around Mount Angel, it only seems proper this nut receives its own day of recognition.

“The history of the hazelnut in the Willamette Valley of Oregon dates back to the settlement of the valley by early French settlers. Today, more than 650 growers are located in Oregon – the prime growing region for hazelnuts in the United States,” Maureen Ernst, co-chair of the Chamber of Commerce event said.  “There were 3,000 new acres of hazelnuts planted in 2014 and 99 percent of the country’s hazelnuts are grown right here in Oregon.

“What better way to celebrate the Old World flavor of Mount Angel than with a festival highlighting the hazelnut and a German Holiday Markets.”

The fourth annual Mount Angel Hazelnut Fest and German Holiday Market runs 10 a.m. to 5  p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5 and Sunday, Dec. 6 at the Festhalle, 500 Wilco Hwy. N.E. Admission is free. Start Saturday morning at the Run for Your Nuts 5K fun run. Visit for information.

The Mount Angel Hazelnut Fest and German Holiday Market is a showcase of regional arts and crafts as well as traditional German Christmas decorations and crafts.

While strolling through, have a taste of Oregon wine and beer with foods inspired by hazelnuts. There also will be music, a Children’s Cookie Walk and St. Nicolas Children’s Craft Room sponsored by the Mount Angel Public Library.

Christmas Festival at Silver Falls

Christmas Festival at Silver Falls

Christmas Festival at Silver Falls State Park  
The 38th annual Christmas Festival at Silver Falls State Park is Saturday, Dec. 12 and Sunday, Dec. 13, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  in the South Falls Historic District.

Depending on the weather, there may be snow at the park so make sure to bring gloves, a heavy jacket and good shoes so you can hike the trails. A visit to Silver Falls State Park is like stepping back in time as visitors enjoy cookies and hot chocolate near the fireplace and make crafts including wreaths, holiday cards and ornaments. Admission is free to the event, parking is $5.

Celebrate Families Holiday Festival
The 22nd annual Celebrate Families Holiday Festival is Saturday, Dec. 12, 1 to 4 p.m. at the Silverton Community Center, 421 S. Water St. Hosted by Silverton Together and the Silverton Area Chamber of Commerce, community members are invited to make crafts, visit Santa, enjoy refreshments and vote for their favorite Christmas tree. The event is free. For information, call 503-873-0405.

Gingerbread House Exhibition
Be prepared to be dazzled at what can be constructed using some gingerbread, frosting and candy. The Frank Lloyd Wright Gordon House adjacent to The Oregon Garden is hosting a Gingerbread House display. The public is invited to view a collection of edible houses, displayed through Dec. 30. Prizes will be awarded, both serious and silly.

The Gordon House will be open for self-guided tours, so guests can see the gingerbread houses, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house, and vote for their favorite small edible house. If you want to try your skills at constructing your own gingerbread house, there will be a Gingerbread House Construction Zone during Reindeer Weekend at The Oregon Garden. The Construction Zone is 4 to 9 p.m. on Dec. 12 and 13. Yummy building materials will be available for guests to try their hand at creating an edible house right on the spot. Refreshments and drinks will be served. The Gordon House is located at 879 West Main St., Silverton. Limited parking available. Guided tours of the house are available daily at noon, 1, and 2 p.m. Reservations can be arranged at 503-874-6006.

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