Grant’s Getaways: Holiday Lights in Oregon
This week, I head to three holiday lighting extravaganzas that are perfect for all the right reasons for youngsters and those young at heart.
Dilley: In Dilley, Oregon the winter weather may be cold and frightful, but the folks who keep tradition alive are warm and delightful. Since early November, Sue Marshall’s family has touched up the scenery, strung the lights and kept alive a holiday tradition called “Storybook Lane.”
The event has been a Christmas gift to friends and neighbors since 1935. Beginning December 15 and continuing through Christmas this year the lights shimmer, children scamper and music plays while families stroll thru a show that really shines. And it may warm you to know that “Storybook Lane” is free to all visitors of any age – and it begins each evening at 5pm sharp.
Directions: Drive south from Forest Grove on State Highway 47 for approximately three miles to Dilley. Watch for signs to “Storybook Lane” on the left side of the highway. It opens each day at 5 p.m. beginning Saturday, December 15 and continuing through Christmas.
Keizer: In Keizer, Oregon holiday lighting is a community effort that means pitching in to help neighbors in need through donations to the Marion-Polk Food Share.
The event is called the “Miracle of Christmas” and it’s a driving or walking route of decorated homes that stretches more than three miles thru the Gubser neighborhood. The event started in 1985 and hundreds of homes glimmer with impressive displays in an event that neighbors call a “bit of friendly and neighborly competition.
Last year, the 26-day event collected more than 25-thousand pounds of food and more than $18,000 to help the community.There is no admission fee and the Keizer Miracle of Christmas Lights continues through December 26.
Oregon Coast: The Oregon coast is a many splendored place boasting unique sights and sounds that will amaze you anytime of the year. It’s safe to say that most holiday lights don’t hold a candle to the ones the Friends of Shore Acres State Park put up each year.
The folks who show up each weekend beginning before Halloween and go the extra mile to light Oregon’s only botanical garden state park.
A small, dedicated group of twenty-five or so will spend all of their free time on weekends, putting up the park lights and displays in time for opening night on thanksgiving day. They will stretch 3400 strings of lights and it is hard, painstaking work to get them to look and to work just right. Many say it is also the sort of work that makes them feel good and puts a smile on their face.
The holiday lights continue through New Year’s Eve and the park is open daily and closes each night at 10pm. There is no entry fee, but there is a required three-dollar state park parking permit.
About the Author: Grant McOmie
Grant McOmie is a Pacific Northwest broadcast journalist, teacher and author who writes and produces stories and special programs about the people, places, outdoor activities and environmental issues of the Pacific Northwest. A fifth generation Oregon native, Grant’s roots run deepest in the central Oregon region near Prineville and Redmond where his family continues to live.