Santa scheduled to arrive a little later Friday
Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus previously informed the McMinnville Downtown Association that they were going to take a little longer to make the trip to town this year for the community’s post-Thanksgiving Day festivities.
So, Santa’s Parade, the annual downtown event that launches the holiday season in the community, will start at 4:30 p.m. Friday. It’s the latest start ever. The parade has started either in the early morning or early afternoon in previous years.
The MDA staff and board decided to make do with the decision by Santa and Mrs. Claus. The group sees this as an opportunity to combine the parade and tree lighting ceremony in upper City Park into one event.
“The parade and the tree lighting have always been at separate times,” said MDA staffer Kendra Lindell. “Some people had to pick one or the other.”
The two events are being combined this year.
“We’ll have the parade and then we encourage people to walk over to the tree lighting,” Lindell said. “It’ll be like a starlight parade this year. With the downtown lights and everything, we think it will be more fun.”
Another significant parade change this year is that there will be no “Stars,” or honorees, who will be featured among all the entries.
“Santa will be the star,” Lindell said.
If he’s traveling more than 2,000 miles to get here, he probably deserves some preferential treatment.
Staging for the parade will start at 3:30 at Northeast Fifth and Galloway streets, in parking lots behind the McMinnville Community Center and Yamhill County Jail. The parade will move out an hour later.
It will travel east to Irvine Street, to Third, west on Third to Cowls, then to Fourth and back to the staging area on Galloway. The deadline to submit entry forms has passed, but Lindell said no entry will be turned away right up to staging time. About 25 entries pre-registered.
For anyone thinking about participating in the parade, entries may include bands, church groups, equestrian groups, floats, riders, scout groups, vehicles and walkers.
Due to insurance-related restrictions, the only animals allowed are donkeys, horses, mules and ponies, according to MDA officials. Spectators are asked not to bring their dogs to the parade.
The MDA is also requesting that Santa Claus and/or Mrs. Claus-like entries not be included in the parade. The couple will be in town for everyone’s enjoyment.
The parade traditionally takes about a half-hour to wind its way through the downtown.
“It’s a fun opportunity for people to come together and kick off the holidays,” Lindell said.
As part of McMinnville’s effort to celebrate the season, the Trail Band Christmas Concert will again be held, at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8 in the community center.
Tickets are priced at $22, reserved; $16, adults; $13, seniors (65-older); $13, students, and $6, children (12-under). They are available at NW Foods & Gifts, Oregon Stationers and Third Street Books, all located on Third. They may also be purchased at the MDA office in the historic Cozine House on the corner of Third and Baker streets. They can be ordered by phone by calling 503-472-3605.
The Oregon Trail Band is an eight-piece group that plays a variety of traditional and original holiday music. The band has been performing since 1994, and has done more than 300 shows.