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Holiday Tree Lighting to celebrate 50th year

Singers, dancers, Santa and more planned for golden anniversary

Photo Credit: REVIEW FILE PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Millennium Park Plaza was all aglow after the 2013 lighting of the holiday tree in Lake Oswego. This years festivities are scheduled for Friday, Nov. 28. Photo Credit: REVIEW FILE PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Lilieana Purden makes sure Santa Claus has her Christmas list right during last years tree lighting and holiday celebration in Lake Oswegos Millennium Park Plaza. Lake Oswego will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its Holiday Tree Lighting next week with a gala celebration filled with music, a parade, sweet treats and a special apearance by a visitor from the North Pole.

“We are so excited about this,” said Jamie Inglis, event manager for the City of Lake Oswego, who is directing the extravaganza. “This is the essence of a community event.”

Keith Dickerson, the executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, agreed. The chamber is one of the sponsors of the holiday celebration.

“This is one of Lake Oswego’s favorite events,” Dickerson said, “especially for families with children.”

It all starts at 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 28, in Bigelow Plaza at the corner of Fifth Street and A Avenue, where the Lake Oswego High School Choir will lead the crowd in singing favorite holiday songs. At 5:30 p.m., new school supertintendent Heather Beck will help Dickerson flip the switch on the first of two holiday trees.

Once those lights are aglow, the crowd will surge down A Avenue to Millennium Plaza Park for the lighting of the Millennium Tree. Leading the way will be the Lake Oswego Fire Department’s first fire engine, which it purchased in 1923. (People have offered lots of money to buy the antique truck over the years, but the department isn’t selling.)

Photo Credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO: LAKE OSWEGO PUBLIC LIBRARY - Santa Claus has been coming to the Holiday Tree Lighting since the beginning. Here, a relatively young Santa arrives by fire truck in 1964 for the very first Holiday Tree Lighting in Lake Oswego.Company, the talented song-and-dance troupe from Lakeridge High School, will perform in the park. So will the Millennium Concert Band, and there will be plenty of free candy canes, cookies, hot chocolate, coffee and other treats provided by Starbucks.

Kids should keep watch for a snowman, reindeer, Princess Elsa from “Frozen,” the inimitable Lake Oswego Cham-Bear and, of course, the much-awaited guest of honor. Santa Claus will be escorted with a roar of sirens by Lake Oswego firefighters, and children will get a chance to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him what they want for Christmas.

In the spirit of the season, everyone is invited to bring non-perishable food items to the Holiday Tree Lighting. The food, which can be deposited in barrels and bins at Millennium Plaza Park, will be distributed to shelters in the Lake Oswego area.

Joining the fire department in service will be the Lake Oswego Police Department and the City of Lake Oswego operations staff. In addition to the Chamber of Commerce and the city, event sponsors include Starbucks, The Bank of Oswego, Lake View Village, Safeway, The Lake Oswego Review and Tree Care & Landscaping Unlimited.

Contact Cliff Newell at 503-636-1281 ext. 105 or cnewell@lakeoswegoreview.com.

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