More lights, displays set for the future

Mayor Brian HodsonDespite the bitter cold that engulfed the event, Canby Mayor Brian Hodson felt a feeling of warmth and joy during Canby’s Light Up the Night event.

For him, the lighting of the city tree and the festivities surrounding it offer a glimpse into what makes Christmas in Canby so unique.

The tree lighting was just the start.

“Considering how cold the evening was I was so very excited about the turnout for the event,” Hodson said. “As I rode along the parade route, I noticed that there were a number of people who braved the weather, and some watching the parade from their cars.

“This is a premiere event for our city and our downtown,” he added. “I am pleased that we moved the event to partner with First Friday a couple years ago. It has really allowed the event to grow and people look forward to it every year, no matter how cold it is. When you have a Christmas tree like we do, you add in the carolers, Santa Claus and selecting a community member to hit the switch, I cannot think of a better way to kick off the Christmas Season.”

It’s all part of a Christmas feel that Hodson said Canby delivers every year.

“Christmastime in Canby, to me, is pretty special,” Hodson said. “The businesses are all decorated and they are busier with people out and connecting with friends. From my years in retail, the months of November and December are tremendously important. Here in Canby, they are even more important.”

That importance is accentuated, said Hodson, because many local business owners live in the area and plunge their hard-earned money back into the community.

“With several retail and restaurant businesses downtown, I have been told that they are still trying to make up ground from the construction last year,” Hodson said, “though it is better than last year.

“From a city standpoint, we really want to make our downtown warm and inviting, especially this time of year,” Hodson added.

“We will be working to add more lights and displays in coming years to the park and throughout downtown. This will really highlight the walkability of our downtown and the great businesses that are being attracted.”

With Christmas at the city’s doorstep, Hodson reflected on the virtues Canby delivers this time of year — from entire neighborhoods decorated with lights to how our community pulls together to help those in need.

Hodson offered an example. “The other day the Kiwanians came by our office to pick up the food and toy barrel. I helped take the barrel out to the trailer that had five or six other barrels brimming with items for families in our community. They went on to explain the overwhelming support they have received and the numbers of families they will be able to provide a Christmas to. Those are the stories that show the virtues of our community,” said Hodson. “For me personally, I like to walk downtown in the evening and walk by Wait Park. We – the city, businesses and the neighborhoods really do a pretty good job making Canby festive for Christmas.

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