The Scene

Oregon’s Candlelight Walk a magical way to welcome holiday season

Oregon's Candlelight Walk, held Nov. 26 included the lighting of the Christmas tree on the east lawn of the Ogle County Courthouse. This year's tree was lit by three Make-A-Wish recipients.

Oregon’s Candlelight Walk is a quintessential small-town holiday celebration, and families won’t want to miss the 37th annual event Saturday, Nov. 25, in downtown Oregon.

The family-focused lineup features a variety of activities for all ages. While the lighting of the tree on the courthouse lawn, which is at 6 p.m., is one of the highlights of the evening, there are plenty of things to do before and after. The event runs from 3 to 8 p.m.

Kids will love the winter carnival inside the United Methodist Church, where they can visit with Santa, play games, make crafts, write letters to Santa and more. Carnival hours are 3 to 8 p.m.

Asher James, 4, of Byron gives a thumbs up sign as he poses for a photo with Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus in Conover Square during Oregon's Candlelight Walk on Nov. 26.

While the kids mingle with Santa, adults won’t want to miss the Sip n’ Shop gift fair at The River’s Edge Experience, 103 S. First St., where they can peruse a variety of holiday craft vendors’ displays while sipping on an adult beverage. Vendors include Bearmoon Soap, Earthy Emporium, Darling Designs, Creations by Christy and many more.

Enjoy a ride around the downtown on a horse-drawn carriage ride that begins outside the Coliseum Museum of Art. Inside the museum, a variety of performers, including the Oregon High School Jazz Band and the Madrigals, as well as the Byron Dance Academy, will take the stage for holiday entertainment. Hot cocoa will be for sale for $1 just outside the Coliseum.

If you need to refuel during all the action, stop by Candy Cane Lane, located on Franklin Street, and visit one of the many food vendors. The Byron Dance Academy also will perform there at 4 p.m.

Byron Dance Academy members perform along Candy Cane Lane during Oregon's Candlelight Walk on Nov. 26.

Conover Square, where the Candlelight Walk began 37 years ago, will be bustling with local merchants and activities, including light-up necklaces from Cin’s Treasures, reindeer food kits with Hector’s Cocina, a face painter from 4 to 6 p.m. and added attractions.

The Nut Hut at the Sarah Phelps Community Center will sell fresh nuts from Jonamac Orchard, while kids can stuff their own “pet” at the Build-a-Buddy workshop with the Build-a-Pet Clubhouse, located at the Alpine parking lot.

Randee Mennenga, executive director of the Oregon Area Chamber of Commerce, said that this event is “definitely” something that people look forward to every year.

“This is something, that for the past 37 years, families really enjoy. It’s an opportunity to enjoy a free event in our community. It’s classic holiday fun,” she said. “This starts the season of a magical Christmas.”

A “Holly Trolley” will offer free rides between the various stops at event locations. The trolleys run about every 15 minutes.

Aimee Barrows

Aimee Barrows

Aimee Barrows is the editor of The Scene, Shaw Local News Network's entertainment section. The Scene is your go-to destination for all things fun in Northern Illinois. Prior to The Scene, Aimee was the editor of the Kane County Chronicle for five years, and a freelance reporter for Shaw Media for four years.