If Prineville ever adopts an official Christmas season kickoff date, they might want to consider the Saturday that follows Thanksgiving.
That particular day in 2022, Nov. 26, will feature a slate of events that start in the morning and continue past sunset. Families with young children can visit Santa’s Workshop, then shortly after the sun sets, the Annual Lighted Christmas Parade will turn Third Street into a festive spectacle. Once it concludes, the action will shift to the Crook County Fairgrounds, where folks can tour Christmas in the Pines and check out the Grimes Christmas Scene.
Santa’s Workshop and Craft Bazaar will kick off Prineville’s Christmas-saturated day. The event, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Crook County Fairgrounds’ indoor arena, will provide children with the opportunity to make a variety of crafts to give as Christmas gifts to loved ones. Kids can also get their picture taken with Santa and take a train ride. Meanwhile, adults can shop at a host of local vendors stationed throughout the event.
The cost to attend the event is $5 per child.
Lighted Christmas Parade
The Lighted Christmas Parade is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. It will follow Third Street from Northwest Harwood Street to Northeast Fairview Street, and it will end at approximately 6 p.m.
Organized by the Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce, the parade lineup is first come first serve and will begin at 4 p.m., and entrants must be checked in prior to 4:45 p.m. if they wish to be in the parade. Check-in will be at Northwest Deer and Fourth Street.
Judging will take place before the parade during lineup, with judges will be looking for decorations reflecting the theme of Christmas. Chamber officials stress that absolutely no Santa characters are allowed with the exception of the official Chamber-appointed Santa that will ride a firetruck on the final parade float.
Christmas in the Pines
Christmas in the Pines, a drive-thru lights display will open for the season once the parade concludes. In its 10th anniversary, the display is free to visit, although donations to the local food bank are encouraged as are pet food or cash donations.
Volunteer Stanley Flynn says the display has grown each year, but he hesitates to say Christmas in the Pines is bigger.
“Better and brighter is a much better description,” he remarked.
The display will be open every Friday-Sunday from 5:30-9 p.m., Nov. 26 through Jan. 1. A live nativity will join the display on Saturdays. The display will be open all night on Christmas Eve, Christmas night and New Year’s Eve.
Flynn stressed that they are still looking for more volunteers, regardless of how soon it is until Christmas.
“Every year, we get a couple new volunteers, and we are always looking for one more,” he said.
Grimes Christmas Scene
Tucked into the northeast corner of the fairgrounds near Carey Foster Hall, the Grimes Christmas Scene is celebrating its own milestone this year. According to Beth Grimes, who provides the Christmas Scene each year, the tradition of collecting and displaying Christmas miniatures has reached its 85th year. The Christmas Scene is celebrating 12 years of “sharing the Magic of Miniatures” in their current location.
Admission is free with donations gratefully accepted, and the Grimes building is again hosting Santa and Mrs. Claus three days a week. After Thanksgiving and through Christmas Eve, the Scene will be open Fridays, 5-8 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 1-8 p.m.
“The warm and inviting setting encourages special visits with the jolly couple and supplies a wonderful setting for family pictures,” Grimes said.
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