Christmas schedule full in SH

The holiday season kicked off in Sweet Home Saturday evening, Dec. 1, with the lighting of the community Christmas Tree tree lighting at City Hall.

Based on the volume of free hot chocolate provided by the Coffee Hut, city communications specialist Lagea Mull estimated attendance of nearly 300.

The Cedar Shack gave away 124 pieces of a Yule log, she said.

During the ceremony, members of the Singing Christmas Tree and the Singing Christmas Tree Junior Choir performed Christmas carols. Santa Claus dropped in for the event thanks to Don Gonzalez, who portrayed the Christmas icon.

Mull said people who were passing by stopped by to find out what was going on and ended up parking and staying.

The lights turned on without a hitch with a new remote switch, Mull said.

Christmas activities continue this week and throughout the month.

Among them is a new People’s Tree, said Chamber of Commerce Manager Mackenzie Thomas.

The community is invited to put ornaments on it beginning Dec. 7 and running throughout the Christmas season, Thomas said. “This is the first time we’re ever doing that. It’s in honor of (Sweet Home’s selection for) the 2018 Capitol Christmas tree. Whenever people have something they can put it on there.”

The chamber also is reviving the old Christmas light decorating contest.

Those who wish to participate should send an email with their names, addresses, phone numbers and emails to [email protected].

Judges will visit each participant on Dec. 14, taking photos and information to be posted on the chamber’s Facebook page, Thomas said. The community will vote for the best entries between Dec. 16 and Dec. 20.

“We’re going to put out a map to encourage people to go light looking that day,” Thomas said.

Following are other holiday activities scheduled in Sweet Home and surrounding areas:

– Sweet Home Friends of the Library Christmas Boutique – Thursday through Saturday, Dec. 5-7: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. all three days at 1200 Long St., on the corner of 12th Avenue.

For information, call (541) 367-5007.

– Linn-Benton Community College’s Fall Choral Concert “Wondrous Star” – Thursday, Dec. 5: 7:30 p.m. at the Russell Tripp Performance Center, 6500 Pacific Blvd. SW, Albany.

The concert features LBCC’s award-winning Concert and Chamber Choirs, and fan-favorite LBCC a cappella groups The Sirens and Blue Light Special.

“Wondrous Star” explores with stars and sky at its center, with choral music pieces by Craig Hella Johnson and Dominick DiOrio.

Tickets are $10 general admission, $7 for seniors, and free for college students and children under 18. Purchase in advance at or at the theater box office one hour prior to performance.

For more information, contact the LBCC Theater Box Office at (541) 917-4531.

– Christmas Storybook Lane – assorted dates Dec. 6-20: Relive childhood memories or create them in a magical indoor forest featuring a collection of scenes from fairy tales, nursery rhymes, and family movies. At the end of the trail, Santa Claus is waiting to visit.

The free event is open from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 8, 9-12 and 16-19, 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 7-8 and 14-15, and 2 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13 and 20.

The event is indoors, but is not heated, so be sure to dress warmly. The venue is paved for easy access and strollers are allowed. Santa and Mrs. Claus hand out candy canes to the children at the end. For those whose parents would prefer another gift, pencils are available as an alternative option.

There is no professional photographer on site, so be sure to bring a camera.

For more information, visit

– “A Christmas Carol” at Albany Civic Theater – assorted dates Dec. 6-21: The live theater, located at at 111 First Ave., presents Charles Dickens’ classic tale, adapted for stage, at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 6, 7,13, 14 and 19-21, and two matinee performances at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 8 and 15.

General admission tickets are $17. Discounts are available for Thursday performances, for patrons under 18 and 60 or over, U.S. military veterans and holders of Oregon Trail Cards.

Box office opens 45 minutes before performances. For online ticket sales and information, visit

– Sweet Home Singing Christmas Tree – Friday through Sunday, Dec. 6-8: The Singing Christmas Tree choir will perform a program of holiday favorites on a 25-foot lighted tree with real boughs at Sweet Home High School Auditorium, 1641 Long St.

This year’s program is themed “Tinsel, Snow and Tradition.” The choir is directed by John Kluttz.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6, and Saturday, Dec. 7, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8.

The high school auditorium has been equipped with a new sound and lighting system, and other improvements.

Admission is free, though donations are accepted. All profits go back into the production and to the community. Santa will visit at intermission, and there will be raffles, including a handmade quilt, a fully decorated Christmas Tree and other items made or donated by tree members and the community.

– Third Annual Gingerbread Competition and Auction – Friday through Sunday, Dec. 6-8: Create a gingerbread house and submit it for display and judging between 4 and 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, and 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Sweet Home High School Activities Gym, 1641 Long St.

Winners will be on display from 2 to 8 p.m., along with a Cookie Corner for young attendees.

On Sunday, Dec. 8, the gingerbread houses will be auctioned off at the Sweet Home Chamber of Commerce, 1575 Main St. Proceeds will be used to fund prizes for future competitions and for the creation of the world’s largest gingerbread sculpture, which is in the works.

The gingerbread events are sponsored by New Life in Christ Fellowship, formerly the Sweet Home Mennonite Church.

– Brownsville Festival of Trees, Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6-7: Decorated Christmas trees are on display in businesses throughout historic downtown Brownsville from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

The event, sponsored by the Brownsville Women’s Study Club, is free. Trees are auctioned off to benefit the library, Moyer House Christmas decorations and other projects.

For more information, call the Brownsville Community Library at (541) 466-5454.

– Wassail Walk and More in Lebanon – Friday, Dec. 6: Lebanon’s final First Friday Downtown of the year will feature a Wassail Walk and homemade chili and pie contests and more from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in the historic downtown area.

Enter the homemade chili and pie contests for $5, or stop in to sample and vote for your favorite. For more information, visit

For more information, contact Yvette Meyer at (541) 259-4545.

– East Linn Christian Academy’s Christmas in the Grove – Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6-7: The school will hold its bazaar and flea market holiday event from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days on the campus at 36883 Victory Drive, Lebanon.

A sale preview will be held Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. Admission is $5, which includes five raffle tickets.

The Saturday sale is free. It runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Vendor booth spaces are available for $50 for an 8- by 10-foot space, with or without access to power.

Download a registration form at For more information, call (541) 259-2304 (ext. 1), or email [email protected].

– Birthday Party for Jesus – Saturday, Dec. 7: This free event will be held from 1 to 4:30 p.m., in conjunction with the gingerbread events, at Sweet Home High School Activity Gym, 1641 Long St. For children, ages 4 through sixth grade, the afternoon will include a dramatic presentation of “the true story of Christmas,” crafts, games, snacks, prizes and a photo booth.

It will also include a performance by Jessie Leigh, courtesy of the Oregon Jamboree. The event is sponsored by Sweet Home Evangelical Church.

For more information or to register, contact Anita Hutchins at (541) 409-0162.

– Lighted Christmas Parade – Saturday, Dec. 7: The parade begins at 4:30 p.m. at 22nd Avenue and runs to the East Linn Museum.

– Trees for Scholarships Auction – Saturday, Dec. 7: The Sweet Home Alumni Foundation will host its 15th annual Decorated Tree Auction from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in the Sweet Home High School cafe-teria, 1641 Long St.

This year’s theme is “An Oregon Trail Christmas.” More than a dozen decorated trees, sponsored and designed by businesses and individuals, will be available for bid. A silent auction features holiday gifts, baked goods, handcrafted items, theme baskets and gift certificates. The event includes a performance by Jessie Leigh, courtesy of the Oregon Jamboree.

Cost to attend is $25 per person and includes a holiday dinner buffet and dessert. Proceeds from the tree auction support college scholarships for SHHS graduation seniors. The decorated trees will be on display from noon to 2 p.m. Dec. 7.

For more information or to donate to the silent auction, contact Lauri at (541) 401-3148 or by email at [email protected]. To RSVP or reserve a table, contact Shari at (541) 409-4019.

– Jingle Bell 5K and Walk for Special Olympics – Saturday, Dec. 7: The Lebanon Downtown Association and Linn County Special Olympics team up for the second annual Jingle Bell 5K run and one mile walk from 8 a.m. to noon, starting at the Holiday House next to Ralston Park, 971 S. Park St. Registration starts at 8 a.m., event starts at 10 a.m.

Run proceeds benefit Lebanon’s 2020 vision of revitalizing downtown, and walk proceeds will be donated to Linn County Special Olympics of Oregon, which enriches the lives of children and adults with intellectual disabilities through year-round training and athletic competitions.

– Sweet Home Genealogical Society Bazaar, Bake Sale and Grannie’s Attic – Friday and Saturday, Dec. 7-8: Held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days at at 1223 Kalmia St., the event features a variety of arts and crafts, as well as second-hand items from Grannie’s Attic, baked goodies, and books for sale.

Opportunities remain for vendors.

To reserve a vendor table for $10 to $20, pick up an application at the Genealogical Society.

For information, contact Teresa at (541) 401-1361.

– East Linn Museum Christmas Celebration – Friday and Saturday, Dec. 13-14: The museum will host its holiday open house from 1 to 7 p.m. both days. The museum will be decorated and there will be free hot chocolate and cider. The event includes a gift shop and kids coloring table, a bake sale (attendees are asked to bring a gift of a canned food item for SHEM), and carriage rides through the downtown from 5 to 7 p.m.

The event is free, but donations to the museum are welcome. from 5 to 7 p.m.

– LAFTA Christmas Performance – Friday through Sunday, Dec. 13-15: Lebanon Association for Theatre Arts will hold its annual Christmas Performance from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and a 2 p.m. matinee performance on Saturday, at Lebanon High School’s Little Theater, 1700 S. 5th St.

The show will include a wide variety of Christmas favorites performed by local artists, inexpensive Christmas treats at intermission, followed by a singalong of favorite carols.

Admission is $5 per person. LAFTA will also accept donations for a new speaker system for the high school auditorium.

For more information, contact Terri at (541) 990-1413.

– Kids Free Christmas Store – Saturday, Dec. 14: The fifth Annual Kids Free Christmas Store will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Evangelical Church Activity Center, 1347 Long St.

The event gives Sweet Home children 12 years and under a chance to shop for the families they live with. It is organized through the nonprofit Presidents Club, so donations are tax-deductible. Gift donations and volunteers are welcome.

Volunteers are needed for the sign-in table, as personal shoppers, baggers and wrappers. A concession stand and free hot chocolate and cookies are available. A craft area will be available for children while they wait.

A drawing will be held at approximately 3:45 p.m. for different items donated by the community.

To get involved, contact Nancy Patton at (541) 409-4276 or at [email protected].

– “The Nutcracker” – Dec. 12-14: Legacy Ballet and the Russell Tripp Performance Center present their annual holiday event of the holiday classic ballet at 7 p.m. Dec. 12-14 and at 2 p.m. on Dec. 14 in the Russell Tripp Performance Center, 6500 Pacific Blvd. SW, Albany.

This is the eighth annual collaboration between Legacy Ballet and the Tripp theater. The ballet, directed by Heather Hill of Legacy Ballet, features local dancers of different ages, from young dancing mice to professionals in the lead roles.

“The Nutcracker” ballet is a classic staple of the holiday season. Tickets are $15 for reserved. Purchase online at or at the theater box office one hour prior to performance.

For more information, contact the LBCC theater box office at (541) 917-4531.

– Willamette Valley Concert Band Christmas Concert – Saturday, Dec. 21: The band will perform its annual Christmas concert at 2 p.m. at the Russell Tripp Performance Center at Linn-Benton Community College, 6500 Pacific Blvd., Albany.

The program includes traditional carols, rousing versions of familiar tunes and medleys of favorite songs, as well as the traditional sing-a-long.

The concert is free but donations are welcome.

For more information on the concert, call (541) 259-5076.

– Lebanon Community Chorus Winter Classical Concert – Dec. 15: The community chorus will perform at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16, at Lebanon High School Auditorium, 1700 S 5th St.

Director Kevin Wong will lead the choir in a program that will blend classical compositions with international flavors and seasonal favorites. John Rutter’s “Magnificat” will be the featured work, followed by the unique “International Carol Suites,” music that weaves together familiar and lesser-known carols in a thrilling and multicultural celebration of the season.

For further information contact Carol Sedlacek at (541) 401-4606, or Jim Rutledge at (806) 341-2328.

Admission is $10; seniors over 55 are $6 and there is no charge for attendees under 18. Tickets are available at the Lebanon Chamber of Commerce, Lebanon Bi-Mart, from current singers and at the door.

– The Christmas Carol in Prose – Thursday, Dec. 19: 6:30 p.m. at the Sweet Home Public Library, 1101 13th Ave.

Get into the spirit(s) of the season in a dramatic recitation of Charles Dicken’s classic Christmas tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and the four ghosts who set him straight on his life course. Reader Rickie Birran has performed the story 124 times, bringing 25 distinct characters to life through vocal characterization, with assistance from bronze busts of the four ghosts created by world-renowned artist Dan Chen.