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Tree lighting ceremony will join First Friday

City tradition — Events remain the same, including kids craft fair and Santa Claus arrival


The Tree Lighting Festival is celebrating its 29th year, but this is the first year the event has been tied to First Friday Art Walk.

Korie Buerkle, Newberg Public Library assistant director, said partnering with First Friday makes the Dec. 6 event a little different, but there are typically small changes every year.

“At 6:30 p.m. Santa Claus arrives on a fire truck, but he’s taking a tour through downtown Newberg as well,” Buerkle said.by: GARY ALLEN - A favorite with the kids - Kids will have ample opportunity to approach Santa with their Christmas wishes during the annual tree-lighting ceremony Dec. 6.

Otherwise, the events will be primarily the same, including the kids craft fair inside the library and lighting of the holiday tree.

“We start first with the kids craft fair (which) kids sign up to sell at, (they are) mostly kindergarten through 12th,” she said. “They bring in all of their crafts to sell (and learn to) make change; it’s a really great time for kids to learn about math, business and community.”

The fair begins at 5 p.m. with 25 to 30 children selling their crafts.

“We get simple crafts from kids and amazing and intricate things from middle school and high school students,” she said. “It’s a fun mix of things.”

At 6:30 p.m. Santa will arrive via Newberg Fire Department engine to flip the switch and turn on the holiday tree across the parking lot from the library.

“We get between 300 and 500 people who come out to see Santa Claus,” Buerkle said.

He then will stroll the library talking with children, although there will not be a photo line for pictures.

Although Santa draws a large crowd, Buerkle said she hopes visitors will stick around to browse the craft sale.

“Some people just come for (the tree lighting),” she said. “I hope they will stay and support young crafters, and most people do.”

Within the library itself, she said things are a little in limbo. With renovation of the children’s wing, there was an issue with shelving. So while the library waits for the right shelving to arrive, she said they are trying to figure out spacing.

But she said there will still be the festive spirit, and as a part of the Newberg Cultural District, it’s important for the library to participate in these events.

“It adds to the community feel here,” she said. “It’s really one of my favorite events. I love that it gives kids an opportunity to be creative. And it’s really important, too, when buying from kids to see they take so much pride in it.”

For more information about the tree lighting, visit bit.ly/1aEBomt.




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