The Lincoln City Cultural Center will be overflowing with hometown holiday sparkle this weekend as it hosts its annual Tree Lighting Party and Christmas Market.
Running from Friday, Nov. 24, through Sunday, Nov. 26, the event checks all the holiday boxes, with carols, cookies, cocoa, an artisan fair, three visits from Santa Claus and the lighting of the enormous community Christmas tree.
The fun will begin on Friday, Nov. 24, when guests will find the center’s halls deliciously decked with garlands, ornaments and lights, a tree on stage and another on the west lawn.
Starting at noon, Black Friday shoppers can listen to the Bell Tree carols while they browse the Christmas Market, the Chessman Gallery and the gift shop. Krista Eddy’s famous make-and-take ornament workshop will be open, offering kids of all ages the chance to make adorable yarn-wrapped stars and trees from 2 to 5 pm. Donations are happily accepted but participation is free, while supplies last.
At 5 pm, volunteers and staff will begin to serve cookies, hot chocolate and coffee, generously provided by Kenny’s IGA and the Morgan Family. The Sweet Adelines will perform and lead a group carol sing, followed by the countdown and the flip of the switch to illuminate the community Christmas tree and the rest of the center’s new outdoor light display.
At around 5:30 pm on Friday, a fire truck from North Lincoln Fire & Rescue will deliver Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus to the center’s south entrance. They’ll make their way to the auditorium, where Santa will hear wishes, pose for photos, collect food donations and give away candy canes on the decorated stage. The last event of the evening will be the Cake Walk, with cupcakes, cakes and other treats donated by local bakeries and restaurants. Your first ticket is free; all other chances are just $1.
In years past, this event has featured a display of live reindeer, outside on the west lawn. This year cultural center director Niki Price said guests should be prepared for something new.
“While we were all happy to see a live reindeer, some of us were a little disappointed that we weren’t able to ride them — or even touch them!” she said. “This year, with help from a grant from the Lincoln City VCB, we are procuring a pair of reindeer that kids (and adults) can hug and pose with. They’re plush and five feet tall, and they can hold up to 150 pounds, so kids can sit on them (with help from an adult). Come check them out.”
Activities will continue on Saturday, Nov. 25, from 10 am to 4 pm. The Christmas Market will feature more than 24 vendors, selling handmade goodies and artisan gifts, including jewelry, woodworking, food and textiles. Local youth groups and service clubs will be selling fundraising items, like nuts and cookies. The Chessman Gallery and gift shop will also be open, offering a selection of artwork and one-of-a-kind gifts made on the Oregon Coast. Santa Claus and his reindeer will arrive at 2 pm, hearing wishes and taking donations for the Lincoln City Food Pantry.
On Sunday, Nov. 25, a new set of vendors will take over the Christmas Market space. The Lincoln City Farmers & Crafters Market will be open for business, selling late-season produce and a variety of seasonal goods. Hours on Sunday will be 10 am to 3 pm. Bring your donations for the Lincoln City Food Pantry, and visit Santa Claus starting at 11 am.
The Lincoln City Cultural Center is located at 540 NE Hwy. 101. For more information, go to 541-994-9994.