Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea
HR JEWELERS’ Emma Spaulding adjusts ribbons on window setting of a colorful dancer standing on a heap of presents, designed and created by fellow employee Theresa Rider.
As of Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Oak Street will close at 5 p.m. Friday to make way for the annual Hood River Christmas parade, organized by the Chamber of Commerce.
The parade forms at 9th and Oak – first-come, first-served in terms of parade order – and starts at 6 p.m., proceeding east on Oak to Second, where it will round the corner and go a block south to State Street and Overlook Memorial Park.
The parade is open to anyone and is free; call the chamber at 541-386-2000 or go to hoodriver.org to sign up.
Participating businesses will be open for extended business hours for “holiday happy hour” before and after the parade.
Tree-lighting starts at 7 p.m. at Overlook Park, where Pacific Power and Hood River city workers installed the town’s holiday fir on Monday. Mayor Arthur Babitz, who leaves office Dec. 31, is scheduled to do his last tree-lighting honors.
There’ll be caroling, cookies and cocoa served, and Santa and Mrs. Claus will appear at G. Williker’s following the event.
“We’re encouraging people to shop early and shop local this season,” said Ashley Huckaby May , events coordinator for the chamber.
Any business in town may sign up for the holiday window decoration contest, by 5 p.m. Wednesday. Depending on the number of entries, judging will take place Wednesday and Thursday, and the winner announced Friday during tree-lighting. Prize for best decorated business is a holiday party catered by Columbia Gorge Hotel.
Meanwhile, businesses wanting to sponsor the downtown tree lights, along Oak and adjoining streets, may contact the chamber. Sponsorships are $100 (down from $250) and help defray the cost of lights, energy and installation.
As of this year, the chamber owns the lights adoring the curbside trees; Aspen Ridge Properties strung the new sets of energy-efficient LED lights, which May said are “a little brighter and more energy efficient” than ones used in the past.