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Christmas lights going up downtown
Lights going up
McMinnville landscape manager Hank Patton says this year’s Christmas light display will be bigger than ever. - photo by Lisa Hobbs

It’s time to deck the halls – and the streets. McMinnville’s Christmas light display is going up on Main Street. 

“I’ve got a few surprises in store for this year,” said McMinnville landscape manager Hank Patton, who oversees the yearly process to brighten the holidays for downtown visitors. “We always do something more than the year before.” 

Patton and his assistants placed approximately 85,000 lights last year which was an increase of 10,000 from 2017. Installation is lengthy and usually begins in October. 

“We do get a reaction from people when they see us,” said Patton. “They can’t believe we’re out here placing Christmas lights before Halloween. It takes us several weeks and everything has to be up before the downtown activities begin.”

Junior Auxiliary’s Christmas in the Park is Dec. 3 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. McMinnville’s Christmas Parade is Dec. 7. It begins at 2:30 p.m. and runs the length of Main Street. 

Last year, Main Street McMinnville hosted a Flip the Switch ceremony at the end of November to celebrate the hard work of city employees who transform downtown into a Winter Wonderland with thousands of Christmas lights.  

Patton expressed gratitude to city officials for their continued support.

“Bill Brock, when he was city administrator, supported my desire to add to the city’s annual display,” said Patton. “I thought we could do a little better than what we were doing. He was completely in support of it. I created a monster because each year the display gets bigger and bigger. I appreciate the support of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen and city administrator Nolan Ming. Without it, this wouldn’t be possible.”