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Christmas in the Park is a hit
Park snow.jpg
"Snow" flew on Main Street during Christmas in the Park Tuesday night courtesy of Huff & Puff Trucking, Inc. and their Polar Express and snow machine. - photo by Seth Wright

The 37th annual Christmas in park was a success this year according to organizer Cristy Simpson with Junior Auxiliary.

Simpson said that attendance was up this year and said they don’t count the visitors, but they make bags to give out to the visitors. “We made about 300 of those,” said Simpson, “and we ran out in the first hour.” There were a few changes this year to the Downtown event including the newly implemented ice rink and the replacement of a moving Polar Express in favor of a stationary, but significantly larger engine. 

Simpson said, “In the past, we had the Polar Express that kids could ride, but this year we had a life size train that didn’t move.” The locomotive was parked by the Magness Library and blew smoke and snow, creating a winter wonderland on Main Street. Huff and Puff Trucking Inc. provided the train with a conductor to sound the whistle, and they allowed people to hop on board.

Simpson said, “The ice rink was up this year. The city of McMinnville Parks and Rec and the Tourism Development Board made to where people could skate for free.” These were just a few changes to the event and Simpson added, “We try to change it up each year to get more people involved.”

Not only was visitor attendance up, but business and organization participation was also up. Simpson said, “We always ask all the business from the library to Pioneer Pediatrics and in all the side streets since it’s in front of their businesses.”

Community organizations also get involved as she said a Boy Scout troop asked to participate this year. Many dance teams performed and Girl Scout Troop 2910 led the Pledge of Allegiance. She added, “We try to ask as many school groups to perform, and the high school choir is pretty consistent.” 

Junior Auxiliary members commit to five years in the club after one year as a provisional member. Simpson is on her third year with the organization including her provisional year, meaning she still has three years left. She was very happy with the turnout and added, “Thank goodness the weather held out, because it was not supposed to.”