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City seeks date to light up downtown
Christmas lights 2020.jpg
Pictured is last year’s dazzling Christmas light display in downtown McMinnville.

McMinnville’s spectacular Christmas light display needs a “Flip the Switch” ceremony date. Saturday, Nov. 27 is under consideration. 

“For the last couple years, we’ve been turning the lights on during Christmas in the Park, the Junior Auxiliary of McMinnville event,” said Katie Kemezis, community planner for the city of McMinnville. “This year Christmas in the Park is Dec. 7. That’s a week into December and a bit too late to turn on the lights.”

Christmas in the Park is often held prior to McMinnville’s Christmas Parade which is the first Saturday in December. Because the lights need to be on prior to Santa traveling Main Street, an alternative date is being sought.

Kemezis relayed the dilemma before members of Main Street McMinnville’s Board of Directors and asked for their input. 

“What about Small Business Saturday?” asked Raven Young, MSM board president. 

Small Business Saturday is the final Saturday in November. It is an annual event that was created to encourage consumers to shop locally in person and at small hometown businesses. 

“That’s a possibility,” said Kemezis. 

The lighting ceremony honors the hard work and dedication of city landscape manager Hank Patton and his two-man crew. The trio begin working on the display in October. The 2021 display will have an estimated 90,000 lights to transform downtown into a Winter Wonderland.