McMinnville officials have approved a street closure in historic downtown McMinnville for Dec. 3 from 5:30 to 9 p.m.
Taking place between those hours will be Junior Auxiliary of McMinnville’s 34th annual Christmas in the Park from 6 to 8 p.m. JA member Amanda Collier petitioned in writing for the closure of West Court Square, Depot Street, North Spring Street, and East Main Street beginning at the intersection beside Magness Library and ending where Main Street connects to Sparta Street.
“In order to visibly mark the required street closures, we request that barricades be placed at all points of entrance to the streets listed above,” said Collier. “For safety purposes, we ask that streets are closed from 5:30 until 9 p.m. to allow vendors and downtown business owners more time to prepare for the event.”
McMinnville’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen considered the request during its regular session.
With past street closures creating discontent with some downtown business owners who complain that it negatively affects business, Alderman Everett Brock asked if they should expect more of the same.
“Are we going to get into trouble with this? We’ve had so much griping about shutting it down.”
Alderman Ryle Chastain replied, “This is one of those that’s OK.”
The statement brought laughter.
“I’ll refer everybody to you then,” said Brock to Chastain.
Christmas in the Park is a kickoff event for the holiday season. It offers families and children such activities as a live nativity, calls to the North Pole, visits with Santa, ornament decorating, storytelling at Magness Library, cider, hot cocoa and snacks, and rides on The Polar Express.
“This is a really good program,” said Mayor Ben Newman. “There are tons of kids that come down. We had a really great celebration last year. I think Main Street helped out with that. People loved coming downtown and seeing the lights. We get tons of compliments on those lights every year. It is a great thing.”
McMinnville’s City Christmas Parade follows on Dec. 7 at 2:30 p.m.
Board members unanimously approved the street closure request as submitted.
Also requested was a stage on The Lot to showcase entertainment during the event and that extra trashcans be provided.