Old Mill District Gearing Up for Holidays with Multiple Festivities Slated

(Photo / Courtesy of Old Mill District)

The Search for Celebrity Santa Volunteers is Underway

The holidays hit full swing in the Old Mill District on Thanksgiving Day, when racers hit the pathways to work off the day’s planned calories at the I Like Pie Run. Festivities continue the next day when Santa hitches a helicopter ride to the Les Schwab Amphitheater, touching down on Friday, November 29 around 10am. He’ll make his way to SantaLand, located this year in the space between REI and Grafletics, to kick off a whole series of holiday happenings all the way through December.

I Like Pie Run

Don’t miss a marvelous Turkey Day tradition, Bend’s famous I Like Pie fun run on Thanksgiving morning, November 28 at 9am. Choose from an untimed 5k community run/walk and a shorter untimed family-fun run/walk, both of which start and finish in the Old Mill District’s Center Plaza. Better yet, you’ll earn some post-race pie and all proceeds from the run go to NeighborImpact and Girls on the Run. Participants are encouraged to bring 5 pounds of non-perishable food per person to donate. Register here: footzonebend.com/happenings/i-like-pie

SantaLand: “Celebrity Santa” is Back

In the magical place called “SantaLand,” children can capture Santa’s ear with their hearts’ desires while our photographer captures the moment on film. Local celebrities — such as county and state officials and personalities — will take turns as the big guy in red, so parents are invited to secretly guess who Santa’s helper is under the outfit. Santa will be in SantaLand from 11am-5pm on the following dates:

Friday-Sunday, November 29-December 1
Friday- Sunday, December 6-8
Friday-Sunday, December 13-15
Daily, December 19-23

Black Friday Bonanza

The Old Mill District is pulling out all the stops for the biggest shopping day of the season with huge discounts up to 60 percent off, plus amazing one-of-a-kind deals. Get the most out of Black Friday and small business Saturday with great specials from independent, regional and national stores, all in a beautiful environment that keeps stress low. Complete list here: oldmilldistrict.com/blog/shopping/black-friday-specials-events

Tree of Joy: Spreading the Magic of Christmas

A partnership between the Salvation Army, the four Rotary Clubs of Bend and the Old Mill District, the Tree of Joy — located in SantaLand in the Old Mill District — was created to ensure that every child in Central Oregon experiences the joy of Christmas. This year’s tree inside SantaLand will be open from Friday-Sunday between November 29 – December 15, between 11am – 5pm for name selection and gift drop-off. Gifts must be unwrapped or in gift bags and must arrive before 5pm on December 15. The Hampton Inn & Suites in the Old Mill District will also take gifts through December 16.

Carolers: Music of the Season

Enjoy roving musical performances throughout December by local groups such as the Youth Choir of Central Oregon, Mountain View High School Adante Jazz Choir, High Desert Middle School Jazz Choir, Summit High School Choir, Sisters High School Jazz Choir, Bend Senior High School Choir, Trinity Lutheran High School Chamber Choir, High Desert Men’s Barbershop and the Victorian Carolers. Check the Old Mill District website for a full schedule of performances.

Chanukah Celebration

Each year, on the first day of Chanukah, the Old Mill District hosts a community menorah lighting. Everyone is invited to Center Plaza on Sunday, December 22 at 4:30pm, where the ceremony will be presented by the Chabad of Central Oregon. Festivities include a chocolate coin drop, hot drinks, potato latkes and Chanukah music. Everyone is welcome.

Tumalo Creek Holiday Lights Paddle Parade

Get some lights and holiday decorations on that kayak and join your community Friday, December 13 for the Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe Annual Holiday Lights Paddle Parade. Paddlers should meet at the Tumalo Creek shop to finish up their decorating endeavors at 3pm and the crowd will depart from the dock at 4pm to paddle upstream to the Old Mill District Flag Bridge. On the way back down, the crew will assemble in formation and give some photo opportunities for the decorated boats. Spectators should plan on seeing the decorated boats from approximately 4:15-6 pm.

SantaLand Volunteers Needed

To facilitate its slate of events, the Old Mill District is currently seeking SantaLand volunteers. Here is the request letter sent out by the Old Mill District:

Dear Santa,

Snow is falling in the mountains and visions of sugar plums are beginning to swirl. The naughty and nice lists are piling up and the elves seem a bit restless. And those darn reindeer are just itching for an adventure. Yep, it’s almost Christmas time!

Whether you’re a veteran Celebrity Santa or looking to make your first appearance as good old St. Nick, we at the Old Mill District are looking to cover 42 two-hour Santa shifts for our 2019 SantaLand festivities.

What does this mean to you?

1)  It begins with being brave enough to accept the challenge.

2)  Sign up for one or more shifts.

Located in the space across from Simply Mac and next to Grafletics and REI in the Old Mill District, SantaLand operates from 11am to 5pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 29-December 15 and each day December 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23.

Shifts run from 11am to 1pm, 1 to 3pm and 3 to 5pm. Santa garb is provided.

Once you choose to accept this merry-making mission, you’ll be given materials designed to help educate and inspire you as you prepare to turn yourself in to the world’s most famous jolly gentleman.

Our Celebrity Santa program is now in its 13th year and has been a resounding success. This is your chance for fame, immortality and the opportunity to brighten the holiday experience for children in Central Oregon.

Need more information? Please don’t hesitate to phone at the below number. A special gift will be waiting for you after your shift with our huge appreciation.

Feeling Jolly? Please access the doodle poll here to confirm your participation and arrange your Santa Shift(s). Please include the best phone number and email to reach you.


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