Spirit of Christmas tree lighting kicks off holidays

November 19, 2018

Join your friends and neighbors to celebrate the start of the holiday season in historic downtown Gresham, where a variety of fun, family-friendly festivities all lead up to the grand finale — the lighting of the City’s 60-foot Ponderosa pine at the 27th annual Spirit of Christmas event on Saturday, Nov. 24. 

The free festivities include arts and crafts in historic downtown Gresham for Small Business Saturday from 9:00 am to 9:30 pm, with live music, photos with Santa and free treats at the Arts Plaza starting at 5 p.m. The tree is lit promptly at 6:00 pm.

“Every year Gresham’s neighbors, families and residents of all ages and walks of life come together to be part of something bigger than ourselves, to kick off the holiday season safely, freely and joyfully,” said Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis. “Join us for the Spirit of Christmas and enjoy the beautiful tree, sparkling lights, music and Santa.”

At the Arts Plaza, located at 401 NE Second St., Santa will greet the crowd, listen to the children’s wish lists, pose for photos and assist Mayor Bemis in leading the countdown to the tree lighting. 

  • Live music performances from local groups and schools will add a festive spirit to the event.
  • Free cocoa, hot cider and various other treats will be served thanks to our generous sponsors.
  • At the event, the City will collect canned goods to support Fill-a-Bag food drive. Just five cents buys one pound of food, so bring that spare change as well


This annual event is made possible by local businesses. Special thanks to our Santa sponsors:

  • Gresham Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Gresham Station Shopping Center
  • MetroEast Community Media
  • Riverview Community Bank
  • Gresham Ford
  • Office Depot/Office Max
  • The Outlook/Pamplin Media Group
  • Weston Buick Kia GMC

Thanks also to our Reindeer sponsors: Boy Scout Troup 544; Clackamas County Bank; First Student; Gresham-Barlow Youth Baseball/Softball; NextHome Realty Connection; Nicholas Restaurant; Pathway Church; Pediatric Therapy Services; Rise City Church; Schmizza Public House; ServPro of Gresham; and US World Class Taekwondo.

A variety of family-friendly downtown activities will be held before and after the tree lighting, including:

  • pancake breakfast with holiday characters
  • photos with Santa
  • holiday bazaar
  • holiday crafts, ornament making
  • phone calls to the North Pole
  • Cocoa Crawl
  • live jazz music and more

Read more about the Spirit of Christmas and print a downtown activity map.
For a list of local Shop Small Saturday businesses, visit the Gresham Area Chamber of Commerce