Spirit of Christmas

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  • Saturday, Nov. 26

    • 4:45 - 5:00 pm: Santa's Parade through Historic Downtown Gresham
    • 5:00 - 6:30 pm: Festivities and tree lighting at the Arts Plaza

    Arts Plaza directions

    The 25th annual Spirit of Christmas tree lighting – one of the community’s most popular events – will ring in Gresham’s holiday season with a free, family-friendly program that includes a parade, live music, hot cocoa, photos with Santa and the lighting of the 60-foot Ponderosa pine on the Arts Plaza. 

    Thank you event sponsors

    With support from your local event sponsors, the City is able to continue this beloved community event.

    Become an event sponsor.

    • Schedule of Events
    • Downtown Fun and Activities
    • Santa's Parade
    Schedule of Events
    10:00 am-4:00 pm

    Photos with Santa at the Gresham History Museum

    2:00 pm-4:00 pm

    Historic Downtown business activities and treats for youth, open houses

    4:45 pm

    Santa’s Parade to the Arts Plaza

    5:00-6:30 pm

    Music, free refreshments and activities on the Arts Plaza 

    6:00 pm

    The tree is lit promptly at 6:00 pm

    At the Arts Plaza, 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 include Centennial High School Choir C Notes, Gresham Arthur Academy, SALT PAC, and Salvation Army Youth Corps Band. Free hot dogs, cookies, popcorn and more will be served, thanks to our generous Spirit of Christmas sponsors

    At the event, the City will collect canned goods to support Fill-a-Bag food drive. Last year, the residents of East County donated more than 555,000 pounds of food for the needy. Just 5 cents buys 1 pound of food, so bring that spare change, too.

    Downtown Fun and Activities

    The Spirit of Christmas is held on Small Business Saturday. The Historic Downtown Gresham Business Association is hosting a variety of family-friendly activities and business open houses before and after the tree lighting.

    From 2:00-4:00 pm
    • A Cajun Life: Blooms of Christmas festive flower arrangements
    • Anderson Martial Arts: Board breaking, face painting
    • Bella Cupcake: Decorate your own mini cupcake
    • Blondies Pizza: Pizza dough activity
    • Café Delirium: Phone calls to the North Pole
    • Feather Your Nest: Ornament making
    • Frenzi: Decorate tree ornaments
    • Gresham Library: Craft activity
    • iCandy: Gingerbread cookie decorating
    • KMO: Children's craft
    • SALT Academy: Dance class every 15 minutes
    • St. Henry's Church: Advent paper chain making
    • USWC Taekwondo: Kid's wonderland with crafts, bounce house, obstacle course and more. 

      Read the full schedule of events.

      Santa's Parade

      Santa will join us from the North Pole to lead a parade to the Arts Plaza, along with some of his reindeer friends and Bumble, the (friendly) Abominable Snow Monster. 

      The parade, accompanied by the Gresham Fire and Police departments, begins at 4:45 pm at the Gresham History Museum, 410 N Main. The community is welcome to watch or join in the walk! 

      Parade route

      The walk starts on Main Avenue in front of the Gresham History Museum and turns left onto Third Street, continuing for two blocks to the Arts Plaza for the tree lighting event.

    • More information

      Read the  Spirit of Christmas news release.

      For more information about the Spirit of Christmas, contact Shannon Chisom at 503-750-3785.