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Many holiday events to keep Santa busy.

Byline: Andrea Damewood The Register-Guard

Santa Claus may be able to deliver presents to the children of the world in just one night, but he may find himself run ragged this weekend. The jolly one will be making an appearance in five area parades over the next four days.

As calendars flip to their last page on Friday, they bring annual area traditions that make December days merry and bright. Read on for a sampling of the many fun - and free - area holiday treats beginning this evening.

Tonight

Parade: Sir Claus starts his Lane County tour in Veneta, which kicks off this weekend's parade of parades with the Fern Ridge Light Parade at 7 p.m. The procession will start at the west end of Jack Kelley Drive.

Friday

Tree lighting: Eugene will get into the holiday mix with its annual tree lighting downtown.

Eugene City Councilor Andrea Oritz will flip the switch at 5:15 p.m., illuminating the massive live tree with holiday lights, on the northeast corner of Eighth Avenue and Oak Street.

After the lighting ceremony at 5:30 p.m., the First Friday ARTWalk will begin at DIVA, 110 W. Broadway St. Friday is World AIDS Day, and the walk will feature art that highlights HIV awareness.

Also after the lighting, visitors can get down at the third annual Downtown Holiday Party, organized by the Downtown Merchants Association. Participating stores will stay open late - until at least 8 p.m. - and many will offer sales, live music, art, trunk shows and refreshments.

Parade: The Junction City light parade will begin at 7 p.m. Santa and his merry crew - including Lane County commissioners and a covered-bridge float - will stroll through downtown, beginning on Front Street at the corner of 10th Avenue.

Concert: Northwest Christian College will host its annual Christmas concert, "Candlelight Carols." The concert, directed by Melissa Stock, will feature traditional and contemporary music by the NCC Community Choir, the NCC Dickens Carolers and Chamber Ensemble, and the college's top touring group, Virtue.

The free concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the First Christian Church, 1166 Oak St.

Saturday

Parade: Springfield's legendary Holiday Parade will roll at 2 p.m. at the corner of Mohawk and Centennial boulevards.

With Kris Kringle in tow, the parade - now in its 54th year - will head south along Mohawk to Main Street, then continue west to Pioneer Parkway, where the parade will end.

Those staking out a good spot at Fifth and Main streets will be able to take in the Oregon Tuba Association's free Christmas carol concert at 1 p.m.

Bridge lighting: In between his parades, he who laughs like a bowl full of jelly will jaunt to Westfir to light the Office Covered Bridge at 6 p.m., where he'll hand out special gifts to children. Stay cozy with the free hot chocolate, coffee and cider and stay plump with the free cookies.

Parade: The man in red will next head to Harrisburg by 7 p.m., when its light parade begins on Ninth Street in front of Harrisburg High School.

Sunday

Bridge lighting: Pile the family in the car for a trip out Highway 126 to catch the 20th annual Holiday Lighting of Goodpasture Bridge near Vida. Be there by 5 p.m. to catch the illumination.

Parade: Coburg will host the last of the town light parades.

Coburg Road will close at 7 p.m. as Santa puts in his final parade appearance of the weekend.
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Title Annotation:Holidays; Parades, bridge lightings and other festivities kick off the season this weekend
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Nov 30, 2006
Words:586
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