Santa comes to The Dalles

The Dalles Main Street welcomes a special guest once again this holiday season and children are invited to meet and have their picture taken with him on one of two different Saturdays.

“Santa in the Downtown” takes place across from Petite Provence from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec. 9 and Dec. 16.

In addition to visiting with Santa, families will have the opportunity to buy pastries from The Dalles Kiwanis Key Club and make a candy-cane shaped ornament while supplies last.

The event is open to everyone and free to attend, though Main Street encourages participants to make a $5 donation for pictures with Santa.

“This is the third annual event of this nature,” said Jeremiah Paulsen, executive director of Main Street. “In the past, it has been a wonderful opportunity for families to gather in our downtown. Santa also expressed to me how much he enjoys visiting The Dalles this time of year, so I think it's wise to ensure that professional connection remains jolly.”

Main Street, a non-profit organization dedicated to revitalizing the city’s downtown and preserving its history, will also host a “SantaCon Pub Crawl” on Friday, Dec. 8.

“Participation is easy!” Main Street officials wrote on their promotional poster, “just get your friends together and dress up as Santa!”

The Santa-inspired pub crawl began in 1994 San Francisco as an absurdist prank but has since evolved into an annual event with over a hundred locations nationwide and even a few worldwide, ranging from Phuket to Beijing.

This is the first year The Dalles has hosted a SantaCon event, while it’s Hood River’s ninth anniversary.

To promote participation, many downtown businesses in The Dalles will remain open until SantaCon begins at 7 p.m.

“The idea was to organize a fun event that would bring people downtown and encourage participation from a group associated with Travel Oregon who will be utilizing Sunshine Mill Winery and Plaza as their location to discuss topics relating to agriculture,” Paulsen said.

Main Street won a statewide “Excellence in Downtown Revitalization-Best Retail Event” award for a “shop downtown promotion” to generate foot-traffic in tandem with The Dalles Civic Auditorium’s seventh annual BeerFest this past June.

“Downtowns are the heart of a community,” Paulsen said. “My hope is that residents and visitors alike will attend these events and see just how much our downtown has to offer in shopping, dining and entertainment.” For more information on “Santa In The Downtown” or the “Santacon Pub Crawl” as well as upcoming events, check out “The Dalles Main Street Program” on Facebook and visit thedallesmainstreet.org.

Paulsen encourages community members interested in volunteering to reach out.

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