Smiling faces filled with holiday cheer were plentiful at downtown Oakdale’s fourth annual Old-Fashioned Christmas on Dec. 2. Downtown merchants, decked out in their best Christmas décor, stayed open late and offered specials to holiday shoppers who flocked to Third Avenue to check out the open houses and start – or wrap up - their Christmas gift buying.
Vendor booths lined both sides of the street filled with unique gift offerings from wind chimes, clothing, jewelry, purses, framed art, spices, olive oil, home and yard décor, to furniture, as well as gifts for the hard to shop for people on the list. Food and live music also helped to round out the total shopping experience. Child-friendly crafts and fun activities including bounce houses and a petting zoo kept the kids occupied. In addition, horse-drawn wagon rides were offered to give people a tour around downtown. Financial proceeds and canned food items collected from the wagon rides went to help local charities meet their holiday season needs.
“It was very well attended by families and there was a lot going on with the city’s tree-lighting and everything else that night,” said Mary Guardiola, Oakdale Chamber of Commerce Executive Director.
She added that in talking to the event organizer, Lori Vierra of Lori’s Creative Framing, the 2011 edition was the smoothest-running year it has ever been.