All that’s missing is the roasting chestnuts over an open fire but even so, the third annual Old Fashioned Christmas on Third Avenue, scheduled for Friday, Dec. 10 is bringing the holiday cheer with Christmas carolers, twinkling lights, hot cocoa and cider, more than 40 vendors, wagon rides through downtown and even pictures with Santa.
The street will shut down starting at 3:30 p.m. and the event will officially start at 4 p.m.
This free event has grown from humble roots with only one brave vendor to a full-fledged community event through the single-minded dedication of a few people, most notably Lori Vierra of Lori’s Custom Framing and she’s tickled to see how the event has grown in such a short time.
“There’s going to be a little bit of everything this year and it’s wonderful,” Vierra said. “There’s been a ton of interest. Everyone’s been so helpful and wanting to be a part of the event.”
A popular staple of the event — a wagon ride pulled by the awesome strength of the Stueve draft horses — will be doubled with two wagons instead of one since last year there were so many people who wanted to ride through Oakdale’s streets by horse-drawn wagon.
And, just like last year, a ride on the wagon will only set you back $1 per person or a canned good. After the event, Community Sharing and the Children’s Guardian House will split the bounty.
“There’s going to be music with carolers and a DJ, a petting zoo and a hand-washing station, too, not to mention all the food booths,” Vierra said. “And lots of vendors with craft items, perfect for Christmas gifts.”
The Beacon church group will be singing Christmas carols while people wait in line for the wagon rides while at the other end of the street there will be a DJ playing as well as Greg Rivera playing some acoustic melodies with some of his Bluegrass buddies.
“It’s so wonderful,” Vierra said of how well this year’s event came together. “All the businesses are going to be open and participating. I love to see this.”
Third Avenue, in the heart of downtown, is going to come alive, promised Vierra.
Although Vierra said the event would go off rain or shine, she’s already checked the forecast and it’s supposed to be cold but clear — perfect weather to complement a hot cup of coffee or cocoa.