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Downtown Businesses Prepare To Usher In Holiday Spirit
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Wagon rides will once again roll through the downtown area of Oakdale, as merchants participate in the annual Old Fashioned Christmas event for the seventh year. This years event will be hosted on Saturday, Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Leader File Photo

The magic of the holiday season has slowly but surely been taking over shops and store front windows in Oakdale’s downtown area.

This Saturday, Dec. 3, shop owners and organizers intend to spread that cheer to the community with two back-to-back events aimed at highlighting the Holiday Season.

The day will begin with the Seventh Annual Old Fashioned Christmas beginning at 10 a.m., expected to conclude oat or around 4 p.m.

“It’s the first time we’ve had it in the day,” event organizer Lori Vierra said. “There will be a lot going on. Last year we had close to three thousand people. It’s supposed to be 61 degrees. It should be a beautiful day for families to get out and enjoy the Christmas spirit.”

According to Vierra, downtown shops and local restaurants will be open, as well as sidewalk vendors offering unique gift ideas. Other activities include a DJ, photo booth, petting zoo and the ever popular wagon rides, compliments of Lloyd Stueve and Stueve Farms.

“We have a different route this year, because of the construction,” Vierra said. “The rides will actually be longer.”

The celebration is the business community’s way of thanking patrons for their support throughout the year.

“We’re bringing Christmas to Oakdale,” she stated of hosting the event each year and the wagon rides. “Lloyd Stueve is a blessing. He doesn’t charge anything; he just does this from the kindness of his heart.”

To add to the fun and frolic and keep the spirit going throughout the day, Oakdale in Wonderland owner Russell Olivera, Jr. will continue the Third Annual Jingle All the Way event, beginning at 3 p.m. that same day and concluding at 8 p.m.

“Each shop will be doing something,” Olivera said of participating downtown businesses.

Olivera’s business will also be the ‘photo op and stop’ for Santa Claus. Santa will be appearing in the loft area of the business from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday.

“There is no charge,” he said of the holiday celebrity’s visit. “Bring your camera and tell Santa what you want for Christmas.

“I love the kids coming in,” he added of the family friendly event. “He always takes his time with each kid. It just really feels like Christmas.”

Olivera noted that while the event is from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. all downtown businesses will maintain regular business hours for the day.

“It’s a good chance to support your local shops,” he said of the two events, “and really get into the Christmas spirit.”