Many still stuffed from their Thanksgiving celebration the day before, the crowds nonetheless turned out for a couple of special holiday events Friday night, Nov. 24 in downtown Oakdale.
The annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at Wood Park hosted by the Oakdale Garden Club saw just under 30 specially decorated trees lit up, while a couple of blocks further west along F Street, the Oakdale Museum welcomed Mrs. Claus for story time and provided letter writing materials for kids to pen their holiday wishes.
Tree lighting coordinator Raquel Taylor was pleased with that event.
“We had 29 trees decorated, we sold out this year,” she said. “We have families, organizations, businesses sponsoring trees this year, it’s a nice mix.”
Visitors strolled through the park, admiring the variety of colors and decorations, while the Oakdale Police Department brought its emergency response vehicle in for tours, the Garden Club served up cookies and the Liljenquist family – 26 of them in town for Thanksgiving – offered a couple of songs.
Buddy the Elf was on hand for photo opportunities as well.
At the museum, the Friends of Oakdale Heritage hosted Mrs. Claus in two story time sessions. Children could hear the holiday stories and then write a letter to Santa, dropping it off in the North Pole mailbox at the museum.
“The thought is to get younger people in here,” Friends of Oakdale Heritage vice president Barbara Torres explained of wanting to share Oakdale’s history with more families.
They also served hot chocolate, cider and had candy canes for the kids.