Silverton Christmas Market Lights, German Traditions Return
Silverton’s upcoming Christmas Market aims to lure guests into a world of German traditions, but the event exudes local pride along a route of bright displays and locally produced crafts, food and fun. community.
“We have more lights and bigger light displays than ever before,” said Alexis Federico, public events manager at the Oregon Garden Resort, where the event has been held for the past few years. “(There are) lots of tunnels of light and themed areas along an even longer walking path.”
The tunnels are surrounded by lights “so guests can feel like they’re in this Christmas wonderland – that’s what sets us apart from other Christmas events,” said Isabella Meraz, marketing specialist at Moonstone Hotels, owner of the complex.
“They can walk through the lights and experience different light displays and then end up in a vendor’s market and be able to meet these local artists and vendors and do their Christmas shopping,” she said.
A “family beer garden” with live music will be the focus of every evening. Local artist Lori Rodrigues’ hand-painted mural along a 40-foot side of a freight container at the entrance to the market promenade mixes local (Bobbie the Wonder Dog) and Germanic elements of the event.
A special draw of the event is the snowless tubing. There is a snowless tubing station in the center of the walkway, which winds past the main station lodge and behind a row of hotel buildings. Admission to the ride is a supplement to the entry fee, Meraz said.
One of the reasons Silverton Christmas Market won the 2022 Best of the Willamette Valley Awards Silver for Best Charity Event was because it hosted five “Tube for Schools” events on Tuesdays. A portion of the registration fee proceeds from those five days will again be donated to the Silver Falls School District.
Other organizations that benefited from proceeds from the event last year include Silverton Area Community Aid, North Willamette Valley Habitat for Humanity, The Gordon House and the Silverton Mural Society.
Meraz was as expansive as Federico about the event, which was once known as Christmas in the Garden and then Lights at the Garden Resort when it was moved to resort ownership last year.
“The whole event is based on the German-European Christmas markets, with bright displays and the main focus on the open-air market,” said Meraz, from Silverton. “You get all the sights, sounds and smells of the holiday season: music, families having fun and holiday ‘chatter’.”
“We have more interactive light displays and we’re known for our famous sugarcane tunnel, so this year guests will see brighter tunnels and be able to walk under different types of lights,” Federico said.
“We received so many great comments and we are excited to continue to build on the event, making the experience more impressive every year. We kept hearing how much people loved to stroll around the corner and be greeted by a grand castle adorned with lights or a whimsical twinkling farmhouse.
The market runs Nov. 25 through Jan. 1 (closed Dec. 24 and 25), at the Oregon Garden Resort, 895 W. Main St., Silverton. Ticket prices (Silverton residents receive a discount on entrance fees) and other information are available online at silvertonchristmasmarket.com.
“The display is incredibly intimate, and we can’t wait for everyone to experience the magic of Christmas at the resort this holiday season,” Federico said.
Freelance writer/photographer Geoff Parks is based in Salem. Got a Silverton story idea? Email him at [email protected].