The magic of the Christmas season is a gift that gives all throughout the winter months and not just beginning at Santa’s arrival. For many, the first unforgettable twinkle of the enchantment of a Portland Christmas begins with attending a local Christmas tree lighting ceremony. Portland and its surrounding areas boast several Christmas tree lighting events, read on to discover some of the local festive favorites.

Portland Tree Lighting Ceremonies 2017 | Photo: 2016 Tree Lighting Ceremony presented by SmartPark

Photo: via Pioneer Courthouse Square

2017 Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Square presented by SmartPark
In the hustle and the bustle of one of the busiest shopping day of the year stop in with the rest of Portland for a moment of wonder when the 75-foot Douglas-fir tree provided by Stimson Lumber Company is list with over 14,000 colorful lights. Enjoy Portland’s largest community sing-a-long with Thomas Lauderdale and members of Pink Martini, the NW Community Gospel Choir and friends.

Fri. Nov. 24 5:30 p.m.
Pioneer Courthouse Square
701 SW 6th Ave.
503-223-1613
Online: thesquarepdx.com

Lake Oswego Holiday Tree Lighting
Lake Oswego traditionally welcomes the beginning of the retail holiday season the day after Thanksgiving with the Annual Holiday Tree Lighting ceremony and parade. This 40 year old tradition includes watching the Mayor of Lake Oswego light the giant Sequoia tree that stands in Bigelow Plaza Santa then appears riding in a fire engine that will lead a parade down A Avenue to Millennium Plaza Park where he will listen to children wishes as local choirs sing, the Millennium Concert Band will play and all will enjoy warm beverages, cookies and popcorn in anticipation of a second event that will light the entire park for the holiday season. Hosted by the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce.

Fri. Nov. 24 5:30 PM
Downtown Lake Oswego
Bigelow Plaza (5th & A Ave.) and Millennium Plaza Park (200 1st. St.)
Lake Oswego, OR
503-636-3634
Online: lake-oswego.com/Holiday-Tree-Lighting

Vancouver Rotary Foundation Community Tree Lighting
The Vancouver Rotary Foundation invites you to kick off the holiday season with live holiday music with children’s choirs and a live appearance from Santa and Mrs. Claus. To put the icing on the gingerbread cookie, Santa will then light up a beautiful tree with 10,000 lights!

Fri. Nov. 24 4 p.m. ( tree lighting at 6 p.m.)
Esther Short Park
6th and Columbia St.
Vancouver, WA
360-750-0409
Online: rotaryfestivaloftrees.org

Spirit of Christmas Tree Lighting

photo: via greshamoregon.gov

Gresham Spirit of Christmas
Have your wish lists ready because Santa is coming to Gresham! At the Spirit of Christmas event at Arts Plaza enjoy photo opts with Santa until he goes to help Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis lead the countdown to the tree lighting. Enjoy live music performances, free cocoa, hot cider, hot dogs, candy canes, popcorn and more. Leave the event feeling even better than you came by brining canned goods to support Fill-a-Bag food drive.

Sat., Nov. 25 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Arts Plaza
401 NE 2nd St.
Gresham, OR
503-750-3785
Online: greshamoregon.gov/Spirit-of-Christmas

Tualatin Starry Nights and Holiday Lights
It’s time to slip into the holiday spirit while taking in the gorgeous views of holiday lights around the Lake of the Commons in Tualatin. Enjoy carolers, family-friendly activities, a visit from Santa, and more. The best part of this tree lighting? The Christmas tree is floating!

Fri. Dec. 1, 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Lake at the Tualatin Commons
8325 SW Nyberg St.
Tualatin, OR
Online: tualatinoregon.gov

West Linn Community Tree Lighting
Usher in the holidays at West Linn’s Community Tree lighting with outdoor entertainment by the Corner Church Children’s Choir, crafts, movie, holiday bingo and more! Enjoy complimentary treats provided by Cascade Summit Starbucks. Warm up your little Rudolph’s nose by visiting Santa indoors at Cascade Summit.

Fri. Dec. 1, 6 p.m.
West Linn City Hall and Cascade Summit Town Square
22500 Salamo Rd.
West Linn, OR
Online: westlinnoregon.gov

Sherwood Robin Hood Festival Tree Lighting
Santa is arriving to Sherwood in style by leading the Robin Hood Festival parade! Enjoy the music of local choirs as you snack on complimentary refreshments. This family friendly festival includes a tree lighting, crafts for kids, and more.

Sat. Dec 2, 4 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Cannery Square Park
22622 SW Pine St.
Sherwood, OR
Online: robinhoodfestival.org

Beaverton Tree Lighting, Open House, and German Holiday Market
Celebrate the beginning of the holiday season all day long beginning at 10 a.m. with the German Holiday Market in conjunction with the German International School. Enjoy traditions of a European winter holiday including German food, crafts, live music, wine and beer tastings, and more. Follow your visit to the market with the Beaverton Holiday Open House featuring festive music by the Beaverton Staff Choir and the Beaverton Community Band. Rumor has it that Mr. and Mrs. Claus will also be stopping by! The jolly duo are not the only famous face at this event, Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle lights up the Beaverton Christmas tree at 6 pm.

Sat. Dec. 2, 10 a.m. – 9 pm (open house at 4 p.m., tree lighting at 6 p.m.)
Beaverton City Library and City Park
12375 SW 5th St.
Beaverton, OR
503-526-2559
Online: beavertonoregon.gov

Umbrella Parade and Tree Lighting Milwaukie Oregon

photo: via milwaukieoregon.gov


Milwaukie Umbrella Parade and Tree Lighting
This charming Milwaukie tradition is like no other holiday event in the Portland area. Take up your umbrellas and decorate them to the nines before parading them through downtown Milwaukie. The best of the best umbrellas are awarded prizes in categories such as most creative and most festive. Finish up the parade with a lighting of the tree around 5 p.m. Festivities include a visit from Santa Claus, cookies compliments of Rob’s Red Mill, hot cocoa and spiced apple cider, and the Franz bakery Grilled Cheese Machine handing out complimentary grilled cheese bites!

Sat. Dec. 2, 3:45 p.m.- 6:30 p.m.
City Hall
10722 SE Main St.
Milwaukie, OR
503-786-7568
Online: milwaukieoregon.gov

Hillsboro Holly Days and Tree Lighting
The first Saturday in December welcomes the holidays in Hillsboro with their traditional Holly Days event. This year the downtown businesses are getting into the fun with a business lighting competition. Start your holiday shopping at local businesses or at the local vendor fair. The tree lighting ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m.

Sat. Dec. 2, 5:30 p.m. tree lighting
Tom Hughes Civic Center Plaza
SE Washington SSt.
Hillsboro, Oreogn 97123
503-640-6145
Online: hillsborohollydays.org

What is your favorite tree lighting experience in Portland? Share in the comments below!

—Jenni Bost