People may think that there’s nothing going in Bandon in the late fall and winter. The stream of summer tourists has dwindled to a trickle, and the Cranberry Queen has been crowned. Nothing could be further from the truth, however! It may be getting cold at night, but November and December are festive months as we celebrate the holidays in Bandon. Old Town, the theater, the community center, nearby Shore Acres, the library, and businesses all over town are hopping. The holidays in Bandon are very special times and are not to be missed.
Although some people travel for Thanksgiving, many people stay right here at home to celebrate with friends, family and neighbors at the Barn community center. All are welcome at the annual Thanksgiving community meal on November 24 from 11-2 featuring a traditional dinner complete with beverages and dessert. The meal is free, although donations are happily accepted at the door. For those homebound, a dinner can be pre-ordered by calling Colleen at 916-221-9318. If you’d like to donate a dessert, call Linda at 541-347-8347, and if you’d like to volunteer your time to help with the meal, call 541-404-4702.
The holidays in Bandon officially kick off the day after Thanksgiving, November 26, with the Night of 10,000 Lights at the Visitor’s Center in Old Town. The festivities begin at 3:30 with photos with Santa, music, caroling, and refreshments. The highlight of the afternoon, the lighting of the Christmas tree, happens at 5:30 as the music and dancing continues. Photo ops are plentiful at this beautiful event! Businesses will be open late for the Nog Walk and shopping from 3:30-7:00.
For the bookish people on your list, get some holiday shopping done at the Bandon Library Friends and Foundation book sale on December 3. Books, music, videos, puzzles, and magazines will be for sale from 10-12 for members and from 12-4:30 for everyone else.
December 10 at 5:30 will be the annual lighted parade in Old Town Bandon. Anyone is welcome to enter. All are invited to participate: just light up your car, bike, or float! Preregistration is requested but not required, and $100 goes to the best entry. Many Old Town stores will have specials, cider and nog, and snacks. Rain or shine, it will be a fun event!
A must-see event during the holidays in Bandon is MarLo Dance Studio’s production of The Nutcracker. The show runs December 10, 11 and December 17, 18; Saturdays at 7:00 and Sundays at 2:00. Pre-sale tickets are $16 ($13 for age 12 and under), or $18 ($15 12 and under) at the door. The beautiful costumes and sets and the fabulous talent of Bandon’s dancers make it well worth the price. This event happens only every other year, so get your tickets now and enjoy!
Dan and Lynn Barnett help people in need celebrate the holidays in Bandon as they host their annual Christmas for the Less Fortunate at Billy Smoothboar’s restaurant on December 14 from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Needy families with children 12 and under are invited to enjoy music, food and drink, decorations to take home, a Christmas stocking with gifts, and good fun!
Santa and Mrs. Claus will be cruising into town on the Coquille River on December 17 to check out our holidays in Bandon and spend some time with us. Prowler Charters was kind enough to offer them a ride into town and will drop them off at the Port of Bandon at 1:00. They will roaming around the Old Town Market and posing for free photos from 1-3.
For an amazing holiday light display, head up to Coos Bay for the 29th annual Holiday Lights at Shore Acres. 325,000+ lights, nearly all energy saving LEDs, will be on display, festively lighting up the park in shapes that reflect the region. While there, enjoy hot cider, punch, coffee, cookies and entertainment in the pavilion. The fun happens every night from 4-9:30 from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve. There is plenty of parking ($5 fee), but weekends are crowded, so plan accordingly.
All are invited to the Barn community center on December 25 from 11-2 for another traditional holiday meal. There is no cost for the dinner, but donations are gladly accepted. If you’d like to donate a dessert, contact Linda at 541-347-8347, and if you would like to volunteer to help prepare or serve, call 541-404-4702. Meals can be pre-ordered for those who are home-bound by calling Colleen at 916-221-0318.
Bandon has its own lights display throughout the holiday season in Old Town. All along the boardwalk, see lovely and whimsical designs and ocean creatures (human and otherwise) lit up with LED lights.
The holidays in Bandon are made sweeter with the Lions’ Club annual Sees Candy sale. The candy will be available at McKay’s and Ray’s from 10-6 November 28-30, and Ace Hardware will have it during their business hours Look for the candy on Friday and Saturday from November 18 on. The candy can also be found at the Old Town Marketplace November 18, 19, 25, and 26.
And finally, throughout the holiday season as you’re doing your shopping, remember the importance of shopping locally. Support local businesses owned by your friends and neighbors, get some unique and thoughtful gifts, and be rewarded at the same time! When you shop at any Bandon retailer (97411 zip code), save your receipts, and when you have $100 worth, redeem them at the Visitors’ Center for a collectible drinking glass.
Bandon is a special place at any time of the year, but we mean it when we sing “There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays.”
**Check this blog post again in a week or so for updated events!**