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S. Oregon Coast's Exhilarating Holiday Lights Celebrations at Brookings, Bandon, Charleston

Published 11/09/22 at 4:49 AM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

S. Oregon Coast's Exhilarating Holiday Lights Celebrations at Brookings, Bandon, Charleston

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(Brookings, Oregon) – The term “southern hospitality” takes on a new dimension down around the southern Oregon coast when it comes to the holidays. “Small Towns, Big Lights” could also be the headline, with Brookings, Bandon and Charleston / Coos Bay hitting some high notes for the season for its various lit-up celebrations. (Above: Brookings' Azalea Park, courtesy photo)

A splash of colors and the splashing of waves. OK, well, it's actually a lot more than a little splashing going on here. The south Oregon coast tradition returns in full force to Brookings, with Nature's Coastal Holiday – Festival of Lights 2022 starting on November 25. It's a rollicking favorite and a major spectacle, now celebrating 25 years of twinkling and creating the glint in people's eyes. Starting at 5 p.m. everyday until December 25, it happens at scenic Azalea Park.

It's a vast sea of lights, filled with whimsical scenes and astounding, fantastical creatures, many of them sea-dwellers – of course. The whole thing takes about a half hour or a little more to stroll through.

The south coast tradition began in '97 with about 22,000 lights, but now it boasts more than three million. These days, thousands visit every year: in 2017 they had their biggest at 25,000 folks. Yet the whole this is a volunteer effort, currently utilizing a small army to put up the lights.

This time around, visits from Santa happen every Friday and Saturday night from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Adults: $3; kids 12 and under free. Cash only at the gates. Check out https://naturescoastalholiday.com/ for more.


Bandon's parade (courtesy photo)

Bandon kicks out the jams in a holiday way starting on Thanksgiving weekend. November 26 is Night of 10,000 Lights in Bandon-By-The-Sea, with a tree-lighting ceremony, caroling in the streets, and the beginning of the town's festive season. Shops will stay open late, and after the main events there's the usual Old Town Wine and Nog Walk, where various businesses will host refreshments.

On December 10, Bandon hosts its annual Holiday Light Parade, with the public encouraged to join in. You just have to light up your rig in some way – or your pet or yourself. Line up begins at 5 p.m. and the whole thing starts moving at 5:30 p.m.

Keep an eye on https://bandon.com/ for more updates. 541-347-9616


Near Coos Bay, the Holiday Lights at Shore Acres is putting on a rager this year. The south Oregon coast holiday highlight is a go. After two years of being canceled, thanks to a nasty little bug that you know of as the pandemic, tens of thousands of lights are back beginning November 24. It runs until December 31. (Above: Shore Acres)

Some 50 to 60 thousand people visit every time. The record was 74,392 visitors in 2017, largely because of little rain.

About 325,000 LED lights create this stunning display in the old mansion's garden. Alongside this are six large holiday trees decorated by various organizations and businesses, and dozens of lighted sculptures including life-size whales, animated sea lions, an undersea garden, Koi under water in the pond, a leaping frog in the pond, leaping dolphins and more.

This year it comes with something new: a timed entry system for visitors to park their vehicles from 4 p.m to 9 p.m. Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) said each vehicle must purchase a $5 ticket, which will then be assigned a date and entry time at the visitors' choice. You can no longer buy tickets on the spot.

The parking entry tickets are now available online, or you can call 800-452-5687. The $5 event parking permit is non-refundable. Also see the Oregon's Adventure Coast site.

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Above: Brookings

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