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Lincoln City Gets Dreamy Glow with Deck the Dock Event, Now an Oregon Coast Tradition

Published 11/14/23 a 4:55 a.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Lincoln City Gets Dreamy Glow with Deck the Dock Event, Now an Oregon Coast Tradition

(Lincoln City, Oregon) – An Oregon coast tradition is back, one that doesn't go back very far but is much loved nonetheless. Lincoln City once again hosts the Deck the Dock event on Friday, December 1, where the viewing dock at Taft – right on the Siletz Bay – gets all glowy. Thousands of lights strung along the atmospheric wooden structure get switched on with this lighting ceremony, hosted by Santa, Mrs. Claus and their Lincoln City helpers. (Photos courtesy Explore Lincoln City)

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As winter descends in earnest in the central Oregon coast burgh, the dock lighting marks the beginning of a wide array of winter and holiday experiences. The dock is rich and layered in a glowing mass of lights, shining like a beacon after each sunset. It's likely the most colorful and decorated of all single structures on the Oregon coast, save for the parks at Coos Bay and Brookings that have their gargantuan displays.

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On December 1, get ready to engage the senses. The switch is flipped by Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and you'll get to have a cookie, courtesy local bakery My Petite Sweet.

“Lincoln City Parks & Recreation and Explore Lincoln City invite everyone to partake in this annual tradition of the lighting of Taft Dock,” said Explore Lincoln City.

You'll be able to take photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and sing along to carols with the Coastal Voice choir. City officials will also provide remarks to kick off the holiday season.

You'll also get to warm up with a hearty bowl of clam chowder and enjoy the lights from inside Mo's restaurant, located right next to the Taft Dock.

“Their creamy clam chowder is some of the best on the coast,” said Explore Lincoln City.

It's a festive start to a festive season, with the lit-up dock providing a colorful invitation to wander the Siletz Bay, as well as do some shopping in this ultra-quaint neighborhood of Lincoln City. Almost a dozen separate holiday events cut loose here during the season.

This time around, the party doesn't just happen at the Taft Dock, either. Over at Devil's Lake, Lincoln City sets up a second holiday light display. After this main event in Taft, head over to Regatta Park where a jet-ski Santa will be zipping around the water.

It starts at 5 p.m. in Taft on the dock, and it's free.

Parking is available at Taft Waterfont Park. The event is wheelchair accessible.

What to wear? Well, it is the Oregon coast.

“Please dress warmly, as the event will be held outdoors,” said the agency.

A little secret about the event: the “helpers” are also Pixieland elves from PixieFest, the annual event that pays homage to the old attraction and the restaurant, Pixie Kitchen.

The 2023 Deck the Dock event is the fourth one – sort of. It all began in 2019, with the intention of making it a regular tradition. Ed Dreistadt, former director of Explore Lincoln City, and Jeanne Sprague of Lincoln City Parks and Rec, created the concept together. This created a partnership between those two agencies, as well as with Lincoln City Police and North Lincoln Fire and Rescue.

However, the tradition was stalled in 2020 when there was no public event due to COVID. However, the dock was lit up.

The fun resumed in 2021.

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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