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Some Serious Holidays In Bandon: South Oregon Coast Town Gets Started Early

Published 11/07/23 a 7:15 p.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Some Serious Holidays In Bandon: South Oregon Coast Town Gets Started Early

(Bandon, Oregon) – The day after Thanksgiving in one south Oregon coast town begins a slow, deliberate explosion of holiday and Christmas celebrations. Bandon-by-the-Sea becomes Bandon Christmas-y, really. (Courtesy photo)

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A legendary run of The Nutcracker ballet, major holiday lighting events, hot cocoa and nog (and even hot buttered rum at one local institution), pets and cars all draped in lights, and plenty of beachside frivolity: that's what's in the mix.

Bandon gets in on the act just a little bit early.

Bandon's Alive After Five Wine Walks have been going since May, falling on the third Friday of the month each time. But in November and December they change gears a little bit: these sip 'n stroll events in the south Oregon coast burgh become the Nog Walks. They happen November 25 and December 9.

Adopting more of a holiday approach, wine gets turned into egg nog – or in many cases, cider. Some businesses will have egg nog while others will feature cider for the public to take in. Just like the Wine Walks, commemorative glasses go for $10 at the Boardwalk Picnic Shelter from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The actual Nog Walks run 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Photo courtesy Manuela Durson Fine Arts 

When you pick up your glass, you'll get a map of the Alive After Five merchants handing out the good stuff.

It's just the beginning of Old Town Bandon's move towards being even more festive.

The first one happens right on the big day for the small south Oregon coast town, with November 25 bringing the Bandon Night of 10,000 Lights.

Raising the tree in Bandon, courtesy photo

The 12th year of the holiday blowout again kicks out the jams with a tree-lighting ceremony, Santa and caroling in the streets. With the Nog Walk happening at the same time, shops stay open late, and the fun goes on for awhile into the evening, taking place in downtown Bandon.

The warm and gooey holiday vibes start at 3 p.m. when Santa and Mrs. Claus enter the picture, and that goes until 5 p.m. At 5:30 p.m., the tree lighting ceremony begins. This is when the 10,000 lights come into play. Each year, private and public group donations fund the acquisition and the raising of a new tree: always some towering beauty that's quickly covered in festive decorations.

The key is, of course, keeping it steady in those sometimes tumultuous south Oregon coast winds – and locals manage to do just that.

Courtesy photo

Early in the month, there's the Christmas Bazaar at The Barn (Bandon Community Center), happening December 2 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There's some 20 vendors, a kids craft table and a hot cocoa bar. 1200 11th St SW Bandon, Oregon. 541-551-1474.

On December 10, the Holiday Light Parade is one of the biggies of the season for Bandon-by-the-Sea. Lining up starts at 5 p.m. and the parade gets underway at 5:30 p.m.

This one is really wide open.

“Everyone is invited to Light Up! Your vehicle, your pet, yourself! No registration or fees required,” the Bandon Visitors Center said. Keep an eye on for more updates. 541-347-9616

Meanwhile, Saturday, December 9 through Sunday, December 17 brings The Nutcracker to town, featuring a host of local talent on stage. For 23 years now, this has been selling out the Sprague Community Theater in Bandon, drawing from Coos and Curry counties.

This year’s production is directed by Faith Slater and produced by studio owner, Maria Merriam, as always set to Tchaikovsky’s inimitable score.

Also see Christmas in June? Reservations Now Online for S. Oregon Coast's Shore Acres Holiday Lights

“The Nutcracker is a time-honored treasure for so many people during the holiday season. We are honored to be part of their traditions and welcome new audience members every year,” said producer Merriam. “There is something for everyone in this stunning family production, which captures the joyful holiday spirit and showcases the exceptional talents of the MDS dancers through the choreography and magnificent sets and dazzling costumes.”

Dec 9, 10, 15, 16, 17 Friday & Saturday; 7 p.m. Sunday matinees: 3 p.m. Sprague Community Theater. 1202 11th Street SW Bandon, Oregon.

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Photo courtesy Manuela Durson Fine Arts 

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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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