A Cowboy Christmas
Annual Holiday Tradition Coming to Downtown
Festivities are once again in the works as Oakdale Downtown Merchants, as well as the Oakdale Enrichment Society prepare for holiday events this Saturday, Dec. 4.
Shopping events will begin at 3 p.m. as Foxy Designs returns with Oakdale’s 13th Annual Downtown Old Fashioned Christmas. The event will be hosted from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. The holiday shopping event will take over two complete blocks of North Third, as a total of 75 vendors offer their wares to holiday shoppers.
“We’re going to have around 75 vendors including homemade goods, baked items, candy, Christmas décor and food vendors,” Foxy Designs’ McKaela Golding said. “We have a lot of food vendors that will be here this year.”
This is the seventh year that the local business has spearheaded the annual event, which has been going on for well over a decade. Golding shared Santa will also be on hand for wish taking and photo opportunities at TWFG Insurance and Progressive Loan Funding located in the Oak Valley Community Bank parking lot.
In addition to the shopping, there will also be a raffle outpost in front of Moss Rose Bakery, as well as a Toys for Tots drop off. Proceeds from the raffle will benefit the Toys for Tots non-profit.
“This is our seventh year running the event. I’m very, very excited,” Golding said of the annual festivities.
A new attraction for those looking for something fun and different will be photos with the Grinch hosted in front of the Foxy location. According to Golding the photo opportunity won’t be available until later in the day, as the Grinch will be participating first in the Fifth Annual Christmas Parade hosted by OES.
OES Co-founder and Oakdale Mayor, Cher Bairos shared there are currently approximately 30 entries signed up for the annual event, with room for more.
“Everybody can be involved in the parade,” Mayor Bairos said, adding that entry is free and open to all businesses, clubs and community members interested. Entry forms may be obtained by contacting Bairos at (209) 496-1134 or e-mailing OES at firstname.lastname@example.org
Line up for the parade begins at 4 p.m. at the Oakdale FES Hall parking lot on North Lee Avenue. The parade will begin promptly at 5 p.m. traveling east on Poplar Avenue and ending at Second Street.
While current entries include previous and first time participants, there will be a definite void as long time participant and active community member Lloyd Stueve’s spot will be vacant. Stueve passed earlier this year after succumbing to a long time illness. He and his horse-drawn wagons were long time veterans of the Downtown Christmas event.
Bairos shared she felt it important to honor him during the parade in a special way.
“I just wanted to honor him. It’s such a big deal and he’s been so good to us,” she said. “His face and how he lit up, that’s kind of the whole part of the parade.”
In addition to the tribute being made to Stueve, a surprise special guest has been scheduled to make an appearance.
The community is encouraged to bring chairs, blankets and smiles as they line Poplar Street to take in the parade. They are also encouraged to be respectful of the homes along the parade route.
“We’re excited and we just hope to have everybody come out,” Bairos said.
Equally excited is business owner Traci Codde of Momma’s Closet on North First Avenue. Codde has partnered with Last Call Brewing to host an event which coincides with the festivities being hosted on North Third.
The two local businesses will be hosting a Winter Holiday Festival, also between the hours of 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Saturday. Arrangements have been made for entertainment, additional vendors, raffle opportunity, food and beverages.
“We just wanted to bring more holiday joy to the downtown area,” Codde said of the inaugural event, “and trying to bring business back to our small town businesses.”
The event planner shared they will be offering a s’mores bar, as well as a hot beverage bar with coffee and hot chocolate.
Approximately 25 vendors have committed to set up at the North First location.
“I feel as a local business owner, we are all striving for the same thing,” Codde said of the Winter Holiday Festival. “I am hoping for families to come out and enjoy the downtown festivities. As business owners and a community, we have been through a lot the past two years. I am looking forward to us being able to get out and enjoy the festivities, as well as support one another.”
“We’re such a small community and everyone comes together for a fun night,” Golding stated. “We’re also able to help fundraise money for the people who are less fortunate in our town.”
As for Bairos and the parade tradition, her feelings remain simple: “It’s so important to me, because people get together. Everybody loves a parade. It’s all about community.”