The sights and sounds seen and heard on the front lawn of the museum at around this time each year embodies the small-town experience that is life in Philomath.
Santa Claus rides in on the local fire department’s antique fire truck, hands out candy canes and poses for photos with the youngsters. The singing voices of Philomath Elementary students fill the air. Both kids and adults satisfy their sweet tooth with cookies and hot chocolate.
And then there is the countdown to the big event of the night — the lighting of the community Christmas tree.
The 16th annual Philomath Community Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29 on Main Street in front of the Philomath Museum.
The event, hosted by the Philomath Area Chamber of Commerce, typically attracts hundreds of people who enjoy welcoming the holiday season. A highlight of the evening for the littles ones is the appearance by Santa Claus. After arriving on Philomath Fire & Rescue’s Old No. 1, he makes his way down into the crowd and hands out candy canes with the Philomath Frolic & Rodeo queen.
Mack the Knight, mascot for the Corvallis Knights summer baseball team, is also scheduled to make an appearance.
The Social Rebekah Lodge has donated hot cocoa to take the chill off and Marcotte Distilling will provide cookies. Philomath Rental steps in to handle lighting and Oregon State Credit Union donates the candy canes.
As for the tree itself, Shonnard’s Nursery and Pacific Power team up in the days preceding the event to put up the lights.
The Christmas tree lighting celebration at the museum site dates back to 2007. A temporary tree was put in place for the inaugural event but a year later, the giant sequoia that remains was planted.