The holidays are back in a big way in the Old Mill District. From family a run/walk on Thanksgiving, to visits with Santa, and a community menorah lighting.
“It’s our favorite time of year to bring the community together to celebrate,” said Beau Eastes, marketing director for the Old Mill District. “Whether you’re eight or 80, there’s an event you’ll enjoy.”
The festivities get an early start on Thanksgiving with the I Like Pie Run, a way for Bend community members to help those less fortunate. Entry fees benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of Bend. Additionally, the Tree of Joy, which helps children and families in need enjoy the holidays, will be up in SantaLand throughout most of December.
Featured 2022 Holiday Events include:
Thanksgiving morning “I Like Pie” walk/run: This 1.5 or 2.5 mile run or walk in the Old Mill District offers a rolling start between 7:30 – 9:30 a.m. followed, of course, by a piece of pie! A flat, paved course is well suited for strollers so bring the whole family. Proceeds to benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of Bend.
Santa Claus fly-in and parade: Talk about making an entrance! All ages will be entertained by the arrival of Santa Claus to the Old Mill District on an AirLink helicopter on Friday, Nov. 25, at 10 a.m. Come welcome Santa, meet the pilots, and celebrate the start of the Christmas season. Santa will make his way to SantaLand via a special Santa parade!
Visit SantaLand: Once Santa has arrived at Old Mill District, he’ll be available to entertain your little sugar plums in SantaLand every Friday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Nov. 25-27, Dec. 2-4, Dec. 9-11, Dec. 16-18, plus Dec. 21-23. SantaLand will be indoors between Evoke Winery and Avalon Salon & Spa at 330 SW Powerhouse Drive, Suite 120.
North Pole Mailbox: From Nov. 25 to Dec. 18, a special mailbox will be in front of SantaLand for your littles to drop off their letters to Santa. All letters will get a response from the North Pole. No postage stamp is required, but for children to receive a response, be sure to include the return address on the envelope. Drop letters off at 330 SW Powerhouse Drive, Suite 120.
Tree of Joy: Embrace the true spirit of the season and give a gift to a child or family in need through the Tree of Joy in SantaLand. A partnership between the Salvation Army, the Rotary Club of Greater Bend, and the Old Mill District, the Tree of Joy ensures that every child in Central Oregon experiences the joy of the season. Grab a list of gift suggestions in SantaLand and return an unwrapped present for distribution. SantaLand is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, Nov. 25-Dec.18.
First Friday Art Walk: This Bend tradition is a wonderful opportunity to chat with artists to learn about their creative process and find that special holiday gift. Join Tumalo Art Co., Lubbesmeyer Art Studio & Gallery, The Stacks Art Studio & Gallery, and a host of retailers as they showcase an array of artists and mediums Friday, Dec. 2 from 3 to 6 p.m. In addition to local art, a selection of wines will be available to sample from Va Piano Vineyards, and Evoke Winery at each stop.
Holiday Lights Paddle Parade: The Holiday Lights Paddle Parade on Friday, Dec. 9 just might be the most Bend of all Bend holiday traditions. Hosted by Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe, hearty paddlers dress up and illuminate their water vessels for a paddle parade on the Deschutes River. The parade will launch around 4 p.m. (dusk) from the dock behind Tumalo Creek’s shop, and paddle upstream toward the Old Mill District Flag Bridge, arriving between 4:15 and 5:30 p.m. Interested paddlers should meet at Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe (803 SW Industrial Way) between 2 and 3:30 p.m. to decorate their watercrafts.
Carolers: In what’s become one of our favorite new holiday traditions, local choir groups of all ages are set to serenade shoppers from various corners of the Old Mill District throughout December. Visit our website for a complete list of choir performances for the 2022 holiday season.
Menorah Lighting: Celebrate the first night of Chanukah on Sunday, Dec. 18 with the Chabad of Central Oregon in the Old Mill District’s Central Plaza. Festivities begin at 4:30 p.m. and include music, hot drinks, food, and fellowship. All faiths and denominations are welcome!
About the Old Mill District
Celebrating 20 years as one of the Pacific Northwest’s most distinctive and dynamic mixed-use developments, the Old Mill District is located on 270 acres that formerly housed one of the largest sawmill operations in the world. The rich history of the land is coupled with spectacular mountain views, scenic river vistas and an extensive trail system to enjoy the outdoors. More than 55 local, regional, and national retailers and businesses call the Old Mill District home. Bend’s Old Mill District – the most unique shopping, dining, living, and entertainment experience in the region. www.oldmilldistrict.com.