Medford tree lighting still a go

More rain will probably fall in Medford this Saturday, but as far as Medford Parks and Recreation's Winter Lights Festival is concerned, the show must go on.

"We'll do the event whether it's for three people or 3,000 people," said Rich Rosenthal, recreation superintendent.

That means the children's holiday parade, marshmallow roast, photos with Santa Claus, live music and activities are still a go. Some minor adjustments have been made, however. Whether or not the candy-cane hunt for children up to the age of 12, which kicks off the evening at Hawthorne Park, is up in the air, but candy canes will be distributed to attending children in some fashion. The marshmallow roast may be held under the picnic shelter.

"We may have to make some adjustments on where (the activities) are actually conducted in the park," Rosenthal said.

Benny the Beaver, Oregon State University's mascot, will not show up due to a scheduling conflict. Puddles the Duck, the University of Oregon mascot, will still be in attendance.

The children's holiday parade will still start at 5 p.m. Main Street will be closed from Hawthorne Park to Central Avenue. Attendees young and old can be part of the marching festivities, which will end at Vogel Plaza near the Craterian Theater at the Collier Center for the Performing Arts.

The tree lighting ceremony should get under way by 6:30 p.m., Parks and Recreation officials said. Until then, children can have their pictures taken with Puddles. Santa will also take a brief time out from his busy schedule to make an appearance. Live music, vendor booths and free hot chocolate also will be available.

As of 11 a.m. today, officials at the National Weather Service were calling for up to a quarter inch of rain to fall on Saturday, following a downpour in the days before that necessitated a flood watch for Jackson County. The predicted nighttime low temperature was listed at 45 degrees.

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