The staff here at the Hillsboro Herald most certainly wishes you all the best of the season. From Christmas to Kwanzaa and all Holiday celebrations in between we hope you enjoyed some wonderful moments. Not everyone did and our hearts go out to all of you who are struggling to survive; may 2020 end peacefully and 2021 be a better year. All of us need to finish strong this year if we can.
In the midst of COVID’s rampage over our lives, it has been very hard to keep going. Life as we know it/knew it will never be quite the same. Still, there have been some great moments and signs of life all over the City of Hillsboro and beyond. We have witnessed some wonderful acts of kindness and attempts at creating Holiday joy. The Herald covered many events and stories about the season and we have seen many more that we could not. We hope you all found some bright spots during this Holiday season.
Here is a recap of a few of the stories we covered and Holiday moments we were able to share in.
- Lisa Haag Goldebeck of Our Little Farm and Garden opened her parent’s red barn up to holiday gifts, wreaths, garlands, and homemade goods. She did all of this despite losing her Mother, Carol Haag, and dealing with her Father’s failing health. We are very grateful to have visited her and found her wonderful products- many of you did too. http://hillsboroherald.com/the-big-red-barn-is-open-tomorrow-for-wreaths-and-more/
- The Hillsboro Downtown Partnership went after the Holidays with some zest helping to transform downtown into a lit-up decorated wonderland. In partnership with the City of Hillsboro, our downtown group painted windows and provided trees for decoration throughout downtown.
- The Herald ran an online Holiday lights photo contest. Over 10,000 people viewed the article and over 3,000 of you voted for the best of the best. The winners were nothing short of spectacular! Have a look here.
- Hillsboro Native Alan Meeker had an idea to start a Facebook Page called Hillsboro Christmas Lights which exploded to over 1,500 members in a couple of weeks. With interactive maps the groups created a holiday miracle- people drove all over the area looking at these lights! This was a source of great joy for our City – especially the kids! So Thank you, Alan and crew!
- For me personally, the highlight of the season was the annual Orenco Christmas Parade. 15 to 20 lit up floats made their annual trip through the old Orenco Townsite and surrounding neighborhoods for 5 nights. Mostly yard tractors and small motorized vehicles are lit up to the hilt and powered with generators on their nightly march. We had a 1980’s Red diesel pulling a 4 by 8 trailer with 15 decorations on it and added a fog machine. Every corner we turned onto was lined with people (properly distanced) waving and steering and singing. In my estimation, as many as 1,500 people were seen out and in windows on any given night. In the most diverse area of the City we saw people of every age, race, religious belief, and standing in life waving and cheering for us. And the children – well that was just over the top joy! With full hearts, we all drove through the rain and cold to share the lights and the message of strength and fun! It was so very special. For a decade now this event has grown and become a Holiday classic that has made CNN and other national news. Next year should be pretty amazing!
- The Walters Cultural Arts Center ran a special sale for all of their artists and we supported it by helping share their story. This is a really great group of artists and is truly a wonderful City run organization! This was a great sale for sure!
- The McVey family of SE Johnson Street once again put up the 25 foot high 1950’s Santa who used to be at our Courthouse. He is spectacular and magnificent- they are to be commended for maintaining this important piece of Hillsboro History! Way to go guys!
- John Lee opened his remodeled Venetian on Main Street only to have to close under Covid restrictions. But that nasty bug is not stopping this local business dynamo and his staff- they decorated the place into a Holiday showpiece and have been serving delicious food to go for a few weeks now! Way to go to The Venetian!
- Ross Quivey of The Sign Company at 3rd and Lincoln has been in business for years. He and his son (Robert) and his staff have been doing an incredible business and much for our community for years. The 1970’s NOEL sign and Candy Canes that used to light up our streets are in their possession. Another piece of Christmas history the City parted with; the Quivey’s saved them! They are beautifully displayed at the business and we thank them for doing so!
- Our local merchants all did an amazing job of sharing in the season! From sales to decor to donations – they did it all. We appreciate every single Hillsboro business that have fought the good fight and stayed OPEN! You keep doing that and we hope everyone in the City will support you all!
- The Orenco Station was lit up like a candle – again – like every year!
- The Herald ran a story on Lightopia which was a HUGE HIT. The drive-through Holiday Lights experience was sold out every night and was a free ticketed event at the Hillsboro Stadium! This was a great thing and we heard everyone loved it so much!
- The HDP ran the HOLLY DAYS TREE LIGHTING AND CONCERT online. The event had some technical difficulties but in the end, produced a very good online way to watch the tree lighting at City Hall and some excellent music and programming!