PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – For the first time in three years, a live tree lighting ceremony was held at Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland, and despite the dreary weather, it did not fail to make spirits bright.

The 75-foot Douglas Fir was illuminated with 9,500 lights on Friday evening, much to the delight of the large, umbrella-toting crowd that gathered to witness the lighting, sing Christmas carols, and enjoy some holiday treats.

The tradition of holding a live tree lighting the day after Thanksgiving at the square was put on hold in 2020 and 2021 due to concerns about crowds gathering amidst the ongoing pandemic, but with the situation beginning to turn this year, everyone was happy to reinstitute the event.

“I feel the energy. It’s full of joy over here. Again, it’s raining, but everyone’s been waiting to do something like this,” said Joe Kiser, who was in attendance.

But that’s not the only Christmastime activity Portland has to offer. Over at the Grotto, the Christmas festival of lights opened to the public and known as the world’s largest Christmas choral festival, it will feature carolers and more than 150 choirs through the end of December.

For those looking to enjoy some lights while staying warm and dry, the Safeway winter wonderland drive-thru display opened at the Portland International Raceway this evening.
Owned and operated by the Sunshine Division, 100% of proceeds go to help hungry families.