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Monmouth fun will precede tree lighting

MONMOUTH -- Christmas arrives early for Western Oregon University and downtown Monmouth on Wednesday, Dec. 2.

November 25, 2009

MONMOUTH -- Christmas arrives early for Western Oregon University and downtown Monmouth on Wednesday, Dec. 2.

The Monmouth Business Association is coordinating its first Holiday Sip-n-Shop throughout the afternoon and early evening on Dec. 2.

The Monmouth Business Association is coordinating a Holiday Sip-N-Shop throughout the afternoon and early evening.

That will be a warm-up for Western's student parade and Holiday Tree Lighting on campus, beginning at 6 p.m.

The Sip-n-Shop is a joint effort by several local businesses. Beginning at 3 p.m., pedestrians can stroll through the downtown and duck into different shops for hot chocolate, apple cider and coffee.

Artists will be displaying their wares at The Venue, Petals & Vines and other establishments. The Monmouth Farm and Craft Market will be operating this day, and a live nativity scene is planned for Main Street Park.

Students of The Dance and Music Studio will be doing periodic performances in front of the studio at 180 Main St. E.

Drinks and treats at the businesses are free, but donations are encouraged. All proceeds will go to Partnerships in Community Living, a non-profit organization which finds jobs for people with disabilities.

The lighting of the 123-foot tall giant sequoia at Western has been a tradition since 1967. But it's not the only activity being coordinated by the university.

Western's Chamber Singers and Brass Ensemble will perform a a number of tunes in front of the Instructional Technology Center (ITC).

Meanwhile, a parade -- which is comprised mainly of WOU students, but welcomes floats by community members -- will depart from Monmouth Public Library's parking lot at 6 p.m.

The ceremony will wind west on Main Street and north on Monmouth Avenue into the heart of campus, with Santa Claus and hopefully, downtown pedestrians, bringing up the rear.

In front of the ITC building, Monmouth and Independence's respective mayors will introduce the winner of an essay contest among local elementary school children. He or she will then throw the switch and light the tree.

Beginning at 7:15 p.m., students from Central High School and Monmouth Elementary School will perform inside the Werner University Center.

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For more information about the Sip-n-Shop or to rent booth space, contact Terri Gregory at 503-330-6598 or at terrigreg@comcast.net.

To enter a float in the parade, contact Raeann Salchenberg at 503-838-8558 or rsalchenberg06@wou.edu.

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