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Winter Wonderland in BeaverTown
Fest lights up Corvallis
by Katie Kalk
For the last five years, Corvallis has kicked off winter in style, thanks in part to the annual festive downtown celebration, Winter’s Eve. A fundraiser put on by Corvallis Assistance League in conjunction with the Corvallis merchants, the event is held under a city-block sized tent and throughout participating downtown shops. It features Christmas carolers, live music, wine, beer and food samples from local restaurants, major discounts from downtown businesses, silent auctions and general holiday cheer.
All proceeds from the event go to the League’s five philanthropic organizations, which distribute new clothing to Benton County school kids in need, provide new clothing to emergency room patients, provide dental care for underprivileged children, hold SAT review classes for local high school students, and provide police, firefighters and youth shelters with teddy bears to give to children.
“This is our sixth year doing it,” says Ginny Adams of the Assistance League. “It’s gotten to the point where it’s been a pretty successful evening. A really fun thing and a great fundraiser for our organization.”
The food is plentiful. Adams says, “We have over 30 different restaurants from the Corvallis area participating, who will be offering everything from Mexican food to crepes to dessert items to prime rib. And each ticket holder is entitled to a glass of wine and a glass of beer.”
Along with all the food and drink, ticket holders can bid on silent auctions. “There are probably close to a hundred different items,” Adams says. “We have a weekend in Lincoln City, a night at a bed and breakfast here in Corvallis, we have artwork that’s been donated by some of the galleries, we have a wine tasting, a wine tour, some really fun hand-crafted toys, gift baskets — a whole variety of things.”
Included in the ticket booklet are coupons at many downtown businesses, which will stay open until 10 pm to offer shoppers significant discounts. “Some [coupons] are 20 percent off anything in the store, others are 50 percent off one item,” Adams says. “Restaurants have coupons that can be used during the month of December.”
Past musical performances have included groups such as The Heart of the Valley Children’s Choir, and this year Winter’s Eve will include carolers wandering around town, adding to the seasonal atmosphere.
Local artist Jan Roberts-Dominguez has created the official artwork of the event, an original watercolor painting of a Christmas wreath, which will be available for sale in the form of prints, note cards and ornaments. She’ll be on hand to sign artwork, Adams says, but that’s only one of the many features of Winter’s Eve!
Winter’s Eve runs 5 pm-10 pm Friday, Dec. 4, on Madison Avenue and throughout downtown Corvallis. Advance tickets are available for $35 at Borders Books Music and Café, Clothes Tree, Inkwell Home Store and Rice’s Pharmacy. A limited number of tickets will be available for $40 at the door.