Medford's Winter Light Festival kicks off the holiday season Saturday, Dec. 3, in downtown Medford.

Medford's Winter Light Festival kicks off the holiday season Saturday, Dec. 3, in downtown Medford.

Hosted by Medford Parks and Recreation, the event includes a candy-cane hunt for kids 12 and younger at 4 p.m. in Hawthorne Park, corner of Jackson and Hawthorne streets, followed by a marshmallow roast for all ages. Kettle corn and coffee from Starbucks will be available.

The annual parade from Hawthorne Park to Vogel Plaza — led by Santa riding a firetruck and high-school marching bands — will begin at 5:15 p.m. Mascots such as the University of Oregon's Duck and Oregon State Univesity's Benny Beaver will be featured in the parade.

At 5:45 on the plaza, the South Medford High School Choir will sing holiday songs, and Mayor Gary Wheeler will throw a switch to illuminate a 30-foot evergreen tree. Santa will be available for photographs. For information, see www.playmedford.com or call 541-774-2400.