Downtown Medford will look a lot like the North Pole Saturday, Dec. 1, when Medford Parks and Recreation hosts its annual Winter Light Festival. The festivities start at 4 ..m. with a candy-cane hunt and marshmallow roast in Hawthorne Park. Children 12 and younger may participate in the hunt for peppermint treats; the marshmallow roast is open to all ages.
The holiday parade with grand marshals Puddles the Duck, Benny the Beaver — college sports mascots from University of Oregon and Oregon State University, respectively — and Santa will start at 5 p.m. and make its way to Vogel Plaza. Dancers and a marching band will be part of the procession.
There will be holiday music by the North Medford High School Band and Rogue Valley Chorale.
Santa, Puddles and Benny will be available for photographs with children, and there will be a coloring contest, vendors and free hot chocolate and coffee.
The tree-lighting ceremony with Mayor Gary Wheeler will be at 5:35 p.m., followed by more holiday music.