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Celebrate a Victorian Christmas in Jacksonville

A Victorian Christmas Celebration kicks off with caroling and a tree-lighting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28, in historic downtown Jacksonville.

The North Medford High School Chamber Choir, directed by Karen Weller, will sound off with traditional holiday favorites, and Father Christmas and his elves will light the large Christmas tree at the corner of East California and C streets. The concert lasts about 30 minutes, and downtown shops will be open until 7 p.m.

Jacksonville's annual Victorian Christmas Parade will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 3. The new morning time frame allows for increased participation and better visibility of the parade entrants, as well as improved overall safety.

“People won’t have to rush to get the family together after work and then rush to get in place for the parade, says Jack Berger, president of Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, in a press release. "Having the parade in the morning also allows visitors to make a day of it and stay in town to enjoy the holiday activities.”

Jacksonville's celebration continues through December, with family activities set for Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 5-6, 12-13, 19-20 and 26-27.

New this year will be the Holly Jolly Trolley to ferry visitors around town to festivities and shopping and dining options. Stops will include the parking lot adjacent to Jacksonville library, 340 W. C St.; behind the Jacksonville Inn at C and Fourth streets; Beekman House at 452 E. California St.; Bigham Knoll at 525 E St.; Gary West Meats at 690 N. Fifth St.; and Art Presence at 805 N. Fifth St. A day's fare is just $1.

The city will be festooned with cedar boughs and twinkling lights. Look for Father Christmas in the foyer of the historic Beekman Bank at 100 E. California St., and a mix of carolers and live performers strolling the sidewalks each weekend.

Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon will perform chamber music by Joseph Haydn, Felix Mendelssohn, Franz Schubert and other composers of classical music at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, in the historic First Presbyterian Church, 405 E. California St.

Tours of the historic Beekman House, 425 E. California St., will be available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Beekman House was home to Jacksonville's wealthiest pioneer family and will be decorated for a 19th-century Christmas celebration. Docents costumed in Victorian garb will share holiday stories and traditions relevant to the late 1800s. The tours begin every 15 minutes and last about an hour. Visitors can sing carols, steal a kiss under the mistletoe and sample Mrs. Beekman's sugar cookies. Tours are $5, $3 for ages 65 and older and kids 6 through 12.

“Jacksonville’s Victorian Christmas is a cherished tradition for many people in the greater Rogue Valley community, and we continue to build on the incredible foundation laid by the previous coordinators of this event, while making some modifications as situations dictate,” Berger says.

For information about Jacksonville's Victorian Christmas or Beekman House holiday tours, see www.jacksonvilleoregon.org.

Carolers sing on a corner during a past Victorian Christmas celebration in Jacksonville. Mail Tribune / File photo