News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

‘Christmas Extravaganza’ coming to Mill City

Local community groups are hosting the Santiam Canyon Christmas Extravaganza, a first-of-its-kind holiday event scheduled for Dec. 2 in Mill City.

Organized through the Santiam Canyon PTO and Santiam Young Life, the Christmas Extravaganza will feature holiday shopping and family-friendly events throughout the day.

Both groups held separate Christmas events in 2022, with the PTO holding its first Ugly Sweater Fun Run and Young Life hosting a Christmas Sleigh Ride Photo Booth. This year they decided to hold the events in conjunction and partnered with the school district and City Hall to add a Christmas Bazaar and Tree Lighting.

Melissa Allison, with the PTO, said they hope residents can experience some fun and Christmas spirit, and take the opportunity to support nonprofits who work with local students.

“We are excited and we think it will be great,” she said.

Ugly Sweater Fun Run, 10 a.m.

The day kicks off with the second-annual Ugly Sweater Fun Run at 10 a.m. outside the Santiam Junior/Senior High School gymnasium.

The race follows a 3.25-mile loop through Mill City and participants are encouraged to run or walk in the most festive and eye-catching–or eye-offending–Christmas sweaters they can find. The cost to enter is $20 per person, while kids under 18 can enter free and are encouraged to leave a donation. Proceeds benefit the PTO and their support of student activities.

The race is preceded by a short “Kiddie Dash,” while the end of the race will have free cookies and hot chocolate. Pre-registration is available at

Santiam Canyon Holiday Bazaar, 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Come find vendors in the Santiam Junior/Senior High School gymnasium and auditorium for gifts, food and unique holiday crafts, with booths featuring both local businesses and nonprofits.

Guests can also bid on items in a silent auction and enter for drawing prizes, with proceeds supporting the PTO.

And don’t miss a chance to take a picture with Santa, hosted by Santiam Young Life. Pictures will be $5 each with proceeds supporting Young Life’s work with students. They will also be raising funds with a bake sale.

There will also be a food drive for the Santiam Outreach Community Center and residents can bring donations of canned and dry food.

Tree Lighting, 5:30 p.m.

The days’ festivities are scheduled to be capped off with a Christmas tree lighting outside Mill City City Hall, featuring live entertainment, refreshments and an appearance by Santa.

Sunday school students from Mill City Christian Church are scheduled to perform a few songs. Organizers have also reached out to the Santiam Canyon Community Chorus and the high school’s band program.

Mayor Tim Kirsch has also been asked to present a few words.

Allison said if the day is a success, they hope to involve other community groups in future Christmas Extravaganzas.

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