Winter Magic, tree lighting Friday in Mount Shasta

Skye Kinkade
Sunday was not a day of rest for this group of people who came together to decorate Parker Plaza in anticipation of Mount Shasta’s Winter Magic and tree lighting celebration this Friday, Nov. 29. Mt. Shasta Blvd. will be closed to traffic from 1 to 7 p.m. Santa will arrive at 3 p.m. in front of City Hall and children can tell him their wishes and play games. Chili and warm holiday drinks will be served; fire pits, store specials and performances by the Mount Shasta Children’s Theatre and Choir. The tree will be lit at Parker Plaza at 6 p.m. Left to right are Kelly Steiner, Yvonne Waite, Brett Waite, Robin Johnson, Melissa Doyle, Mark Healy, Nancy Shigenaka, Dr. Jim Parker (the Plaza’s namesake), Elizabeth Lahey, Jacquie Parker, and Paul and Julie Eckert. Others who helped included Rob Dyer, Lori Waite, Paul and Dennis Engstrom, Vince Reinig, Peyton Hough, Montana Lahey and Reed Eckert. Photo contributed by AC Conlan

Mount Shasta’s day-after-Thanksgiving tree lighting ceremony is scheduled to be held at Parker Plaza for the first time this year.

Organizers say they are keeping a traditional theme while expanding the town’s “Winter Magic” event.

Scheduled for Nov. 29, it will include a visit from Santa and his friends, carolers, and performances by the Mount Shasta Children’s Choir and Mount Shasta Children’s Theatre.

The 300 and 400 blocks of Mt. Shasta Blvd. will be closed to traffic from 1 to 7 p.m. Fire pits and bales of straw will be located at various spots in the area for those who want to warm up and/or enjoy a roasted marshmallow or two.

Stores will be offering sales and specials for holiday shoppers, said Mount Shasta Chamber of Commerce president and Winter Magic committee chair Brett Waite.

A tree will be lit at Parker Plaza at 6 p.m. following performances by the Mount Shasta Children’s Theatre, under the direction of Wendy James at 4:30 p.m. and a performance by the Mount Shasta Children’s Choir performance at 5:45 p.m.

Ryder Emerson will lead a quartet of musicians singing carols throughout the downtown area.

The City Hall Plaza will be transformed into Santa’s Village for the event. Santa will arrive at 3 p.m., courtesy of the Mt. Shasta Firefighters Association and will return immediately following the tree lighting ceremony.

Children will be invited to sit on Santa’s lap to whisper their Christmas wishes in his ear and there will also be games to play with prizes to be won (but there won’t be any losers, said head elf and Mount Shasta Fire Department Assistant Chief Eric Dyck).

The Firefighters Association will be selling hot chocolate, non-alcoholic apple pie drinks and thick chili. All proceeds from food and drink sales will go toward Santa’s Sleigh on Dec. 20 and 21.

At Parker Plaza, Mount Shasta City Manager Paul Eckert and his wife Julie will be selling festive drinks for adults and children. Proceeds from drink sales will go back to the Winter Magic event, Eckert said.

Non-alcoholic hot apple cider and hot chocolate will be available.

For adults, the Eckerts plan to offer hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps, Irish coffee, hot cider with caramel vodka, and Nordic Glogg (a spicy mulled wine).

If there is snow, a snowman making contest may be included in the festivities.

“This will be a fun event for all and an opportunity for the community to see what local merchants and business are offering for the holiday season,” Waite said.

Winter Magic is sponsored by volunteers in collaboration with the city of Mount Shasta, the Mt. Shasta Fire Association, Mountain Runners and the Mount Shasta Chamber of Commerce.