It was a dark and stormy night in Bandon-by-the-Sea. The rain varied from a light sprinkle to a veritable downpour, but that didn't stop Bandon's residents and visitors from braving the weather to attend the 4th annual Night of 10000 Lights.
The fun started at 3:30 in the Chamber of Commerce parking lot with hot beverages, cookies, and 2016 Alive After Five wine glasses for purchase. It was the first stop for many folks who then dodged raindrops to duck into various businesses around Old Town for wine, egg nog, more goodies and special holiday deals.
It is the first holiday season for the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law team of Sara Rupert and Kayleigh Martindale and their new business, Bake & Brew. Kayleigh was there to provide coffee, cupcakes, and other baked treats for wetcustomers.
As 5:30 approached, the Chamber of Commerce parking lot started to fill with people anticipating the highlight of the afternoon, the lighting of the holiday tree. Folks huddled together under trees, umbrellas, and the Chamber's awning, but the festive atmosphere was not dampened by the rain. Laughter, cheerful chatter, and camera flashes brightened the darkness until the appointed time when the new City Manager Robert Mawson led the crowd in a countdown, and the tree went from a dark indiscernible shape to a colorful thing of beauty.
The fun didn't end with the lighting of the tree. Shops stayed open until 7:00 with their treats and deals, encouraging everyone to shop locally. Much of Old Town was lit with strings of light, making a stroll down the streets an enjoyable activity unto itself.
Saturday night was an example of the generosity of Bandon's residents' funds, spirit, and time. The tree and refreshments were donated, and many of the decorations were provided by business owners, the City of Bandon, the Chamber of Commerce, and of course dedicated volunteers. The thousands of lights were purchased using proceeds from previous Alive After Five events.
The Night of 10000 Lights was just the beginning of holiday fun in Bandon. There are many other activities and displays that will keep us in the spirit for the next weeks to come!