Autumn is a time for reflection and celebration, and Oakland is preparing for that in the next few months.

A small committee of community members is putting the finishing touches on Living History Days, set for Oct. 6-7. Displays and demonstrations range from gold panning to a working Civil War encampment.

Come and learn a thing or two at the one-room schoolhouse, or watch the nimble fingers of spinners, weavers and quilters. The Hokey Pokey Jail will be open for business, and live entertainment is scheduled for the main stage during History Days as well as throughout downtown.

Take a ride in the horse-drawn wagon to tour the goings-on from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. President Abe Lincoln, accompanied by his wife Mary Todd Lincoln, will receive the key to the city from Mayor Bette Keehley on the main stage.

Do your clothes need a good wash? Come on over to laundry alley, and then catch the Wild West Show shoot-em-out and the Can-Can girls will bring a smile to your face. The Oakland Library will be providing some old-fashioned coloring books for kids, and Sheriff Curly will be arresting anyone without a lapel button — watch out! Buttons are available for purchase in City Park.

The downtown merchants, including the eateries, will be open with special treats and deals; also don’t miss the Oakland Museum for a walk through life in 1800’s Oakland. New this year is the Rootin’ Tootin’ Root Beer Saloon located off laundry alley in Riley’s emporium; and be sure to grab a handful of turkey legs for lunch, fresh from Turkey Hall (CoCo’s Café).

Single stroke engines and a working forge will highlight the west side of Hwy 99 along with the Civil War encampment, vendors and other demonstrations.

Admission is free to this event, which was last held in 2016. Many activities are geared for kids, so come out for some hands-on fun and to see what life was like on the frontier. Volunteers, singers and dancers will be dressed in costumes from the time period, and visitors are encouraged to do the same.

November brings the annual Sip and Stroll. Always the Sunday before Thanksgiving, this event is well-attended and provides a passport tour of Oakland shops as well as local wines and wineries.

The annual Christmas tree lighting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Dec. 1. The legend of the tree-in-the-street and carol singing with the Oakland Singers will highlight the early evening. The Oakland Library Board will be handing out books and OCRT will provide hot cocoa and donut holes for snacking. Santa is scheduled to drop by on a firetruck to light the tree and visit with the kids. This is a great way to lead off the season of fantastic shopping in historic Oakland.

Change is in the wind for Oakland’s downtown; we can feel it in the air, so be sure to follow the progress coming soon.

Bette Keehley is the mayor of Oakland.

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