MYRTLE CREEK — With a flip of the switch, lights on the Myrtle Creek Christmas tree were turned on at 6 p.m. Saturday, the final part of the eight day community-wide decorating party.

Myrtle Creek community members, city administrator Sean Negherbon and the fire department went to harvest the tree the Friday after Thanksgiving, continuing a 14-year tradition.

Negherbon said it took a little longer than previous years to find a good tree because of snow in the area.

City staff hung lights in the tree, located near the intersection of Second Avenue and Main Street, before the elementary school students decorated the tree.

Students at Myrtle Creek Elementary School made decorations for the tree and walked from the school Friday afternoon to hang their handmade ornaments on the tree.

“I think it’s great that the kids get to come down and participate in a community event,” Mayor Matthew Hald said while watching the decorating. “It’s a great tradition.”

Negherbon added that as long as people want to keep doing it, the town’s Christmas tree traditions will continue.

“I like it,” kindergartener Elayna McGuire said. She liked the colors of the ornament she made, the shape, the decorating and Christmas.

Each class made a different ornament with reindeer, snowflakes, balls, Christmas trees, and snowmen now adorning the tree in the city’s center.

Third grader Brooke Fleshman said she particularly enjoyed putting glitter on the snowflake ornament she created.

To make sure not all the ornaments ended up on the lower branches, public works director Quinn Pickering and public works staff member Aaron Lincecum, brought a bucket truck to take ornaments to the top branches.

Although the children weren’t allowed to go up, many still opted to place their ornaments in the care of the city staff.

“We get it to go up there if we want to,” third grader Kerra Kauhn said.

Students also received a small candy cane from Community Development Director Lonnie Rainville, City Recorder Joanne Bilbrey or Myrtle Creek Police Officer Sam Birch on Friday.

Santa Claus, who arrived in a fire truck, handed out candy canes on Saturday to the people on his nice list who attended the tree lighting.

Sanne Godfrey can be reached at or 541-957-4203. Follow her on Twitter @sannegodfrey.

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