20th Festival of Light Event Kicks Off

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ASHLAND, Ore. – The 20th annual Festival of Light event kicked off Friday night at the Ashland Plaza. Hundreds of people gathered to countdown with Santa and light millions of lights around the city.

City officials prepared for the event by prepping early. Some crew members arrived to set up  starting at 7 a.m. Friday morning.

“We’ve done this a couple of years with the rain and that’s always tough because you have to keep all of your gear dry, you have to keep everybody coming on and off the stage dry,” said audio technician Bill Cruze.

It’s not just the setting, but the performers who have been preparing as well.

“This is the first year that we’ve done it, so we’re pretty excited to be included in this and be part of this celebration. We’ve been working about a week on this getting it ready especially for tonight, but the whole creation process for the show that we’re doing tonight maybe about a month,” said Robin Stiehm, the Artistic Director of Dancing People Company.

For some visitors, the festival is a one time chance for a real Christmas.

“I’m from Arizona,” said visitor Megan Sinclair, “and I just talked to my mom, and it’s 83 degrees, and she’s wearing shorts so this is when I get my fill of Christmas so I appreciate it.