Jacksonville has many annual traditions: the Britt Festival, the city-wide yard-sale, the frequent trolley tours, and even the haunted walks leading up to Halloween. However, several spectacular winter events often get overlooked, such as the Victorian Christmas and the Chinese New Year celebrations.
During the last weekend of November, Jacksonville puts on a Victorian Christmas celebration that continues every Saturday and Sunday leading up to Christmas. Beginning with a community caroling and tree-lighting ceremony, the Victorian-themed event offers trolley rides, and chances for photos with Father Christmas, as well as glimpses of carolers in traditional nineteenth century garb. During one of the Saturdays, a Christmas parade even occurs, allowing the community to get involved either by entering the parade’s line-up, or by cheering on the floats and local entrants. With tranquil greenery and white lights giving the city a nostalgic feel, Jacksonville at Christmastime isn’t to be missed.
The Chinese New Year celebration, organized by the Southern Oregon Chinese Cultural Association, includes a parade, children’s activities like face-painting and crafts, live presentations (on everything from culinary dishes to archeological finds), tai chi and calligraphy lessons, and then a headline event, such as an acclaimed magic show. Thanks to the donation of “The Mighty One,” a dragon straight from San Francisco’s Chinese New Year parades, the Jacksonville celebration is becoming larger than ever.
The dragon featured in the Chinese New Year parade spans 61 feet and spent over a decade as the centerpiece of the annual Southwest Airlines’ Chinese New Year parade in San Francisco. After retiring it for several years, it is returning for use in Southern Oregon thanks to David Lei (Vice Chairman of the Chinese American Community Foundation) and Harlan Wong (San Francisco’s Chinese New Year Festival and parade director).
So, this upcoming winter, watch for the Christmas celebrations in Jacksonville, starting November 30, 2019. Then, at the start of 2020, keep your schedule clear for January 25, because the year of the rat will come in strong and you won’t want to miss one of Jacksonville’s exciting cultural events.
Thanks to the newest addition to our SOREDI team, our SOU alum, Abigail Skelton, we will continue to feature some of the popular attractions located in our Southern Oregon communities. We consider each one of our towns and cities to be “jewels in the crown” that makes up Southern Oregon. If you have a story idea sparked by an inspiring local attraction, please e-mail our Communications Manager, Codi Spodnik and maybe Abigail will be giving you a call to follow up. If you are a SOREDI Member and you have some great news, please e-mail it to Codi so we can share it in our newsletter.
Southern Oregon Chinese Cultural Association. (2019). Chinese New Year Celebration. Website: https://www.soccachinesenewyear.org/2019-year-of-the-pig-chinese-new-year-celebration/#schedule