City Preps for Modified ‘Light Up the Night’ Event

The City of Canby has opened up nominations for its annual Who Lights Up Canby Contest, as it preps for a modified version of the popular Light Up the Night event amid the continuing coronavirus pandemic.

Held each December at Wait Park, Light Up the Night typically involves a parade through downtown Canby, the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree at Wait Park and photos with Santa Claus at the gazebo.

Some elements have had to be modified this year due to gathering size restrictions related to Covid-19; others have had to be nixed altogether.

Like in years past, organizers are asking the community to nominate and vote for a local resident to switch the lights on at Wait Park on Dec. 4.

“That is in line with our typical timing for Light Up The Night, although we are not planning to create an event in the park this year due to Covid-19 considerations,” explained Economic Development and Tourism Coordinator Calvin LeSueur.

That said — the park will not be closed. Visitors will be permitted to watch the tree lighting at Wait Park, where they will be encouraged to wear a face covering and maintain their distance from others not in their household.

LeSueur said the streets surrounding Wait Park on three sides — Northwest 3rd, Grant and 4th — will be closed that night to help promote social distancing.

The parade, however, is canceled, to discourage gathering in the downtown core.

The winner of the Who Lights Up Canby Contest will also appear in a pre-recorded video expressing holiday greetings, LeSueur said.

Frank Cutsforth, owner of Cutsforth’s Market, was voted to flip the switch two years ago, electing to give the honor to Rose, a longtime customer and well-known local resident.

Do-it-all volunteer Yolanda Sanchez was the community’s runaway choice last year with more than 300 votes. (Yours truly finished a distant second — not that I remember it or anything.)

Nominees should be “someone ‘electric’ who helps make Canby a better place,” LeSueur said, maybe a coworker, friend or family member.

“The City of Canby is looking for nominations of people throughout the Canby community who bring something a little extra special to everyone in their life – not just during the holidays, but year-round!” said LeSueur.

The deadline for nominations is 5 p.m. Nov. 20th. The winner will be selected via judging will begin on the Canby Business Facebook page, which will begin Monday, Nov. 23.

To nominate someone for the Who Lights Up Canby Contest, please use the online form at You will need to include your name and contact information, as well as that of your nominee, and a description of the ways they “light up” Canby.

For questions, please contact Calvin LeSueur at 503-266-0772 or

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