'Christmas in the Pines' new Prineville tradition

Paired with traditional scenes to make season bright

New Prineville Christmas tradition

PRINEVILLE, Ore. - As the sun sets in Prineville, lights turn on across the city.

A winter wonderland at the Crook County Fairgrounds, the first "Christmas In The Pines."

"We are starting a tradition -- it has started," said Stanley Flynn, a Christmas in the Pines volunteer.

It's a Christmas spectacular , with more than 800 strings of lights, and 100 light displays.

"It's awesome, 'cause it's all lights," said Levi Shrauger, a Boy Scout visiting the display Wednesday evening.

Fellow Boy Scout Skyler Roberts agreed: "All the snow outside, and all the lights. It's just a lot like Christmas."

Built from a community idea, the community is the light show in so many ways.

The giant Merry Christmas sign at the entrance, built by the late Mike Rachor of Powell Butte, donated in his honor.

A train from the old Ericlson's department store. Santa from Clear Pine Molding, along with keepsakes and lights, from residents past and present.

"It's Christmas and people need their spirits lifted, and what better way to do it than in all these lights?" said Flynn.

It's a beautiful sight, the winter wonderland of lights. But walk inside Santa Land, and you can see it doesn't outshine another tradition.

It's the Grimes Christmas scene," said Beth Grimes.

Grimes has been collecting for her Christmas scenes since 1959, but the collection started long before that.

"My mother-in-law bought the original houses for my husband's first Christmas," Grimes said.

That was back in 1937.

Grimes says it wasn't just the houses that her family loved, but how the pieces were displayed.

"I'm still a little girl that likes to play with her doll house, it's fun, it's just fun,"  Grimes said.

Grimes has more than 32,000 pieces in her collection, and not all of them are on display.

"Each one of them is special," said Grimes said.

Sharing her passion publicly for 31 years, Grimes says each scene starts from one piece that is given to her, and it grows from there.

"It's one of those things that if we could live it this way year round, wouldn't it be wonderful," Grimes said.

A family tradition, now joined with a community tradition in the making.

"Believe in Christmas, and we still believe in Santa Claus," Flynn said.

The event runs Wednesday through Sunday from 4 to 8 p.m. until Dec. 28th. Santa is there on Saturdays.

A non-perishable food donation is encouraged to get in. It goes to the St. Vincent de Paul food bank, or the Humane Society of the Ochocos.

Christmas in the Pines needs money and volunteers. Running on donations, they need funds to pay the electric bill at the end.

If you would like to volunteer or donate, you can contact Stanley Flynn at, or the 'Christmas In The Pines' facebook page

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