Photos by Cheryl Landes
Corvallis, in the heart of Oregon’s Willamette Valley, is best known for its rich agricultural heritage and Oregon State University. It’s also the only place in the Pacific Northwest where you drive through a barn to see a beautiful Christmas light display.
The Pastega Christmas Light Display tour starts at the side of a big barn at the Benton County Fairgrounds, 110 SW 53rd Street. Twelve white animated ringing bells on the outside wall guide you through scenes from the song, “The 12 Days of Christmas,” which plays along the way. Each picture, hung under a bell, represents a day of Christmas.
From there, make a sharp right turn into the barn, the main display.
You’ll see painted plywood cutouts of traditional Christmas characters, famous cartoon creatures like Donald and Daisy Duck and Foghorn Leghorn, and even Dr. Seuss’ Grinch. Classic holiday tunes play in the background.
After leaving the barn, you’ll pass a Santa playing a piano and another Santa riding an antique tractor dressed in lights. And there are more colorful lights along the road as you make a sharp left turn to the end of the display.
The Pastega Christmas Light Display started 31 years ago by Mario Pastega, the owner of the Pepsi Bottling Plant. When he was alive, he hosted the drive-through display every year at the plant. Since his death in 2012, volunteers have carried on the tradition at the fairgrounds.
The display is open nightly the day after Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, 5-10 p.m. Admission is a donation of one can of food for the local food bank. Collection bins are located just before you enter the “12 Days of Christmas” display.
For more information, visit the Pastega Christmas Light Display’s webpage.