Portland, December 27th, 2013. A handful of days remain in The Grotto’s annual Christmas Festival of Lights where visitors are asked to bring a donation of canned or dry food benefiting Snow-Cap, the east county’s affiliate of the Oregon Food Bank. The festival runs through December 30th at The Grotto at NE 85th and Sandy Boulevard in Portland.
From The Grotto:
An internationally-renowned Catholic shrine and botanical garden, The Grotto provides a spiritual and peaceful retreat for more than 200,000 visitors each year from all faiths and all walks of life. Visitors are delighted to discover this 62-acre green space just minutes from downtown Portland.
Presenting the sights, sounds and sensations of the season, The Grotto’s Christmas Festival of Lights is the largest Christmas choral festival in the world. The festival features nearly 160 indoor holiday concerts performed by many of the region’s finest school, church and civic choirs. Offering a family-oriented blend of traditional celebration and serene reflection, the festival theme “Angels on High” reflects the special season of hope that Christmas offers to many thousands of families from around the Pacific Northwest.
Holiday foods and beverages are also available, as is seasonal shopping in The Grotto’s Christian Gift and Book Store. A magnificent display of nativity sets from around the world is on display for viewing and individual sets are available for purchase in the Grotto’s Visitor Complex.
Average festival visitation times are between 75 and 90 minutes. Visitors wishing to hear a specific concert in The Grotto’s chapel should arrive at least 30 to 45 minutes in advance of the scheduled concert time.
The Festival of Lights is a walk through event and visitors can expect to walk approximately one quarter mile. All entertainment areas are either indoors or fully tented but visitors should dress for the weather. During festival hours temperatures typically are in the low to mid-40s. Rubber soled shoes, warm socks, gloves, and ear coverings are recommended, especially on colder nights. Outlined in lights, the entry path is somewhat uneven and darkened for effect. While accessible to those with disabilities, the festival is NOT recommended for the elderly or frail.
Parking is Free and volunteer parking attendants are present on busier nights to direct visitors to the most convenient parking. Weather permitting this year’s busiest nights will be Saturday, Dec. 14th through December 23rd and all other Saturday nights. For those attending on the festival’s busier nights, we recommend for ease of access that you arrive before 6:30 or after 8:15 p.m.
The Grotto’s Christmas Festival of Lights presents five indoor concerts each evening. Featuring many of the region’s finest school, church and civic choirs performing in the Grotto’s 600-seat chapel known for its cathedral quality acoustics, nightly concerts begin at 5:15, 6:00, 7:00, 8:00 and 9:00 p.m. Visitors wishing to hear a specific chapel concert should plan to arrive between 30 and 45 minutes in advance of the scheduled concert time.
Outdoor tented family entertainment runs continuously each night in the plaza. Our master puppeteer presents a Christmas themed show at 6:00, 7:00 and 8:00 p.m. The Grotto Carolers perform your favorite Christmas carols at 5:35, 6:35, 7:35, and 8:35 p.m. nightly. Rainbow Farms live animal petting zoo is open from 5:00 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.
The Grotto is extremely appreciative of the nearly 1,000 volunteers who help staff the festival each year. Volunteer shifts are typically 3 hours and are split into an early “opening” shift and a later “closing” shift. Both indoor and outdoor positions are available and scheduling flexibility is greatly appreciated.
Festival Information: 503.261.2400
Main reception: 503.254.7371
Nightly 5:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. with festival grounds closing at 10:00 p.m.
Closed Christmas Day
$9.00 general admission
$8.00 senior ( 65 and over)
$4.00 children ages 3 – 12
2 & under are admitted FREE
Tickets are available at the entry gate or may be purchased in advance at The Grotto’s Gift Shop.
During the Festival of Lights the gounds close at 4:00 p.m..
Adequate free parking is available