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News Release
Benton County is bidding a heartfelt farewell to a beloved holiday tradition--the Pastega Christmas Light Display. This enchanting spectacle of twinkling lights and festive joy has been a cherished tradition at the Benton County Fairgrounds since 1981.
Benton County is bidding a heartfelt farewell to a beloved holiday tradition--the Pastega Christmas Light Display. This enchanting spectacle of twinkling lights and festive joy has been a cherished tradition at the Benton County Fairgrounds since 1981.
Benton County thanks Pastega family and volunteers for years of holiday lights and cheer (Photo) - 11/30/23

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Benton County is bidding a heartfelt farewell to a beloved holiday tradition—the Pastega Christmas Light Display. This enchanting spectacle of twinkling lights and festive joy has been a cherished tradition since 1981.

Tomi Douglas, the Director of Benton County Natural Areas and Parks, took a moment to express gratitude for Ken Pastega and the dedicated volunteers who have tirelessly upheld this tradition. In a gesture of appreciation, Douglas presented Pastega with an honorary key to the fairgrounds, recognizing decades of effort from the Pastega family in making the holidays truly special in Benton County.

"The work that Ken and the team have done to keep this tradition alive throughout the years is amazing, and we know this won't be the end of holiday traditions in Benton County,” Douglas said.

Douglas highlighted Benton County's commitment to collaborating with the community to explore fresh ideas for holiday traditions at the Benton County Fairgrounds.

Ken Pastega, alongside Mike Strowbridge and Dana Strowbridge, has been at the helm of the drive-thru light display at the fairgrounds for a decade. At 77, Pastega genuinely expresses gratitude for the community's support.

Beyond its visual charm, the Pastega Christmas Light Display has been a force for good. Always free for all, the event encourages visitors to donate canned food, resulting in an impressive 70,000 pounds or more of donations to local food pantries over the years.

“The enjoyment is seeing the kids go through and the adults saying I’ve gone through it every year,” said Pastega.

For now, the community still can revel in the magic of the Pastega Christmas Light Display at the Benton County Fairgrounds every night from 5 to 10 p.m. until December 31. It's a final chance to bask in the warmth of this long-standing holiday tradition. 

“The Pastega Christmas Light Display has been a source of joy for the community, and we look forward to helping ensure new traditions will bring the magic of the season to Benton County for years to come,” Douglas concluded.

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Benton County is an Equal Opportunity-Affirmative Action employer and does not discriminate on the basis of disability in admission or access to our programs, services, activities, hiring and employment practices. This document is available in alternative formats and languages upon request. Please contact Cory Grogan at 541-745-4468 or pioinfo@bentoncountyor.gov.

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