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News Release
Minidoka Swing Band
Minidoka Swing Band
Holiday Cheer, Santaland, Minidoka Swing Band, and More Holiday Events at the Oregon Historical Society (Photo) - 11/28/23

Portland, OR — The holiday season is just around the corner, and the Oregon Historical Society (OHS) has events and exhibits to help get into the spirit of the season! Mark your calendar for these upcoming events at the Oregon Historical Society (1200 SW Park Avenue, Portland, OR 97205), many that are free and open to the all!

Holiday Cheer: A Celebration of Oregon Authors
Sunday, December 3, 12pm to 4pm

Join us as we kick off the holiday season with our annual celebration of Oregon’s literary talents, Holiday Cheer, on Sunday, December 3. Chat with 65+ local authors as you sip on hot cocoa, listen to carols, and get a jump on your holiday shopping!  

For 54 years, the Oregon Historical Society has celebrated the state’s rich literary talents at this annual book signing event. This year, some of the Pacific Northwest’s most prominent authors will be at OHS selling everything from children’s books to guidebooks to mysteries to histories! View a full list of participating authors at ohs.org/holidaycheer.

To add to the holiday cheer, The Dickens Carolers will be strolling through the museum performing lively holiday songs from 1:30pm–2:30pm. Holiday Cheer begins at noon at and authors will be signing until 4pm. Admission is free to both the book sale and to visit museum exhibitions, with OHS’s galleries open until 5pm. 

Book sales at Holiday Cheer support the Oregon Historical Society’s mission to preserve our state’s history and make it accessible to everyone in ways that advance knowledge and inspire curiosity about all the people, places, and events that have shaped Oregon.

Meier & Frank Santaland Exhibit
On view December 1–31

When the downtown Macy’s department store closed in 2017, OHS had the opportunity to add items from the popular Meier & Frank Santaland attraction to its prop collection and begin a new holiday tradition: Santaland at the Oregon Historical Society. 

Visit this nostalgic vignette in our museum, which features items from the original Meier & Frank Santaland including Rudolph, animatronic elves, holiday decor, a model of the famous monorail, and even the famous Cinnamon Bear costume! Each year, our museum team adds a new “Easter egg” to the display; can you spot the difference this year?

Plus, Santa himself will make an appearance in Santaland on Sunday, December 10, from 1pm to 4pm. Take a photo with Santa as he sits atop the classic throne in Santaland for the perfect holiday snapshot! Museum admission will be free all day.

Minidoka Swing Band Concert
Thursday, December 7, 12pm to 1pm

The Minidoka Swing Band was formed in 2007 to remember the music and big bands that were popular inside World War II Japanese American incarceration camps to help make life more normal for the imprisoned incarcerees. The Oregon Historical Society is thrilled to host the Minidoka Swing Band for a concert on Pearl Harbor Day in our pavilion at noon. Admission is free and all are welcome.

The Minidoka Swing Band was formed by the late Roberta (Robbie) Tsuboi for a 2008 pilgrimage to the Minidoka Internment Camp. The band consists of 17 musicians and two vocalists, three of whom were incarcerated during WWII. Relatives of several bandmembers were also incarcerated. The band connects audiences to the time when all internees needed something to uplift them and help them feel typically American. 

The Minidoka Swing Band continues to play the music of The Harmonaires, a Seattle-based band formally known as the Mikados of Swing, as a tribute to Minidoka and all the internees who suffered a great loss during those difficult years. This performance will include narration between songs by Nola Sugai Bogle, who was incarcerated with her family at Minidoka.

About the Oregon Historical Society

For nearly 125 years, the Oregon Historical Society has served as the state’s collective memory, preserving a vast collection of objects, photographs, maps, manuscript materials, books, films, and oral histories. Our research library, museum, digital platforms, educational programming, and historical journal make Oregon’s history open and accessible to all. We exist because history is powerful, and because a history as deep and complex as Oregon’s cannot be contained within a single story or point of view. 

View more news releases from Oregon Historical Society.