Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas 2011 Advent Calendar - Day 15

Photo by Steve Morgan
Here in Portland, Oregon there are many significant landmarks, both old and new, as I'm sure there are wherever it is that you live.  But while there are many landmarks here, there is really only one Christmas landmark, and that is a giant metal sign lit with both neon and incandescent bulbs that sits above the White Stag Building near the Willamette River, facing one of our major bridges.

The sign features a giant (you guessed it!) white stag, and was originally named the White Stag Sign, until 1997 when the wording was changed to "Made in Oregon," due to the "Made in Oregon" store located nearby.  Each year, near the end of November, a bright red neon nose is added to the sign, letting everyone know that Christmas is near, and Rudolph will soon be guiding Santa's sleigh through the northwest clouds and fog.

Last year, (2010), the signs' existence was threatened, as the buildings' new owners wanted to dismantle it.  Public outcry was loud and passionate, as the lighting of Rudolph's nose was such a treasured tradition to the city's inhabitants, and the City Council finally stepped in and saved the sign, changing the wording to "Portland Oregon," and the altered sign was ceremonially turned on for the first time 10 days later, on November 26, 2010.

And that's how we know when Santa is coming to town!

What Christmas-specific landmarks are in your town?


  1. There are a couple of big Christmas landmarks here in RI. My favorite being the Big Blue Bug who is wrapped in christmas lights and given a red nose and antlers for Christmas (he also dresses up for other holidays too). He is massive and stands right over the interstate so everyone can see him.

    The other is a huge lights display at the gold chain company along the highway. Their display is the size of about 2 football fields and has something for most religions and beliefs. It is absolutely beautiful to drive past at night.

  2. @~AngWow! Those both sound pretty cool!

  3. @~Ang Ok I just googled your Big Blue Bug - That is totally awesome! How fun!

  4. Isn't he uber cool?! He almost made it onto the Quarter for the state.