Anyone interested in helping to spruce up the community holiday light display that has adorned the Corvallis Pepsi plant for the last 31 Christmases is invited to stop by the Benton County Fairgrounds, 110 S.W. 53rd St., between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. today.
Volunteers will have the opportunity to adopt one of the painted cartoon characters, storybook heroes or yuletide scenes that make up the elaborate light show. Many of the wooden figures and structures are a little weatherbeaten and in need of fresh paint or other repairs.
The drive-through Christmas display, begun as a relatively modest production in 1981 by the late Mario Pastega, grew every year and became a cherished Corvallis tradition. Pastega sold the bottling plant in 2011 and died early last year.
Now his children have taken possession of their dad’s creation and relocated it to the fairgrounds, where it will become the drive-through centerpiece of a new community tradition that may include a Christmas tree lot, holiday bazaar and other features.
The Pastegas bought a truck and three trailers to store and transport the light display and will be conducting an inventory of all the pieces today in the fairgrounds parking lot. The family will provide money for materials to keep the display looking sharp but is asking for the community’s help in doing needed annual maintenance such as cleaning, repainting and refurbishing worn components.
For more information about adopting a portion of the Christmas light show, call Romano’s Italian Sodas (a Pastega family enterprise) at 541-452-8032 or Kathleen Hutchinson of the Rotary Club of Greater Corvallis at 541-760-2529.