Hundreds gathered in Sandpiper Square for carols and the annual lamp lighting ceremony to mark the beginning of the holiday season in Cannon Beach Saturday, Dec. 1.

The lamplighting tradition began in 1973 amid an oil crisis that drove down the number of vacationers who were coming to visit Cannon Beach. To get back visitors, the town banded together to create a holiday celebration with a Charles Dickens theme. The Coaster Theatre put on productions of “A Christmas Carol” and shop owners dressed in Victorian style.

Since then, many of the traditions remain and others have evolved. Bill Steidel and Paul Dueber again performed the town’s official song “Christmas in Our Hometown,” which Steidel composed for the Dueber family when Paul Dueber Sr. died on Christmas Day 1967.

“This ceremony is a symbol of light, and love, and hope,” event organizer Margo Dueber said. “We hope you feel that today.”

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