Centralia Is a Holiday Season Haven

Historic Downtown Centralia might only be a short drive or train ride from Seattle, but its authentic holiday charm makes it feel like a world away
| Updated: November 27, 2019

Sponsored by Centralia Downtown Association

Washington is filled with quaint small towns. But few, if any, possess the blend of accessibility, historic charm and a truly unique holiday spirit experience like the Mayberry-esque town of Centralia. A quick drive down I-5 or traffic-free train trip can deliver you into the heart of the historic downtown in short order.

Experience an Old-fashioned Holiday Season

With unique shops, eateries and cultural curiosities along a main street that’s just steps away from a historic train station, Centralia is worth a visit any time of year. However, during the holidays, the town exudes a holiday spirit that would make Norman Rockwell proud. Individually decorated shop windows and small-town holiday events bring the season alive in glorious fashion.

Winterfest kicks off the first full weekend in December with downtown hayrides, roasted peanuts, hot cider, and Santa himself.

Make plans to experience the Lighted Tractor Parade always the second Saturday in December. See 90 tractors, farm implements, trucks, floats and marching bands decked out in over 100,000 lights, make their way through downtown to the delight of throngs of locals and visitors from all over the region. The second weekend also offers the Christmas Market at the historic train depot where you’ll find a slew of unique, artisan gifts and more seasonal goodies than you can shake a candy cane at.

Bringing the Holidays Back Home

Speaking of gifts - downtown is chock full of everything from upcycled treasures and vintage furnishings, to one of a kind art and fashion-forward home decor and clothing. To glimpse the opportunities check out the list of stores and websites at downtowncentralia.org.

Image credit: Jason Baker

There are plenty of places to put fuel in your tank as well with restaurants and bars offering a world of flavors including Italian, Filipino, Indian, Mexican, vegan delights, and hometown favorites. Stop in at the McMenamins Olympic Club or the Centralia Square Grand Ballroom and Hotel for dinner or even an overnight stay if you feel like turning the trip into a mini-vacation - which would be completely understandable. If you’re the sort that appreciates a heart-warming holiday, Centralia is a haven that you might not want to leave.

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