Colville Chamber of Commerce to hold Home for the Holidays event

RaeLynn Ricarte

Last weekend, members of the Colville Chamber of Commerce strung lights in the south roundabout, adding to the illumination of the downtown blocks.
In October, the chamber wrapped hundreds of lights around 22 trees along Main Street and are still working on that project since they still have 4,000 feet to use.
“Every thing's going to be lit up this year,” said Karen Learn, executive director of the chamber.
Her focus, and that of the chamber board, has turned to the annual Home for the Holidays tree lighting ceremony that takes place Friday, Nov. 29, the day after Thanksgiving.
That event accompanies the Christmas Tree Extravaganza that begins on Saturday, Nov. 23, at Saundra's Furniture, 279 South Main Street, and runs through Saturday, Dec. 14. Eight decorated trees with many gifts underneath donated by area businesses will be on display. People can choose their favorite and buy a ticket to enter into a drawing that will be held at the Chamber Christmas Gala Dinner Dance & Dance on Dec. 14.
Last year, the chamber sold 12,000 tickets and this year the goal is 13,000, said Learn.
She said proceeds are used for chamber programs, such as the downtown flower baskets during the tourist season, wreaths on light poles for Christmas, the Kiddie and Pet Parade for Halloween, Moonlight Madness and more.
Home for the Holiday's starts the chamber's busy season with the arrival of Santa to turn on the lights of the community Christmas tree in Astor Court.
The fun begins at 5 p.m. on Nov. 29 with hot cocoa and cookies served by 4-H Club members. Carolers perform from 5:15 to 6 p.m.
This year, Santa is foregoing the fire truck to arrive in a horse drawn carriage about 6 p.m., said Christa McDonald, president of the chamber.
The Hoof & Boots carriage is owned by Jeff Upton.
Santa will visit with children for photos at Saundra's after the lighting.
For at least 20 years, McDonald said the Christmas season has kicked off with the local celebration that is small town tradition at its finest.
The day after the tree lighting, the chamber is promoting Small Business Saturday, Nov. 30. People can stop by Heritage Court for shopping bags and their “passport.” When they visit local businesses, they can collect stamps on the passport that will turn into entries for a grand prize.
There will be a scavenger hunt via Facebook for This Place Matters Colville T-Shirts. Once people locate one of the T-shirts at businesses, they are invited to take a picture and post it on the chamber's page with the #heartColville hashtag. Five random entries will be drawn for a T-shirt prize.
On Small Business Saturday, horse and buggy rides will be available.
Once that event is over, chamber officials will put the finishing touches on the annual gala that takes place at the Colville campus of Spokane Community College on Dec. 14.
Tickets are now being sold at the chamber office, 986 S. Main Street, but can also be purchased at the door. Dinner will be prepared by Lori Roberts and her crew from Catering to You and beverages available by donation from Colville Liquor & Wine. DJ Dave Pehl provides entertainment during the evening and there will be a dessert auction. For more information call 509-684-5973 or visit