|Santa makes his appearance; Parade of Lights canceled|
|Written by Brenda Johnson Brandt|
Participation dropped considerably, but Holyoke’s rescheduled Country Christmas went down in history Saturday, Dec. 12.
Santa and Mrs. Claus visited with youth of all ages at the chili and potato soup luncheon held at the Fire Hall, adding sparks of fun for all. Holyoke Volunteer Fire Dept. served about 150, and Image Photography captured 49 pictures.
The soup luncheon was provided at no cost, with free will donations benefitting the 4th of July fireworks display.
The visitors from the North Pole greeted 62 children as they exited the movie “Up” at the Peerless. The red-clad duo even stopped by the Holyoke Wrestling Tournament to say hello to those who couldn’t make it over to the Fire Hall to submit their Christmas wish lists.
Unfortunately, the Parade of Lights, one of the most popular events of the past decade’s Country Christmas celebrations, was canceled this year.
When temperatures Tuesday, Dec. 8, the original celebration date, only reached a high of seven degrees, and snow with wind was forecast, Country Christmas was postponed until Saturday. Low temps for that day were marked at 17 degrees below zero. The new plan didn’t work for the parade.
MV Equipment did provide a touch of the Parade delight, as employee Carrie Anderson parked their float at the Fire Hall Saturday for the enjoyment of those visiting Santa and eating the soup luncheon.
Residents can look forward to Parade of Lights returning to next year’s schedule of events, noted sponsors Highline Electric and PC Telcom.
Outdoor temps were much more desirable Saturday, as the mercury climbed to 44 during the day.
Phillips County Historical Society members opened the museum for visitors to view the 23 ornaments made by Holyoke Elementary School children. While only a handful of visitors stopped by, those who did were treated to hot apple cider and cookies.
Participating Chamber businesses offered store discounts for Country Christmas shoppers, to add to the traditional event.
A number of contests were held as part of Country Christmas.
First Pioneer National Bank and decorator Brandi Helgoth won the 6th annual Christmas tree decorating contest, sponsored by Wolf Auto Center. Taking second place was Bank of Colorado.
Phillips County Dept. of Social Services won the 4th annual creative window contest which was sponsored by Holyoke Community Federal Credit Union.
Other participants were Flower Garden, second; Scheunemann’s Dept. Store, third; and First United Methodist Church, decorating Sullivan’s Appliance window, fourth.
Jolly Dozen Extension sponsored a “Guess the Number of Candies” contest at Saturday’s soup luncheon. Winning guessers were Collin Edwards in the youth division and Brenda Brandt in the adult contest.
Winners of the Chamber raffle were announced early Saturday afternoon. Arturo Dominguez won the 26” Huffy bike; Heather Anderson, Big Green Machine Huffy toy; Patty Hendrix, $50 Oak Tree shopping spree; and Linda Statz, NAPA socket set.
With a “Merry Christmas to All,” Santa and Mrs. Claus said good-bye and wished Holyoke a better-weather day for next year’s Country Christmas.