Christmas Stroll sees new format

By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor
   The Conrad Area Chamber of Commerce Christmas Stroll will take place on Dec. 5 but will have an entirely new look this year.
   Instead of cramming all the events into a few hours in the evening, there will be something going on all day long beginning in the morning at 11 a.m. and going to 5 p.m. the Arts and Crafts Show will be in two locations; the Moose Lodge and in the Village Shopping Center.
   “What a great place to get some of your holiday shopping done,” comments Judy Larson, the CofC executive secretary. “We have lots of vendors and many super buys,” she adds.
   There will be in-store specials at local business all day long.
   Santa Claus has even moved his busy schedule around to accommodate the new format of the Christmas Stroll and will be taking children’s wishes at Stockman Bank from 1-3 p.m.
   The Farm Credit Services and Wells Fargo will also be open from 1-3 p.m. offering goodies to strollers.
   The Conrad Transportation and Historical Museum will open their doors one final time on Saturday from noon to 6 p.m.
   While out and about, stop by Joe’s Family Steakhouse and wander upstairs and view an incredible display of artwork. They will be open from noon to 10 p.m. for your viewing pleasure.
   All young children are invited to stop by the Meadowlark School (17 3rd Ave. SW) multi-purpose room from 2-4 p.m. for a Kids’ Carnival.
   There will be a whole bunch of games to play and the always popular face painting and most of all fun.
   The Conrad Public Library will be open at 3 p.m. for their annual recital performances. Come in off the street for a little while and listen to some of Conrad’s talented young folks playing music.
   After missing a year, the folks at the Home Café are back in action, offering a cup of chili and a cinnamon roll, starting at 3 p.m., for a donation of food to the local Food Pantry.
   This, in the past, has always been an extremely popular place to stop and get your second wind for your journey around town.
   Thales Mullennax and Steve Hutton will give free horse drawn wagon rides up and down Main Street from 1-5 p.m.
   The Conrad Lions Club will be cooking up their world renown Whoop-Up burgers down in front at Pure Bliss Cycle starting at about 5 p.m.
   And talk about critical recycling, if you have an old hearing aid or eyeglasses you aren’t using any more, bring them down to where the Lions members are cooking and we will get them recycled. “This is what we are really all about,” says Lion John McFarland, “sight and sound.”
   So come down, get Whooped-Up and drop off your old glasses and hearing aid, or both.
   The Christmas Card “board” parade will form up in front of Mike’s Muffler about 5 p.m. and at 5:30 will mosey down Main St to 4th Ave. SW and stop at the courthouse with Santa Claus.
   Pastor Mike Scully from the Pondera Valley Lutheran Church will give the invocation this year.
   There will be music from the Conrad Christian School and the traditional lighting of the Christmas tree at the courthouse.
   In the past, a student essay contest was held with third graders to see who helped Santa light the Christmas Stroll tree at the courthouse.
   This year there is a drawing from grades K through the third grade to ride with him in the cardboard parade and help light the tree. There are drawing entry forms at the Meadowlark School and the library. The student must take their entry form to the library and drop it in the collection basket. The drawing for the winner will be on Nov.30.
   At 6:30 p.m. with MC Dan Wilcox and Harold Olson, there will be a dedication for the new marquee in front of the Orpheum Theatre. This ceremony won’t be long because at 7 p.m. the classic movie, A Christmas Carol will be shown, for free, courtesy of the Pondera Arts Council.
   The movie stars Jim Cary as Ebenezer Scrooge who encounters the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. This is really haunting!
   Capping the evening stroll will be the Christmas tree and wreath auction; starting at 7 p.m. in the old location of G&D Hardware at 308 S. Main St.    Proceeds from the tree auction go to the upkeep and purchase of new street decorations.
   Some of these trees are just plain elegant, you’ll want to come “buy” and take a look at this.
   There will also be some entertainment with the young step-by-step dancers of Cassie DeVries showing how good they are.
   In addition, a singing group comprised of the Conrad area churches will present a couple of numbers at the auction.
   These good folks are really talented and will be having a concert of their own at the Conrad Mission Church on Dec. 11-12. See next week’s I-O for more information, this is just a preview to whet your musical appetite.
   The Tavern Association is offering a Happy Hour from 9-10 p.m. for your favorite libation and other specials. This also includes the Keg.
   We will see you out and about town on Dec. 5 for the “new and improved” Christmas Stroll. Let’s have some fun.