By Melissa Huber, I-O Reporter
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and what better way to enjoy it than with a wonderful walk around town at the local Christmas Stroll on Dec. 6. There is a plethora of things to take in and enjoy this year, and here’s your run down of what to look for.
New to the Christmas Stroll this year is the Christmas Shop at Home Button Program. This program was started as a way to encourage the community to shop at home this holiday season, and not just during the Stroll.
Twelve lucky second graders were the winners of the button design contest and will have their designs made into the twelve different buttons.
The winners were, from Gerald McDermott’s class, Rachel Arndt, Brylee Stordahl, Chelsea Kimball, Halia Peterson; from Jolyne O’Brien’s class, Dominic Caplette, Tabitha Vermulm, Zoey Pogreba, Averiana Schram; and from Lyndsey Green’s class Kindel DeVries, Julia Salois, Abby Hutton, and Joseph Martin. All winners were voted on by a committee and will be at the courthouse tree lighting.
Buttons will go on sale for $10 the week of the Stroll and will be available from the Chamber of Commerce office and various businesses. The purchase of a button will enter you into a raffle for $300 and $200 worth of Chamber Gift Certificates, and the winners will be drawn at the Dec. 11 Chamber of Commerce luncheon at The Keg.
On the night of the Stroll buttons can also be purchased from Chamber of Commerce members who will be out and about.
The button will get you discounts and deals at participating businesses that will more than pay for the price of the button. Deals offered with the button program start the night of the Christmas Stroll and most last until Christmas. These deals are only available to people with a button so be sure to buy yours this holiday season.
The Chamber of Commerce will be offering a photo booth the night of the Christmas Stroll. It will be available down at Joe’s Family Steakhouse in the Thrivent office: use the Fourth Avenue entrance. Photos will be offered at an affordable price, and the photos are emailed to you to do with as you wish. You can also order Christmas Cards, or have prints made.
Vendors will be down at the Moose Lodge from 1 to 7 p.m., and there will be a bingo game going on at Joe’s Steakhouse, on the lounge side. Winners will receive Chamber Gift Certificates. Sponsors for this year’s Christmas Stroll bingo game include Ed’s Tavern, Closet Consignment, Home Café, Branding Iron, Pure Bliss Cycle, Village Drug, 4U Collision, Country Charm, Creative Addictions, The Farmer’s Daughter, Keller Williams, and the Conrad Liquor Store.
Don’t forget the annual tree lighting down at the courthouse where there will be not only the button contest winners, but also the winner of the third grade essay contest. The theme of this year’s essay contest was “If you had all the snow in the world, what would build, and why?” The winning third grader will read his/her essay, and also have the distinct privilege of lighting the courthouse Christmas tree, as well as leading the Parade of Lights.
The invocation will be read by Pastor Colby Bennett, and there will be caroling and hot cocoa to follow.
There will be a recital at the library at 5 p.m. and the Parade of Lights after that. The Parade lineup will be at 5:30 p.m.
Santa will be in his usual location at Stockman Bank, and there will be a bonfire sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and the Conrad Volunteer Fire Department in the vacant lot next to Mac’s Bar. You can hop on a hayride at this location, as well as pick up one of the Lion’s Club’s famous burgers.
The tree auction will be at 8 p.m. in the back room of Joe’s Family Steakhouse, and this year there will be available 12 small pre-lit artificial trees, along with four real trees and 12 Christmas wreaths in various themes and color schemes.
At 9 p.m. head on down to the Moose Lodge to enjoy the two man band Bad Larry’s sponsored by the Community Cancer Foundation. Tickets for this show will be $20 and will enter you into a raffle to win $500. Those wanting to attend both the tree auction and the performance by Bad Larry’s need not worry about missing the concert. Bad Larry’s will still be performing long after the auction closes.
Don’t forget to get the full use of your button the night of the Christmas Stroll when most business will have extended hours along with nice deals and discounts. As always, most participating business will have hot drinks and goodies to warm a cold merrymaker.