By Sarah Pridgeon
Christmas will soon be upon us and the celebrations are underway in Sundance. From gift sales and carols to candy contests and parades, the month of December will be full of festive joy.
The Festival of Lights will take place on the evening of December 13, with brightly decorated floats traveling through the city streets. The theme this year will be “A Musical and Magical Christmas” and prizes will be awarded to the best floats.
The festival will begin at 6 p.m. and will travel along Main and Cleveland Streets, passing by the Long Term Care facility on the way.
Application forms can be obtained from Robyn Finch at Country Cottage Flowers. EMS will host a chili feed in the basement of the courthouse following the parade.
The annual Christmas Promotion hosted by the Chamber of Commerce will feature two chances to win. To enter the Shopping Spree, simply make purchases in participating Sundance stores and you will be presented with a ticket for every $10 you spend.
Tickets will be entered into a prize draw, which will be held at the Longhorn at 5:30 p.m. on December 20. The grand prize is $250, with $100 for the first place winner, $75 for second place, $50 for third place and $25 for fourth place.
All prizes will be presented in Sundance Bucks, which can be spent exactly like cash at participating stores in town.
The second opportunity to win will be the annual raffle, for which a total of 250 tickets are available at $10 each. Three drawings for the raffle will be held at the Longhorn Saloon, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on December 6, 13 and 20.
On December 6, the first ticket out will win $25 in Sundance Bucks, while the first ticket drawn on December 13 will win $50 and the 100th ticket will receive $75. At the third drawing, the first ticket out will win $100 and the 50th and final ticket to be drawn will garner the grand prize of $1000 in Sundance Bucks.
You don’t need to be present to win the raffle, but additional prizes will be handed out to those who attend the drawings. These prizes will include gift certificates and other items from local businesses.
The Crook County Library Foundation will meanwhile be hosting its Fourth Annual Festival of the Trees this year. The event will take place on Friday, December 13 in the Courthouse Community Room during the Chili Supper that will immediately follow the light parade.
You can vote for your favorite tree by purchasing tickets, each of which will afford you one vote. These tickets will be sold for $1 each or 6 for $5 and the proceeds will be split between the sponsor of the winning tree and the Crook County Library Foundation.
Organizations, businesses and individuals are all welcome to enter a tree in the festival and may set up their entry on Friday, December 7 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Entrants are responsible for providing their own tree, decorations and extension cords.
Trees can be taken down immediately after the chili supper or on Saturday morning between 9 and 11 a.m. For more information, contact Jill Mackey at Crook County Library on 283-1008.
The Crook County Museum will be hosting an open house in conjunction with the 1875 Gallery on December 13 and 14. The museum invites the public to take part in its candy contest, while the gallery will be holding a gingerbread house competition.
The candy contest will take place on December 13 and entries can be delivered throughout the day until judging begins, just after the light parade. To participate in the judging, simply visit the museum, taste the candies and choose your winning entry.
Entries for the gingerbread house contest should be delivered to the gallery during the two days before the contest opens on December 13, so that they can be displayed. Judging will again be the people’s choice and you can participate by visiting the gallery to view the entries and choose your favorite.
The 1875 Gallery will also be hosting a pottery and giftables show on December 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring a range of items from its artists. On December 21, last-minute shoppers will receive 10 percent off the price of any one item purchased at the gallery.
To assist with your Christmas shopping, the gallery has altered its opening hours throughout December. Doors will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday with late-night shopping until 8 p.m. available on December 13 and 20.
Also on December 7, the Aro Restaurant will be hosting a craft bazaar between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. To reserve a space, call 283-2000; a small table will cost $5 and a large table is priced at $10.
The Sundance Community Handbell Choir will be performing Christmas music for the public in December. Catch them at the Good Shepherd Episcopal on December 1 from 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. or at the Assisted Care on December 3 from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m.