By MICHELLE SCHMIDT
FRIDAY, NOV. 30
Kamiah: Join the Fun – Parade, 6 p.m.
Parades are fun to watch … and even more fun to join. Kids at Kamiah’s lighted parade can bring a flashlight and serpentine their way down Main Street, leading the way for the remaining parade entries. Following the parade, the Kamiah Welcome Center hosts a tree lighting, Festival of Trees and other holiday activities.
Orofino: Old Fashioned Christmas – Parade, 6 p.m.
The Old Fashioned Light Parade down Johnson Avenue will be followed by the lighting of the town Christmas tree in Cannon Park. Attendees can enjoy a festive evening of lights, caroling, hot cocoa, baked goods, holiday crafts for kids and a visit from Santa. The parade’s live nativity scene will settle at the corner of C Street and Brown Avenue for ongoing viewing
The Festival of Trees begins the same evening at Heritage Plaza next to the park where decorated 12-foot, live root ball trees are displayed for silent auction. Bidding runs through Dec. 20.
SATURDAY, DEC. 1
Pullman: Active Family Fun – Run, 4 p.m.
The Jingle Bell Fun Run for families begins in Pine Street Plaza. Organizers invite children 12 years and younger to arrive for this YMCA fundraiser in festive costume, tie on their free jingle bell and take a quick and easy course that begins at the YMCA office and finishes at the Plaza where cookies and hot cocoa await. The entry fee is $10, and participants can preregister through Nov. 30 at the YMCA or Pullman Chamber Office, or register at 3:30 p.m. the day of the race.
The race is followed by a local celebrity appearance as Butch the Cougar comes out to light the plaza’s holiday tree at 4:30 p.m. Families enjoy music, kid-friendly activities by ASWSU, and of course, a visit by another favorite celebrity, Santa. A marshmallow roast at 6 p.m. at Paradise Creek Brewery ends the evening.
“The whole festival is very kid-centered,” said Amberly Boone, with the Pullman Chamber of Commerce. “It’s not so much about shopping, it’s just a fun event for the community.”
Clarkston: Grand Lighted Christmas Parade – Parade, 4:30 p.m.
With around 75 entries, the lighted parade is one of the larger ones in the region, drawing participants and viewers from the valley and surrounding areas. Now in its 26th year, locals count it a favorite tradition.
“A lot of people look at it as the kickoff to the holidays,” said Lee Ann Hancock, with the LC Valley Chamber of Commerce.
WEDNESDAY, DEC. 5
Moscow: Celebrating Local – Parade, 7 p.m.
The Light Up the Night Holiday Parade, which runs down Main Street, is the centerpiece to an evening with distinctly local flavor. Before and after the parade, downtown businesses are open for those who are looking outside the big box for their holiday shopping. The Alternative Gift Market, 4-8 p.m. at the Prichard Art Gallery, offers a local gift-buying twist: instead of a traditional gift, people make a donation to one or more of 28 featured local charities in honor of the person they’re “buying for.”
Friendship Square will be home to a variety of happenings beginning at 5 p.m., including Downtown Tinseltown where visitors can enter to win prizes donated by local businesses.
THURSDAY, DEC. 6
Colfax: Christmas Begins with a Bang – Parade, 6 p.m.
The lighted Christmas parade along Mill Street, with entries ranging from lighted farm equipment to the classic Santa, begins like any other in the region. But the highlight of the evening comes at the end.
“Everyone looks forward to the fireworks,” said Kathy Clark, with the Colfax Chamber of Commerce.
Potlatch: All Day Fun – Parade, 5 p.m.
This year the town has gone from simple evening festivities to an all-out, all-day Christmas party. Activities occur in a three-block area downtown. Craft and gift shows begin at 10 a.m. Santa arrives via old-fashioned train at 11 a.m.. Apod Production presents “Little Women” at 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. There’s a community concert at 3 p.m. New to the region, dog sled races occur 2 p.m. … only these races will feature teams of people pulling the dogs. The traditional lighted parade begins at 5 p.m. followed by free chili and fireworks in Scenic Six Park.
“Our whole goal was to try to get something for everyone,” said Kenny Cada, event coordinator.
Asotin: Short and Sweet in Asotin – Parade, 5 p.m.
With just 20 to 30 entries, Asotin’s lighted parade up Second Street may be a welcome solution for the easily chilled. “It’s just about the right amount of time,” said Ellen Boatman, with the Asotin Chamber of Commerce. After the parade, attendees can follow the grand marshal – Santa – back to the fire station on Second Street. Santa’s lap and bag of goodies await the kids, while everyone warms up with cookies, hot cocoa and coffee.
GARFIELD: Small Town Celebrations – Parade, 5 p.m.
The lighted parade is simple small town tradition. Santa will make an appearance and will stick around at Mitz’s Cabinets to hear Christmas wishes.