It’s bright, it’s sweet, there’s fun stuff to eat: it’s the Lewistown Christmas Stroll

By: 
DEB HILL
News-Argus Managing Editor
Friday, November 22, 2019
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Crowds gather around the bonfire, some for warmth and some hoping for a toasted marshmallow or two, at last year’s Christmas Stroll. This year’s Stroll starts at 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 29.

News-Argus File Photo

With Thanksgiving just a week away, can the Christmas Stroll be far behind? 

In fact, it’s the day after Thanksgiving, known elsewhere as Black Friday, but in Lewistown it’s the Stroll.

“We’ve found Black Friday is really the best day for our Stroll,” said Connie Fry, executive director of the Lewistown Area Chamber of Commerce. “If you have family in town for Thanksgiving, it gives them something to do, it kicks off the holiday season and it’s very, very good for our community.”

This year the Chamber and other Stroll organizers have arranged quite a lineup of entertainment. Families are encouraged to make a day of it downtown, as many local merchants are offering seasonal specials. 

Chamber member stores are once again participating in a drawing for 10 prizes, each for $100 in Chamber bucks, with the drawing at Pourman’s at 8 p.m. Friday night. Register in Chamber member stores all day long, but you must be present at the drawing to win.

Be it sugar or gingerbread, nothing says Christmas like the smell of baking cookies. Want to know how your family’s favorite recipe stacks up? Enter the Lewistown Art Center’s Christmas Cookie Contest. Judges will choose the top three cookies in the following categories (as well as a Best Decoration and Best in Show): sugar, gingerbread, bars, and cookie balls, also youth and miscellaneous categories. 

Drop off cookie entries at the Art Center between 2 and 3 p.m. Judging starts at 3:30 p.m. and cookie tasting for the public starts at 4 p.m.

Apparently no one loves Christmas cookies quite as much as Santa, who will make an appearance at the Art Center starting at 2 p.m. A photographer will be available and photos of little ones with Santa will be available to purchase.

Make room for those holiday goodies by entering the Run Elf Run 3-mile fun run, starting in front of the Yogo Inn at 4:45 p.m. and following the Lewistown trail system. The run ends on Main Street in front of Big Spring Spa. Pre-register by calling the Chamber at 535-5436. Elf hats and bells are available to those who pre-register and, until they run out, for other participants; t-shirts are only available to those who pre-register.

If the weather’s nippy (and this year it seems likely) gather around the bonfire at Third Avenue (and possibly another one at Fifth Avenue) to enjoy the crackling warmth and free s’mores, starting at 4 p.m., or visit the vender mall inside Pourman’s from 4-8 p.m. Merchants and organizations with booths along Main Street will have additional food available.

The annual Parade of Lights heads down Main Street at 5:30 p.m. Santa takes part in his lighted sleigh, along with a variety of bedazzled vehicles, kids and animals. All you need to do to take part is join the lineup in front of the Courthouse at 5 p.m., so find some lights, saddle the ponies, shine up the ATV or hook up the flatbed and join the fun. 

Can’t get enough of seeing the holiday lights? Head on out to the fairgrounds after the parade to enjoy the Bright Country Nights holiday light show. Fireworks start at 7 p.m. 

 

Strolling for a cause

The Fergus High School Key Club is hoping to make the new year a bit brighter for some lucky family – the club is raising money for a donation to Heifer Project International, an organization working to end hunger and poverty around the globe by donating gifts of livestock to families in need. 

Working out of the Montana Day Building (225 W. Main; formerly the Megahertz Building), Key Club members will have two Christmas trees available. The imitation tree is smaller; the real evergreen is larger. 

While the trees will be undecorated at the beginning of the Stroll, Key Club members hope Strollers will purchase ornaments (with a small donation per ornament), so that by the end of the evening both trees will be resplendently adorned. 

Each tree will be sold through a silent auction at the end of the Stroll. Key Club members will deliver the trees to the lucky winners.

All money raised through sale of ornaments and trees goes to Heifer Project International. Through the Heifer Project, for $500, Key Club members can send a heifer to a needy family; if a smaller amount is raised, a goat or a flock of chickens may be sent.

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