Santa Claus will make his annual appearance in Lovell this Saturday as the Lovell Area Chamber of Commerce celebrates the annual Holiday Mingle in downtown Lovell.
This year’s event includes the second Festival of Trees, with all proceeds going to the Firemen’s Christmas Basket Program or the North Big Horn Hospital Share-a-stocking program.
Christmas trees, wreaths and centerpieces will be available for bid via silent auction or raffle at Lovell Drug, Queen Bee, Mama’s Baked Goods, the Bank of Lovell, First Bank of Wyoming and Big Horn Federal. The raffle items were added this year for those who may not be able to afford a $50 bid but would like to participate via the raffle, committee member Gary Emmett said.
The festival will also include a “shopping spree tree” filled with gift certificates worth a minimum of $250 worth of prizes and likely much more, Emmett said. Tickets are $5 each for the tree, which will be on display at Johnson Home and Land.
Winners will be drawn and awarded on Friday, Dec. 6.
Emmett said the festival committee is still seeking a few more wreaths and centerpieces to be donated to the cause.
The festival will kick off Saturday during the Mingle, and a map of participating businesses will be available at the fire hall Saturday and afterwards at the chamber office.
Emmett noted that a person can bid on an item and donate it to another business, organization or family in town.
For more information or to donate an item, contact Lovell Inc. Director Sue Taylor, Emmett or fellow committee members Natalie Wardell and Keela Mangus.
The Festival of Trees Committee is also sponsoring a gingerbread house activity during the Mingle on Saturday where kids will make a graham cracker house to take home.
A new event at the Holiday Mingle this year is the Jingle Jog One-mile Fun Run. Runners will gather at the chamber office – 287 E. Main — for a 10 a.m. start on Saturday. There is no entry fee, and all participants will receive treats and coupons from area businesses. All ages and skill levels are invited to participate.
Runners will go north on Oregon Avenue to Railroad, then east to Quebec, proceeding south to East Third Street, west to Oregon and finishing back at the chamber office.
Call chamber office manager Jackie Heinert for more information at 548-7552.
Santa Claus will once again greet children at the Holiday Mingle this Saturday in Lovell. After the Jingle Jog, the children’s activities will begin at 1 p.m. with a matinee movie at the Hyart Theatre. The movie is free, but a donation of a can of food for the firemen’s Christmas baskets is requested for those who are able.
The featured movie will be “Arthur Christmas.” The movie is sponsored by the Hyart Theatre.
Photos with Santa, sponsored by the Lovell Police Dept., will be offered from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Lovell Fire Hall, along with kids activities. The Lunchroom Ladies will be selling cinnamon rolls, and the Share-a-Stocking and Toys for Tots programs will be present. Big Brothers Big Sisters will help with children’s activities.
The annual lighting of the downtown Christmas tree will take place at 5 p.m. at the Downtown Mural Park, where members of the chamber of commerce board will serve hot chocolate.
Santa will light the tree with his magic elf dust, and a drawing will be held for $600 in Chamber Bucks, which can be spent at local businesses.
Shoppers can sign up for Chamber Bucks at participating businesses Thursday, Friday or Saturday including CK Hardware, Valley Flowers, Lovell Drug, Big Horn Engraving, the Shoppe Unique, Family Dollar, First Bank of Wyoming, the Ink Spot, That Place, La De Da, Queen Bee, the Lovell Chronicle, the Hen House, the Hyart Theatre, the Brandin’ Iron, Rose City Lanes, Mama’s Baked Goods, Murphey’s Dollar Store, Lovell Building Center, Mayes Fabric, Minchow’s Service, Minchow’s Food Court, Haskell Furniture, Carquest/Valley Motor Supply and Kurt’s Cuts.
The annual event will conclude with living windows in downtown Lovell where favorite characters will be brought to life. Many stores will offer specials on that day and evening.
The Lovell Bible Church will offer a new twist on the annual live nativity scene with a 12-minute program featuring live animals and actors portraying the Christmas story. Mary will ride in on a donkey, and shepherds, wise men and angels will appear.
The program will be held at 5:30, 6, 6:30 and 7 p.m.
The North Big Horn County Museum and Historical Center will host an open house Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the chamber of commerce office featuring cocoa and cookies and a chance to talk about the new museum project.
by David Peck