Santa Claus is coming to town this week as the Lovell Area Chamber of Commerce hosts the annual Holiday Mingle in downtown Lovell.
The festive day will kick off with the second Jingle Jog fun run at 9 a.m. There is no fee for the event. Runners may simply meet at the Chamber office – 287 E. Main – for the run, which is organized into one- or two-mile courses. All participants will receive treats and coupons from area businesses, and Queen Bee Gardens has donated a frozen turkey to be drawn after the run. Cocoa and cookies will be served.
Chamber board member Ben Zeller said the one-mile course goes north from the chamber office and east to the Northeast Little League Ballpark and on to the former Big Horn Coop Building, then loops back. The two-mile course continues north from the Coop building and across the railroad track, then west to Greenhouse Gardens, south on Shoshone and east on Third and back to the Chamber.
For more information, call Chamber Office Manager Jackie Heinert at 548-7552.
The next event is the free matinee for kids at 12:30 p.m. at the Hyart Theatre. This year the free movie is “The Polar Express,” the story of a magical train that chugs to the North Pole and Santa’s home.
While the movie is free, it is asked that attendees bring a can of food for the firemen’s Christmas baskets, if they are able. Kids will receive jingle bells at the movie. The movie is sponsored by the Hyart Theatre.
Santa will greet children at the Lovell Fire Hall starting at 2:30 p.m. and continuing through 4:30. Free photos with Santa will be taken, sponsored by the Lovell Police Dept.
Also taking place during the two hours at the fire hall will be cinnamon rolls baked by the Lovell Lunchroom Ladies, crafts and gingerbread house building for kids. There will also be a free petting zoo at the fire hall.
The North Big Horn Hospital Share-A-Stocking and U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys For Tots programs will also be at the Mingle to allow the public to participate in their Christmas offerings.
The Town of Lovell will provide cookies and cider. Food truck vendors have been invited to park near the Mingle.
During the days leading up to the Mingle, local stores will be holding signups for the annual drawing for Lovell Area Chamber Bucks, many of the stores offering specials Thursday, Friday and Saturday to kick off the holiday shopping season.
This year $550 worth of Chamber Bucks will be offered, with the drawing to take place at 4:30 p.m. at the Downtown Mural Park at Main and Nevada. The Chamber will provide hot cocoa in the park to be served by National Park Service employees.
Shoppers can sign up for Chamber Bucks at participating businesses Thursday, Friday and Saturday including the Red Apple, CodeRed Tactical, the Hen House, ‘R’ Illusions, CK Hardware, Valley Flowers and Gifts, Lovell Drug, Big Horn Engraving, La De Da, Queen Bee Gardens, the Lovell-Kane Museum at the Chamber Building, the Lovell Chronicle, Lovell Building Center, the Brandin’ Iron, Kurt’s Cuts, Haskell Furniture, Minchow’s Service, Minchow’s Food Court, the 4 Corners, North Big Horn Hospital Gift Shop, Shoshone Bar, Good-2-Go, Mayes Fabric, the Shoppe Unique and North Big Horn Senior Center.
Santa will wander over to light the Christmas Tree and greet children following the drawings at around 5 p.m., using his magic fairy dust to bring the tree to life.
Bruce Wolsey will be the master of ceremonies for the evening festivities.
The day will conclude with the annual presentation of living windows from 5 to 7 p.m. Many stores will offer extended hours, specials and favorite characters brought to life from Mrs. Santa Claus to Santa’s elves.
By David Peck