An appearance by Santa Claus, hayrides, caroling, a drawing for Lovell chamber bucks, downtown shopping specials and the lighting of the downtown Christmas tree are highlights of the annual Holiday Mingle, which takes place next Saturday, Nov. 21, in downtown Lovell.
According to Lovell Area Chamber of Commerce office manager Celecia Gallagher, the festive day will kick off with the third 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 a one-mile course. All participants will receive treats – cookies and hot chocolate – at the chamber office, and there will be a drawing for a turkey, sponsored by Queen Bee Gardens.
The next event is the free matinee for kids at 12:15 p.m. at the Hyart Theatre. This year the movie is “Rise of the Guardians.”
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. The movie is sponsored by the Hyart Theatre.
Santa Claus will arrive an hour and a half earlier this year at the Lovell Fire Hall and will start greeting youngsters at 1 p.m. As always, free photos with Santa will be taken, sponsored by the Lovell Police Dept.
Gallagher said kids waiting in line will be invited to participate in games to help them pass the time while they wait. Activities in the hall during the Mingle will include crafts and gingerbread house building for kids. The Lovell Lunchroom Ladies will serve cinnamon rolls they bake. The Town of Lovell will provide cookies and punch.
The North Big Horn Hospital Share-A-Stocking program and the Big Brothers Big Sisters Miracle Members will share their programs inside the hall.
Outside will be a free petting zoo as well as food truck vendors on Nevada Ave.
Local stores will be holding signups for the annual drawing for Lovell Area Chamber Bucks in the days leading up to the Mingle, and many stores will offer specials Thursday, Friday and Saturday before the Mingle to kick off the shopping season.
The drawing for $600 in chamber bucks will take place at 4:45 p.m. at the Downtown Mural Park at Main and Nevada, and the Chamber of Commerce will provide hot cocoa in the park, served by National Park Service employees.
Santa will wander over to the park to light the Christmas tree and greet children 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 festivities.
Hayrides will be offered from the park, and the Lovell Bible Church will offer a Bethlehem maze telling the Christmas story and culminating with a living nativity during the evening, from 5 to 7 p.m.
The day will conclude with extended shopping hours, caroling and the annual presentation of living windows on Main Street until 7 p.m.
For more information or to help with the event, call Gallagher at 548-7552.
By David Peck