Christmas Stroll, Parade of Lights in downtown Dillon Friday night

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Parade lineup set for 5:45 p.m.

Holiday celebrations will get their start this year with the annual Parade of Lights and Christmas Stroll Friday night in downtown Dillon.

Events begin at 6 p.m., Dec. 7, with the tree lighting in front of the Beaverhead County Courthouse on South Pacific Street, Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture Executive Director Candi Whitworth said.

This year’s theme is “the Sounds of Christmas.” Both events have been going on for decades, she said.

The parade itself will begin at 6:30 p.m., and will start at the courthouse. The parade will travel down Bannack to Idaho Street; then head from Idaho to Reeder Street; go from Reeder to Montana Street; go down a block of Center Street to Idaho Street; then head back down Bannack Street to the courthouse.

Santa and Mrs. Claus, and the Grinch, will be on hand to put people in the Christmas spirit.

The Christmas Stroll – where local businesses will be open and showcasing their wares – will be from 7-9 p.m. downtown following the parade. The stroll will be between Montana and Washington streets; and Center and Sebree streets. All businesses are welcome to have displays available, even if they do not have a storefront in the downtown district, Whitworth said.

“The goal is to get people to shop local businesses, instead of going out of town or online,” she said. “We want to let people know they have just as much to offer here as elsewhere. It’s a fun event for all businesses and community members.”

Local businesswoman Debbie Sporich, the owner of The Bookstore, said she loves the parade, stroll and the camaraderie between residents that run into each other at the events.

“The idea is that you don’t have to go out of town – let us go out of town for you,” she said. “Dillon has a lot of unique shopping opportunities. Plan a date with your neighbors.”

Sporich said she has been in business long enough that she’s seeing generations of families in the stores.

There will be caroling by the Beaverhead County High School Teen Tones and Barbershop Quartet. Warming barrels and s’mores will be set up throughout the downtown, and there will be a window dressing contest for businesses, with votes coming from residents. The contest will end Dec. 14, and the winner will get a prize, Whitworth said. There will be food, drink and other activities as well.

Those looking to have parade floats are asked to fill out an entry form and return it to Whitworth by Dec. 5. Parade lineup is at 5:45 p.m.

For more information, call 683-5511, email or check out the chamber’s Facebook page.