Holiday season sprinkled with special Dillon spirit

J.P. Plutt
Wednesday, December 29, 2021


From Thanksgiving through Christmas, the holiday season in Dillon proved to again be a tribute to the spirit and compassion of the community-minded citizens of Dillon and Beaverhead County. The large number of folks that jumped in and made all of these moments possible reminds us that Dillon is a special place.

The Community Thanksgiving Dinner allows people to enjoy the celebration, for a wide variety of reasons, with a large gathering of folks at the St. Rose Family Center. An army of volunteers donate their time to prepare and serve a feast and add joy to the lives of many, many people.

The Christmas Stroll, Parade of Lights, and Festival of Trees, all in one night, brought me back to Christmas seasons of my childhood, when downtown Dillon was abuzz with excitement and folks were running about from business to business doing their Christmas shopping and greeting each other with smiles and handshakes. It was a time of layaway plans and free gift wrapping. Window shopping was a thing as Dillon was full of stores pushing goods and trying to connect with their customers. For a kid, Kings Toy Land was the greatest. All of the cool toys advertised during Saturday morning cartoons could be found at Kings, and mom worked the layaway plan to perfection to satisfy her six kids.

Today, Christmas shopping for many people includes a computer, the internet and a credit card and few reasons to get downtown to shop local and mingle with fellow citizens.

Again, credit an army of volunteers and good people, spearheaded by the Chamber of Commerce and the Festival of Trees Committee, with making Dec. 3 a special night and giving folks a reason to gather downtown.

I do not know why this year was so incredibly successful. Maybe it was the mild weather, maybe it was a reac tion to the COVID restrictions of the past year, but wow, what a turnout. It was a blast from the past with folks strolling about and gathering at corners under street lights chatting and laughing.

The Parade of Lights drew 18 entries, more than normal, but most impressive was the time and effort the different groups put into their floats. The collective efforts of all the groups for this one parade probably surpassed that work of the past five Labor Day Parade entries.

It was a great parade and it was fun to watch the kids along the route enjoying the show. I particularly enjoyed the caroling from the Youth ChalleNGe cadets as they walked the parade route. They were having fun and their joy was infectious.

From the parade, most folks found their way to the Frontier Events Center for Kids’ Night at the Festival of Trees. Probably because of the little league’s involvement, but the night was more kid friendly than ever before. And again, another small army of volunteers made the incredible night possible. The next night, Dillon and Beaverhead County demonstrated a record-setting generosity we know is available to worthy causes with the bidding and spending on the final night of the Festival of Trees.

The nice weather in early December gave folks an opportunity to put out their yard displays and if you haven’t taken a ride around town and the surrounding area, you still have time to get out and see the lights. I don’t know if I am overly sentimental this year for some reason, but I feel like it is the best year in a long time for Christmas displays.

I love Dillon.

Enjoy a happy and safe New Year.

JP Plutt is the editor and publisher of the Dillon Tribune.