With Thanksgiving already come and gone the Christmas season is here, and what better way to celebrate than by getting together with family, friends and neighbors during the annual Christmas Strolls that take place throughout Madison County.
As winter settles in and the cold December winds sweep across the land, the community spirit displayed at the Christmas Strolls will warm the soul no matter what the thermometer says the temperature is. Whether its hot chocolate, Christmas carolers or simply running into an old friend, the Christmas Stroll is often a highlight for the community during this dark time of year.
Twin Bridges will kick off their Christmas season on Thursday, Dec. 6 from 4 to 8 p.m. Local businesses will have open houses and there will be a community dinner in Main Street Park starting at 6 p.m. There’s fun for all ages as children can have their picture taken with Santa while their parents catch up in anticipation of the Christmas Tree lighting. Twin Bridges resident Jack Leber described the Twin Bridges Christmas Stroll a joyful and heartwarming small-town gathering where friends can come together.
“A lot of times in the winter you don’t get to run around and see people,” Leber said. “Its good to catch up a little bit.”
This year the Twin Bridges Community Association is sponsoring an art contest for people to decorate wooden boxes that will sit on display in Twin Bridges for the remainder of the Christmas season. Boxes are free and may be picked up at The Shack, Main Street Market or the Ruby Valley National Bank. Voting will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. the night of the stroll and the winners will receive $100, $50 and $25 in Twin Bucks.
In Sheridan, the town has big plans for their Christmas Stroll on Friday Dec. 7 from 5 to 8 p.m. Music will ring through the air up and down Main Street as the high school choir sings Christmas carols, and the event will feature horse-drawn hayrides, free hot chocolate and a scavenger hunt for children. Other activities not to miss out on are visits with Santa Claus at The Prospector, a children’s art contest at Bethany Hall and multiple food vendors out on the street, said Sheridan Main Street Improvement Team president Macel Anderson.
“I would say it’s very festive,” said Anderson. “Its just a real warm, friendly community get together.”
Patrons may purchase individually numbered Christmas Stroll buttons for two dollars from local businesses, and can collect a door prize that corresponds with their button number on the night of the Stroll. The evening will conclude with a live nativity scene at New Beginning Church starting at 8 p.m.
The Spirit of Christmas Stroll in Ennis will take place on Friday Dec. 7 from 3 to 8 p.m. with activities for the whole family including live music and Christmas treats from merchants up and down Main Street. From the Christmas tree lighting and an appearance made by Santa Claus at Yesterday’s Soda Fountain to hayrides and hors d’oeuvres at local galleries, Ennis resident Pamela Lessner says Christmas atmosphere and holiday decorations make this a family oriented event.
Virginia City adds a new twist to the Christmas Stroll this year, holding it three weekends in a row on Dec. 8-9, 15-16 and 21-22. Ranks Mercantile, the Virginia City Creamery, the Virginia City Café and Virginia City Artisans Guild will all be open to help spread the holiday spirit, said resident Annie Jorgensen.
Jorgensen explains the unique aspect of the Christmas Stroll in a small town setting like Virginia City is the camaraderie with locals and being able to “visit with customers and people that come throughout the county to see our shops.”
“It’s a more relaxed and festive atmosphere than a crazy city,” she said.