Dayton Chronicle - Your Hometown News Source

Christmas Kickoff in "The Town That Still Believes"


November 28, 2019

-Chronicle photo by Charlotte Baker

Energized by a brisk walk down the sidewalk from Dayton Elementary School to Elk Drug's corner of 1st and Main streets, these First Graders excitedly anticipate hanging their lovingly made Christmas ornaments on the Community Christmas Tree. Elementary students made the trip downtown where Pacific Power's Doug Hinds and his trusty bucket truck made the important task easy.

DAYTON–A new feature–a Festival of Trees–will treem up with the traditional lighted parade, fireworks and shopping at the 2019 Dayton Christmas Kickoff, which starts the day after Thanksgiving here in the "Town That Still Believes." Folks flock to this annual community celebration Friday and Saturday, November 29 and 30.

According to the National Weather Service, the forecast for Christmas Kickoff Friday is mostly sunny but chilly with a high near 28° F. It's forecast to be partly cloudy Friday night and be sure to bundle up as the low is expected to be around 16°. Saturday's forecast is for a little warmer: mostly sunny with a high near 35° F.

The Festival of Trees is a new feature this year where a "forest" Christmas trees, decorated by local businesses, showcases those companies in a fun, imaginative way. The public will be treated to refreshments as they mingle among the festive trees at 250 E. Main Street. Raffle tickets to benefit The Giving Tree will be sold for $5 and the winner will receive a fully decorated Christmas tree.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be holding audience with youngsters of all ages at the Festival of Trees' 250 E. Main location. Kris Kringle, the Man of the Hour, will entertain wish lists and sit for photos both Friday and Saturday. Times will be posted at the venue.

Mrs. Claus will gather the children for story time Friday, 1:30-1:50 p.m., and 3:15-3:30 p.m. Drop in for stories Saturday from 11:15-11:30 a.m. and 12:30-12:45 p.m.

While Santa's gathering Christmas present wishes, a few of his reindeer will be standing by at 1st and Main streets.

On Friday there'll also be mule-drawn wagon rides (weather permitting), a lighted Christmas parade followed by the ceremonial lighting of the community Christmas tree, fireworks, live music, festive Christmas markets, multiple venues for shopping, entertainment and food, and more.

This two-day event remembers the reason for the season with a live Nativity with Izzy the Camel. Performances of Touchet Valley Arts Council's musical production of "Mary Poppins" will be on Saturday at 3 and 7 p.m., and Sunday at 3 p.m.

Adding to the festivities are crafts for kids, shopping, dining and plenty of other activities both days. Local museums will also be open.


–Festival of Trees • Friday 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

–Free Make and Take Crafts for Kids • Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. • Delany Room, Dayton Memorial Library, 111 S. 3rd St.

–Ugly Sweater Dash 5K • Friday, 11 a.m. • Register 10:45 a.m. County Courthouse, $15.

– Free screening "Arthur Christmas" • Friday, 3 p.m. • Liberty Theater • Sponsored by Doug & Margie Krueger, Mule Mania.

–Free Mule Drawn Hayrides • Friday and Saturday, 12 p.m.-3:30 p.m. weather permitting • Take a ride through Historic Dayton. • Historic Depot, 222 E Commercial • Sponsored by Doug and Margie Krueger

–Historic Tours of Boldman House Museum • Friday and Saturday, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. • Experience a Victorian Christmas. • Boldman House Museum, 410 N 1st St.

–Santa Claus and Stories with Mrs. Claus • Festival of Trees • 250 E. Main St. • Friday Noon-5 p.m. Saturday 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

–Live Reindeer • Friday, 12-4 p.m. • 1st Street between State Farm Insurance & Dingle's of Dayton

–Living Nativity • Friday, starting at 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. • View a live, dramatic presentation of the birth of Baby Jesus. • Alley Behind Dingle's of Dayton, 179 E Main St. Presented by the Touchet Valley Ministerial Society, costumes by Mary Luce and Liberty Theater

–Lighted Christmas Parade • Friday, 6 p.m. • Enjoy the holiday festivities of the Main Street Christmas Lighted Parade.

–Tree Lighting Ceremony • Friday, following the Christmas Parade • Follow the parade to Elk Drug for the tree-lighting ceremony and singing of some classic Christmas carols led by Diane Copeland and Heidi Gnos Kuban. • Corner of S. 1st St. and Main St.

–Fireworks Display • Friday, following the Tree Lighting Ceremony • Look to the east for an explosion of holiday colors in the sky. • Sponsored by Pacific Power and Puget Sound Energy.

–Home Lighting Contest and Bus Tour • Friday, following fireworks • Tour lighted homes within three miles of downtown and vote for the best displays. • Departs from Elk Drug Parking lot, corner of S 1st St. and Main St.

–"Mary Poppins" Live Performance • Saturday, 3 & 7 p.m., Sunday, 3 p.m. • 344 E Main St.

Art Shows

–Artists Reception-Three artists will be on site • Friday, 4-7 p.m. • Wenaha Gallery, 219 E Main St. • Saturday Wenaha's 26th Birthday Celebration, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Live Music

–Kickoff Karolers • Friday, Downtown Dayton

–Crossroads Bluegrass Family Band • Saturday, 3 p.m. • Weinhard Hotel, 235 E Main St.

–Christmas Sing Along with Diane Copeland & Heidi Gnos Kuban • Friday, 7-8 p.m. • Weinhard Hotel, 235 E Main St.


–Christmas Bazaar • Friday & Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. • Enjoy holiday shopping at the Christmas Bazaar! • 164 E. Main St.

–Christmas Market at the Depot • Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. • Free Museum Tours and shop for poinsettias, local art, foods, handcrafted gifts, and goods from local merchants. • Dayton Historic Depot, 222 E Commercial St.

–Downtown Shopping • Friday and Saturday, All Day • Downtown shops will offer holiday specials. Wander in and find that perfect Christmas present. • Downtown Dayton.

-Chronicle photo by Charlotte Baker

Sponsors are Pacific Power, State Farm, Puget Sound Energy, Banner Bank, Blue Mountain Realtors, Dayton Mercantile, Elk Drug, Dingle's of Dayton, Portland General Electric, Ski Bluewood, Seneca Foods, Blue Mountain Counseling, City Lumber & Coal Yard, Port of Columbia, Columbia County Health System, Northwest Grain Growers, Wenaha Gallery, Bank of Eastern Washington, Chief Spring's Brew Pub & Pizza, Evergreen Home Loans, Christy's Realty, Dayton Chemical, Dayton Dental Care, General Store, PDQ, Warren Orchards and Doug & Margie Krueger.

The fireworks are sponsored by Pacific Power and Puget Sound Energy. State Farm Insurance–Bette Lou Crothers sponsored the live reindeer, and Columbia County Public Transportation sponsors the Lighted Home Tours.


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