Parade of Lights to kick off Christmas season
By Kate Ruggles
Farmer Staff Writer
This year’s late Thanksgiving Day will start the Christmas season off on a shorter note than usual. But that has not slowed down the Watford City Area Chamber of Commerce at all.
According to Mary Gumke, Chamber secretary, city and Chamber businesses have been celebrating the Christmas season for so long that things tend to fall into place no matter how long or short the season lasts.
It all starts on Black Friday, the traditional starting line of the Christmas shopping season and the day after Thanksgiving. From Nov. 29 and on, McKenzie County residents can enjoy traditional events like the Parade of Lights and Free Movie Saturdays, but with some new twists like the Fill Our Trailer For The Food Pantry and Free Gift Wrapping.
The Watford City Area Chamber of Commerce Parade of Lights will take place on Friday, Nov. 29 at 6:30 p.m. Area residents are invited to shop at their favorite Watford City Main Street stores during the day, and stay after the sun goes down for the Parade of Lights.
According to Gumke, this year’s Parade of Lights will feature 15 to 20 floats made by area businesses and organizations.
This year’s Parade of Lights comes with an added opportunity to donate to the McKenzie County Food Pantry and possibly win $100 in Watford City Bucks.
Gumke states that Watford City Bucks spend like money in any Watford City Area Chamber of Commerce business. This year, anyone can bring a non-perishable, non-expired food item, or a health and beauty item, to the Watford City Area Chamber of Commerce trailer before the Parade of Lights begins. That food item will then earn them a ticket that will enter them in a drawing for $100 in Watford City Bucks.
People who forget their food item can also purchase a ticket for $1, and be entered in the drawing as well. All the money collected will also be donated to the McKenzie County Food Bank.
In all, 10 people will receive $100 in Watford City Bucks, and Gumke states that they must be present to collect their prize.
Starting on Monday, Dec. 2, Chamber business customers can also be entered in a drawing to win $250 in Watford City Bucks simply by shopping at their favorite Chamber businesses. Drawings will be held on Monday, Dec. 2, 9, 16, and 23.
Saturdays in December bring both old and new opportunities to Watford City shoppers, because the Chamber is bringing back Free Movie Saturdays with some added bonuses.
“Free Movie Saturdays was set up so parents could bring their kids to 6 Shooters’ Showhall, and drop them off while they shop,” states Gumke.
The event is set up for elementary-age children and older, and parents are invited to drop their children off at 6 Shooters’ Showhall at 1 p.m. on Dec. 7, 14, and 21. There, Chamber Ambassadors will watch the children that are dropped off, while the children will be able to watch a free movie, and their parents will be able to shop at any local business.
When the movie is over, any parent who shopped at a Chamber business will have the opportunity to get their item gift wrapped for free.
“The gifts have to have been purchased at a Watford City Area Chamber of Commerce business and they must have a receipt from that business,” states Gumke.
Gumke states that the Chamber will offer the free gift wrapping in the lobby outside of 6 Shooters’ Showhall from 1-4 p.m. on the Free Movie Saturdays. Also in the lobby outside of 6 Shooters’ Showhall, on Free Movie Saturdays from 2-4 p.m., Santa will be visiting and will be available for pictures.
“We do not have anyone to take pictures, so parents are encouraged to bring their own cameras if they want to get a picture of their kids with Santa,” states Gumke. “This will be one of the few local opportunities for area residents to get a picture of their kids with Santa.”
Finally, starting on Dec. 11, the Watford City Area Chamber of Commerce will again sponsor the Merry Christmas Elf.
The first person on each day, from Dec. 11 to Dec. 24, to wish the mystery Merry Christmas Elf a ‘Merry Christmas,’ will win $25 in Watford City Bucks.
Gumke is also encouraging everyone to check their favorite local Chamber business for extended hours during the Christmas season.
All information on the Watford City Chamber of Commerce Christmas events will be available on the Chamber website: www.watfordcitychamber.com