Country Christmas this weekend


A festive weekend featuring cloggers, crafts, a lighted parade, Santa Claus and a camel can only mean one thing: It’s time for Country Christmas in Powell.

A longtime local tradition, the holiday event begins Friday with the Country Christmas Gift Show from 2-7 p.m. at The Commons. Vendors also will be at the storefront on the north side of The Commons.

Saturday will be busy in downtown Powell. In addition to the gift show resuming, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at The Commons, there will be a variety of performers at Plaza Diane throughout the day, and a live nativity will also be on display downtown (see related story below).

On Saturday evening, the Country Christmas Lighted Parade will make its way down Bent Street beginning at 5:30 p.m. This year’s parade will feature 20 different floats, said Rebekah Burns, Powell Visitor Center coordinator.

“It will be a good variety this year,” Burns said.

After the parade, the fun continues with a new Twilight Tour of Homes, beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday at Nick Allen Photography on Bent Street, where there will be hors d’oeuvres and refreshments. Tour participants will get on the Cody Trolley around 7 p.m., and get a sneak preview of houses on the Tour of Homes. The trolley will return to the studio at about 9:30 p.m.

“We’ve had such a great community turnout for Sample the Season and Santa’s Workshop, so I’m really looking forward to this weekend being just as successful with the community coming out and enjoying Country Christmas,” said Christine Bekes, executive director of Powell Economic Partnership.

Thankfully, the weather looks like it will cooperate for Country Christmas, with a high of 48 degrees forecast for Saturday.

“The weather looks good for the weekend, and the houses are all getting ready,” said Jaime Schmeiser, executive director of Mountain Spirit Habitat for Humanity.

There are still tickets available for the Twilight Tour for $35, which includes food, the Saturday night tour and the Sunday afternoon Tour of Homes.

This year’s Tour of Homes features nine homes in the Powell area. For a full description of each, see the insert in today’s edition of the Tribune. The tour takes place from 1-5 p.m. Sunday.

Advance tickets are available for $10 at the Powell Chamber of Commerce, Habitat for Humanity ReStore and the Country Christmas Gift Show. Tickets will be $12 on the day of the tour, and will be sold at the chamber from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.

Proceeds from the Tour of Homes and Twilight Tour will go toward Mountain Spirit Habitat for Humanity projects.

“We’re building a home in Cody, and we’re renovating a home here in Powell,” Schmeiser said.

This year’s Country Christmas theme for is “There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays.”

Schmeiser encouraged folks to enjoy the holiday weekend.

“Come out and have a great time,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to it this year.”

A variety of organizers have made this year’s Country Christmas events possible, including the Powell Chamber/Visitor Center, Powell Economic Partnership, Habitat for Humanity and Powell Rotary Club.

“Country Christmas has been a real team effort,” said Bekes.

The hope is that the holiday weekend events also will encourage shopping at local businesses.

“We’re just in the heart of the shopping season, so that will be great,” Bekes said.

Country Christmas includes a variety of performances at Plaza Diane in downtown Powell on Saturday. Absaroka Mountain Thunder cloggers will literally kick things off at 10 a.m., followed by young singers with the Powell elementary schools at 10:30 a.m.

Stomp & Company cloggers will take the stage at 11 a.m., and Senior Singers with Powell Valley Healthcare perform at 2 p.m.

Participants in Gestalt Studios’ regular open jam sessions also will perform throughout the day.

Beginning at 3:30 p.m., there will be a live nativity in the grassy area between the Getaway Salon and post office. Harvest Community Church of the Nazarene members will be featured in the nativity scene, along with Carrie the Camel from Arrowhead Alpacas and livestock from the Little Hooves 4-H Club.