At the end of another Black Friday, with more massive sales and earlier store hours, Chinook welcomed the holiday season with some local traditions and some new festivities.
In between the warm winds of Thanksgiving and a light Friday night snowfall, hundreds of people filled Indiana Street for the annual Christmas stroll, checking out Chinook’s new Festival of Trees and waiting for the Parade of Lights.
“It’s always a great time, with great food, great people, ” Wendy Warburton, local state representative and Chinook-area native, said after the parade.
Although the parade was short, Warburton said “What they lack in numbers, I think they make up for in creativity. ”
She said her favorite was the float made and occupied by Nancy Diemert, the parade’s chairman, and her husband Kelcey, that had a Hawaiian theme. The Diemerts wore grass skirts over long johns along with Hawaiian shirts, and Kelcey Diemert’s skirt exposed a fake rubber butt. The words “Have a Hula-va Holiday” were written on the side of the float.
“We like to have fun, ” Diemert said, describing the year-long thought she and her husband put into their float each year. “It’s something we like to do for the community, something fun, comical. ”
Jennifer Hellman, who worked on coordinating the nearly 30 vendors setting up shop in Chinook over the weekend, said the event had “a pretty good turn out, ” and that the vendors “said that the day was pretty busy and stayed pretty busy until they sold most of their stuff. ”
The vendors weren’t the only ones making money in downtown Chinook on Friday. The first annual Chinook Festival of Trees raised about $8,000 with the 21 wreaths and trees set up in Shore’s Floral Greenhouse.
Heather DePriest, secretary for the Chinook Chamber of Commerce, said the first year was “definitely notable. ”
“The Festival of Trees was a huge success for the first year, considering it’s always hard to get these things off the ground, ” DePriest said.