By Ron VandenBoom
The Christmas Stroll is alive and well in 1999 thanks to a commitment of area merchants, Havre Area Chamber of Commerce and a few dedicated individuals who refused to let it die.
Coordinators for this year's event will be Harvey Brock of The Havre Daily News, Debbie Vandeberg of the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce, Al Beute of General Electric, and Janine Donoven of J.M. Donoven's Designs in Fine Jewelry.
The theme they selected for this year is "Christmas: past, present, and future.
Christmas lights and music still are expected to be a part of the stroll this year when at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 27, the community is once again invited to gather for the annual tree lighting ceremony at the intersection of Third Avenue and Second Street.
Hot Chocolate and hot apple cider are expected to be available from The Havre Salvation Army and from The Havre Daily News.
Entertainment for the event is still being sought and any school, church, or other group interested in caroling during the day of the stroll or at the tree lighting is encouraged to call the Havre Chamber at 265-4383 or The Daily News at 265-7695 to offer their support.
A special visitor from the North Pole, namely Santa Claus, is also expected to arrive on a fire truck during the tree lighting ceremony. He also is expected to be allowed to flip the switch that lights the community tree. There is no word yet whether Mrs. Claus will be joining her husband at the festivities.
Additional lights will help to brighten the community tree this year thanks to a contribution from the Chamber Ambassadors, Donoven said. Murry Barkus is again in charge of acquiring the tree and Montana Power Company personnel will string the lights.
The wait also will be made easier thanks to a display of crafts that will be located in the Atrium and shopping will be available in the Atrium and at other downtown stores through the ceremony.
A window judging contest will be held on Saturday and the judges will announce their findings during the ceremony. The business having the winning window will receive a free lunch for its employees compliments of Pizza Hut.
Boxes also are scheduled to be placed at the Havre Holiday Village Shopping Center and in the Atrium for shoppers to drop their names in for a prize drawing to be held at the tree lighting ceremony. Donoven said they decided to break with tradition a bit this year and offer one large prize rather than several smaller prizes to a lucky winner.
Contestants can sign up throughout the day at either of the two Havre locations, but like last year, you will need to be present at the tree lighting ceremony in order to win.