By Tim Leeds
Road construction has slowed traffic going by the Havre Holiday Village Shopping Center, but activities inside are going full speed.
"We try to do at least two events a month," Mall Director Tiffany Korb said. This month is no exception, with a fishing, gun and boat show running this weekend, and a bridal fair next Sunday.
Events are already scheduled through the end of the year, with some firmly placed on the calendar and some tentatively set.
These events take extensive planning and work to set up and run.
"There's a lot of manpower that goes into these events, not just up here at the mall," Korb said.
The Business Office of the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce initiates some of the events, such as the Bridal Fair, the Home and Garden Show, and Festival Days, Korb said. In setting up the events they try to encourage home businesses to participate.
Anyone with relevant goods or services is welcome at the events, Korb said. Interested people and businesses simply need to register, set up booths and activities, and display their products or services.
Anyone is also welcome to help run the events, Korb said. She said people wishing to help with any event can contact her at the mall or contact the Chamber of Commerce.
The merchants at the mall help with the events, Korb said. She said their help is invaluable.
"They get so much better at it. They get better every year," she said. "We learn from the mistakes we made the last year."
Korb said the merchants are also helpful in planning the events.
"It's good for me. I'm not out with the consumer. I get planning information from the merchants: what color is in, what's not, even what music goes."
Events are already planned through the end of the year. Along with this month's gun, boat and fishing show and the bridal fair, there will be a CANstruction competition in March. Participants collect as many nonperishable food items as they can, then build a sculpture to be judged at the mall. The food items are then donated to the Havre Food Bank. This is the second year for this competition, Korb said.
In April, the mall will participate in the city-wide Home and Garden Show, will display the Hi-Line Art Show, and host the Hi-Line Daycare Association Carnival. The Montana Association of County Road Supervisors will hold a convention at the mall, with vendors attending for public shopping.
In May, the Northern Montana Medical Group will sponsor the Health and Safety Fair at the Mall.
In June, there will be the Brawl at the Mall in conjunction with the auto show, and the Havre chamber will sponsor a Hoopfest as part of the city-wide Crazy Days running July 21-22.
In August, interviews will be held with 4-H members who are entering projects in the Great Northern Fair, and Corral West and the Holiday Village merchants will sponsor the Holiday Village Kids Rodeo. Events will include barrel racing, roping, team roping and a Holiday Village Rodeo Queen contest. Rodeo queens from around the state will be at the event to talk to and role model for the competitors. There will also be a gun show on Aug. 25-26.
In September, the mall will participate in the Festival Days' activities, and in October, there will be a Halloween costume contest for area kids, held on the last Sunday before Halloween. The annual tradition of tick-or-treating at the mall on Halloween will also continue.
In November, the mall will hold activities in conjunction with the Christmas Stroll and the lighting of the city Christmas tree. A contest will be held for the merchants decorating their store windows, and the Daycare Association has begun a tradition of its children decorating Christmas trees for the stores.
Christmas activities will go on throughout December. Various groups such as the adult and childrens' choirs of the Assembly of God Church, the Emmanuel Baptist Church Choir, and the Bullhook Bottoms Barbershop Chorus carol the mall, Santa Claus visits area children, and other seasonal activities go on.
Each year is full of activities at the mall. Along with events such as listed above, the merchants also run promotional activities, other area groups such as Northwest Kenpo Karate, Northstar Dance Studio and Big Sky Gymnastics have had activities, and new activities are tried each year. As with the repeat of the CANstruction competition, the mall recently held a karaoke competition, and Korb said, it was a huge success, and they've been asked to run it again.
Korb says there really is no slow time in running mall events.