Parade of Lights

Oh how I love small town events!  I was recently in Chinook, MT for their parade of lights.  First thing in the morning I met some new friends at the old sugar beet factory to work on one of the floats.  Christmas music was playing, people were giggling, and power tools were buzzing.  The framework was completed earlier by the same guys who made the homestead float for the wild west parade.  Three hours and two warm up in the car sessions later (I may be a Montana girl at heart, but my body quickly reminded me I live in Florida now), we stood back to admire the twinkling lights of the float.

Now that the float was done, it was time to wonder Main Street and mingle with all the wonderful vendors.  They were selling everything from local food to handmade jewelry to Christmas wreaths.  Of course there were several guns being raffled as well.  It is Montana after all!

Chinook Christmas Stroll

Chinook Christmas Stroll

Waiting for the parade to start, I checked out the festival of trees.  My mom and aunt donated a decorated “chicken” tree including several dozen fresh eggs from their chickens.  All proceeds from the event went to the local volunteer fire department and PAWS.

The Chicken Tree

The Chicken Tree

The main event of the day was the parade.  The floats included everything from local business promotions to teasing a local for turning 50.  I patiently waited for the float I helped with to come by.  It was almost the very last in the parade.  The theme of the float was “join the church crowd” so it stopped at each corner where people would jump on the float or walk alongside it handing out glow bracelets to the kids.  I loved that this church used the parade as an outreach opportunity!

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Join The Church Crowd

Join The Church Crowd

On The Float

On The Float

Home For The Wild West Holidays

I got a call from my mom and my aunt and adventure is in the air!  The three of us feed off each other and you never know what might happen (remember our silliness in Glacier Park this summer?).  It started out a somewhat normal conversation…we’re listening to Christmas music on our road trip, so of course we thought of you.  Somehow that turned into the three of us planning a flash mob during their small town parade of lights next month!

Let’s backup a minute and figure out how we got here.  Last month they helped organize the Wild West Days in Chinook, MT.  They helped with the stick horse parade, the can-can contest, and even got involved in the Miss Kitty look alike event.  We are not sit on the sidelines kind of people!

Chinook, MT Wild West Days

Chinook, MT Wild West Days

Bandits taking over the Wild West parade

Bandits taking over the Wild West parade

Guess which Miss Kitties are my mom and aunt!

Guess which Miss Kitties are my mom and my aunt!

In addition to running different events, they also entered the 1st place float!  My uncle and family friend built the float to honor the centennial of our family homestead.  My grandma played beauty queen and waved to crowd.  A couple of the dogs and chickens even rode the float for authenticity!

The guys and their prize winning float!

The guys and their prize winning float!

My grandma playing beauty queen on her family homestead float

My grandma playing beauty queen on her family homestead float and yes that’s Sponge Bob in the window!

The chickens even made it on the float!

The chickens even made it on the float!

Since they now have a reputation as master float builders, their church asked them to be in charge of the float for the annual parade of lights.  I remember going to the parade as a little girl all bundled up, mesmerized by the lights. We talked about different ideas for the float including a surprise flash mob.  I LOVE Christmas and music and lights and flash mobs, so I don’t think I’ll be able to sit this one out!  I’m already listening to Christmas music looking at plane tickets!  Hopefully I’ll be able to scratch off a few items on my Montana bucket list while I’m there!