The Choteau Chamber of Commerce Christmas Stroll, with the theme “Over the Mountains and Through the Woods,” is set for Dec. 1 with stores opening as early as 8 a.m. and at least one staying open until 9 p.m. with many special events throughout the day.
Chamber members Jill Owen, owner of Mountain Front Market, and Steve Dogiakos with Golden Triangle Goods are chairing this year’s Christmas Stroll with a committee including Corlene Martin, Heather Hodgskiss and Tom Frownfelder, all of whom worked on last year’s stroll as well.
First Bank of Montana-Choteau won’t be open on the day of the stroll, but the bank is inviting everyone to stop by for coffee and cookies on Friday, Nov. 30, for an open house, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
There are not set hours for the stroll on Saturday, but there will be a number of special activities going on throughout the day and evening. Different stores have their own sales and specials going. Shoppers are encouraged to check out stroll-related advertisements in this edition for about 30 different businesses and organizations that will be open on Saturday.
Art show and sale
Members of the Front Range Art Association will host a fine art show and sale in the Alice Gleason meeting room in the rear portion of the Choteau/Teton Public Library Friday, Nov. 30, from 5 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 1, from noon to 8 p.m.
Artists along the Rocky Mountain Front and beyond will be participating in the show and sale offering original pieces of art as well as prints and gift items. Paintings using a variety of media, photography and sculptures including bronzes, wood and metal art, will be available for purchase.
The show and sale kicks off Friday with music and holiday treats.
The show continues Saturday during the stroll. The library will be open and hosting a Christmas craft project for children in the afternoon as long as supplies last.
On both days, raffle tickets will be sold for five collaborative paintings done by FRAA members with the proceeds of the raffle going to the library.
Fresh Christmas trees
The Chamber of Commerce is again selling fresh-cut Christmas trees in the lot on the north side of the Country Hallmark gift shop. The selection includes Douglas ﬁr, white pine ($55) and balsam ﬁr trees and range in price from $22 to $85.
Holiday dance showcase
The dance students of Callee Peebles will present “The Nut Shell Nutcracker,” a mini-Christmas dance showcase at 11 a.m. on Dec. 1 at the Choteau High School auditorium.
Mariah Armstrong of Choteau will be at Mountain Front Market in Choteau from 1 to 4 p.m. to provide people tastes of products produced with hemp extract oil. Mariah and her husband, Sam, grew the hemp used for the products, which were processed by the Hidden Lake company in Missoula.
Proprietors of home-based businesses will also be open during the stroll on Dec. 1 from 1-6:30 p.m. in the Scout Hall on Main Avenue North (next to the Burk, Lee and Bieler Law Office) and at varying hours at 2 Bucks Inc., Polished, Pivot Physical Therapy and the Meraki Coffee buildings. Any vendor wanting to secure a location should contact Dogiakos at 203-4679.
Holiday Centerpiece Classes
Curly Willow Floral and Gift is encouraging people to sign up for two holiday centerpiece classes during the stroll, one at 1 p.m. and one at 4 p.m. Call 466-2266 to save your spot and register for one of the classes.
Christmas buttons produced by the Choteau Volleyball Club and Choteau Elementary School students will be sold for $2 each, and parents can find their children’s buttons on the day of the stroll at the Scout Hall from 1 to 6:30 p.m. For more information on the buttons or to pre-order a button, call or text assistant coach Carla May at 590-4033.
Choteau Senior Citizens Open House
The Choteau Senior Citizens Center holiday open house from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Senior Center welcomes everyone to stop by for a bake sale, silent auction, quilt raffle, door prizes and a freewill offering lunch of homemade stew and rolls. There will also be snacks galore and a selection of beverages plus sales in the Cellarama thrift store.
Choteau Community Art Studio
The Choteau Community Art Studio is moving into its new location in the former Full Circle thrift shop and will be open during the stroll from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Members of the Choteau community band will play Christmas songs from 1-2 p.m. and Choteau photographer Kelly Skinner will be offering mini Christmas photo sessions from 2-5 p.m. There will also be crafts for children from 2-5 p.m.
Visit with Santa
Pivot Physical Therapy invites children to come for pictures and visiting with Santa Claus from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Parents are invited to bring their own cameras to take Santa pictures.
The Fly Girlz Embroidery shop will host a stroll open house, noon to 5 p.m. at 417 Third St. N.E. (in the alley). Other stores with special stroll hours and events include: Ace Hardware, Mountain Front Market, Country Hallmark (open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.), John Henry’s, Choteau Drug, Black Sheep Sports & Graphics, Alpine Touch, Rocky Mountain Insurance Services, Buck’s Sporting Goods, Pivot Physical Therapy, Full Circle Thrift Shop, Polished and Curly Willow Floral & Gifts.
The Choteau United Methodist Church youth group’s annual holiday food drive, held in conjunction with the free Christmas movie at the Roxy Theatre will start at 12 p.m. at the theater. People are encouraged to drop off nonperishable food items for the Teton County Food Pantry. Donors are asked to make sure that the foodstuffs do not have expired use-by dates as the Food Pantry cannot accept expired items.
Free Christmas matinee
The free animated Christmas story, “The Star,” will start at 1 p.m. (doors open at 12:30 p.m.) at the Roxy Theatre. This year’s matinee is brought to children by a number of anonymous donors.
Fire Truck Rides
The Choteau Volunteer Fire Department will offer fire truck rides with Santa for kids starting after the free matinee (about 2:30 p.m.), Choteau’s volunteer firefighters will give children of all ages rides up and down Main Avenue on the fire truck. They will pick up and drop off in front of the Teton County Courthouse.
Starting at 1 p.m., Rich Clough and the Loose Mules will perform at the Days Gone By Antique store. Everyone is welcome to come and enjoy the music and browse the selection of antiques and collectibles.
The Choteau American Legion and Collins Auction Service will sponsor a holiday bonfire from 4-7 p.m. in the vacant lot next between the new Choteau Community Art Studio location (the former Full Circle Thrift Shop) and the law offices of Justin Lee and Bill Bieler.
Parade of Lights
The Chamber’s parade of lights will start on the north end of Main Avenue at 6 p.m. There is no cost to enter and no preregistration is required. Businesses, clubs and individuals who want to enter should be in the gravel lot south of the Stage Stop Inn at 5:30 p.m. on the day of the stroll for judging. The grand prize will be $100 plus the “Leg”acy of Christmas traveling trophy, won last year by the Old Trail Museum.
Choteau and area residents are also reminded that the Chamber of Commerce is again hosting a holiday house and yard decorating contest. The Chamber will judge decorated homes (starting the week before Christmas) and award $75 for first place, $50 for second place and $25 for third place.