The Choteau Chamber of Commerce Christmas Stroll, with the theme “Making Merry on Main,” is set for Dec. 7 with stores opening as early as 6 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, is the chairwoman for the stroll events, helped by Chamber President Tom Frownfelder, Heather Hodgkiss of Pivot Physical Therapy and Corlene Martin of Choteau.
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, Dec. 6, 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.
For more information, you can also go online to choteauchristmasstroll.com.
Art show and sale
Members of the Front Range Art Association will host a fine art show and sale in the Choteau Arts studio on Main Avenue, Friday, Dec. 6, from 3 to 7 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 7, 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. Rich Clough and the Loose Mules will play at the studio from 3 to 5 p.m. On both days, raffle tickets will be sold for an original painting with the proceeds of the raffle going to the art studio.
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 and balsam ﬁr trees.
Christmas wreath sale
The Choteau Swim Team will have Christmas evergreen wreaths for sale during the stroll in the parking lot next to the Bieler Law Office on Main Avenue North.
Holiday dance showcase
The dance students of Callee Peebles will present “Nutcracker: Land of the Sweets Ballet Showcase,” a mini-Christmas dance showcase, choreographed by Peebles, at 11 a.m. on Dec. 7 at the Choteau High School auditorium.
Proprietors of home-based businesses will also be open during the stroll on Dec. 7 from noon to 5:30 p.m. in the Scout Hall on Main Avenue North (next to the Bieler Law Office). Any vendor wanting to secure a location should contact Dogiakos at 203-4679 or go online to https://www.choteauchristmasstroll.com/vendor-space/.
Scout Popcorn sales and food drive
Choteau Scouts BSA Troops 51 will have a booth selling popcorn from noon to 5:30 p.m. in the Scout Hall on Main Avenue North (next to the Burk, Lee and Bieler Law Office). The Scouts will also be taking donations of nonperishable food items for the Teton County Food Pantry. All food items (none past their expiration dates though) are welcome though items that are particularly needed are: canned peas, large canned pumpkin, vegetable oil, canned pork and beans, canned refried beans, oatmeal and stuffing mix.
Christmas buttons produced by the Choteau Volleyball Club, Choteau Elementary School students and preschool 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 noon to 5:30 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 is hosting a holiday open house from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Senior Center welcomes everyone to stop by for a bake sale, silent auction, 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.
Stroll in to the Library
The Choteau/Teton Public Library and the Choteau Friends of the Library are hosting free Christmas ornament crafts and a children’s book sale from noon to 6 p.m. in the Alice Gleason meeting room.
Visit with Santa
The Choteau/Teton Public Library invites children to come for pictures and visiting with Santa Claus from 3 to 5 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 their new location, 108 Highway 221 (the blue building across from Frontline Ag Solutions). Sara, Carly and Devonna will have refreshments and offer a selection of caps, clothing, unique stuffed animals and Natural Life gift items for sale.
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 Christmas movie, “Elf,” (rated PG) 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 Rocky Mountain Insurance Services and the Roxy Theatre.
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 At Home Flooring.
From 1 to 3 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.
Choteau community band members under the direction of Fred Gnojek will perform Christmas tunes from 3 to 4 p.m. at Copper Creek Coffee, 23 Main Ave. N. (next to the library). Shoppers are welcome to visit Choteau’s newest coffee house and enjoy the music. Copper Creek Coffee will have grand opening activities all day during the stroll.
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 Choteau Arts studio and the Bieler Law Office.
Parade of Lights
The Chamber’s parade of lights will start on the north end of Main Avenue at 5:30 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 p.m. on the day of the stroll for judging. The grand prize will be $100, donated by 3 Rivers Communications, plus the “Leg”acy of Christmas traveling trophy, won last year by the Choteau Soroptimists.
Jingle Bell Jog
Walkers and runners are welcome to accompany the Parade of Lights down Main Avenue North. Anyone wanting to do so should be at the vacant lot south of Main Avenue by 5:45 p.m. Each participant will receive a jingle bell and a candy cane. There is no registration fee and no formal finish line. Walkers/runners can do the whole parade route (from the motel, around the courthouse and then back to the motel), or can peel off anywhere on the route. Participants should either have lighted vests or reflective gear. Walkers and runners may also wish to wear traction gear on their shoes if the road surface is slippery or snow-covered. For more information, contact Melody Martinsen at 590-1644. The distance is about 2 miles for the full parade route.
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. Three Rivers Communications donated the money for the prizes.