ELKO – The Downtown Business Association “Welcome to the North Pole” Snowflake Festival and Parade of Lights is set from noon to 6 p.m. on Dec. 9 in downtown Elko.
There will be a Cocoa Cottage and food vendors at the 15th annual event. The festival is free to attend outside of costs at some of the vendor booths.
This year’s festival sponsors include Newmont Mining Corp., Nevada State Bank, Riverton Motors, Stockmen’s Casino, and Nevada Health Link.
“This festival is the most fun I’ve had to plan,” said Downtown Business Association Event Coordinator Rushele Melton. “It’s been wonderful to work with the leaders in the Downtown Business Association, and the 70 to 100 businesses, to put this festival together.”
This year’s festival includes a special centennial tower lighting celebration at 4:15 p.m. in the downtown business corridor at Seventh and Railroad streets. The Elko Centennial Committee, donors for the tower, and members of the Chilton family will be present for the ribbon-cutting and lighting ceremony.
Mayor Chris Johnson will also make a speech at the lighting of Elko’s new downtown landmark in Centennial Park.
The festival will include 40 vendors in the Kringle Mart. Five of the booths will have nonprofits handing out information about their organizations. The rest of the local vendors will be selling a variety of homemade soaps, candles and other holiday gifts.
“It’s wonderful to work with every single personality, and there’s always someone who can come up with a solution,” said Melton. “I cannot find such creativity, or 100 ideal perspectives, anywhere else, which is a wonderful opportunity.”
For the creative crafters, there will be the annual Parks and Recreation Santa’s Workshop in the Western Folklife Center, where you can also have a photo taken with Santa. The Elko County Art Club is opening its doors for members to create holiday-themed crafts and gift bags. Evergreen Flower Shop will host warm drinks and crafts directed toward children at the festival.
For the adventurous observer, the Elko County Courthouse steps will display photos by Allusive Images and live ice sculptures. The Riverton Motor Concert Stage will feature local performers such as the Southwind band, the Elko Choraliers, the Trials Band, the Mexican Ballet Group, and two performances by the Elko County Ambulance and Reach Air Medical.
“Snowflake Festival truly takes several people behind the scenes, and people don’t always see the work behind it,” said Melton. “It’s great to volunteer in the community and meet both the new people who have moved to Elko and the movers and shakers who have lived here for 30-plus years.”
The Parade of Lights is set to start at 5 p.m. at Sixth and Commercial Street, turning onto Fourth Street toward Idaho, and concluding after a straight line down Idaho Street at 11th Street.
This year the Western Folklife Center, Indigo, and Evergreen Flower Shop will be handing out 3D glasses to watch the parade.
The grand marshal is Fire Marshal John Holmes, who was chosen for his hard work in the City of Elko Fire Department.
There are currently 30 floats signed up for the Parade of Lights, and the top three will win additional prizes. Judges for this year’s contest are Nancy Streets, Billy Chamber and Melissa McJunkin.