Window on the Clearwater
Traditional news Today's technology
triviahead.JPG - 10433 Bytes

Mike Bushfield is the Winner!

Christmas Festival is the answer for Clearwater History Trivia #636, a special feature to celebrate the history and heritage of Clearwater Country.

Join in the discovery!

Monday: Started small

Tuesday: A capella

Wednesday: Walking

Thursday: A community group

Friday: Lots of changes

Saturday: Big and small

Monday: Carols

People have all kinds of memories of Christmases past and it is fun and interesting to see just what people remember, particularly about community celebrations, activities and presentations.

When we moved here in 1990, the community would gather in front of the Veterans of Foreign Wars on Michigan. Each person was given a small candle with a paper holder to keep the melting wax from falling on our hands. We would walk from there to Cannon Park where we would sing carols and the Community Christmas Tree was lighted.

I talked with quite a few people about what they remembered about Orofino community Christmas events. One that was most often mentioned was the drawings for 'Orofino Gold', 'Chamber Bucks' or prizes by other names they couldn't quite remember. Those were good to purchase items at any of the participating merchants in Orofino. The drawings were held at the corner of Johnson and College avenues. There was a large prize drawing drum that the tickets were put in, tumbled around and winners pulled out. How people were able to enter the drawing changed over the years.

Another that was the ping pong ball drop over Barney's Harvest Foods parking lot. One of the special aspects was that it was done by Santa from a helicopter. As I remember, Santa was then set down and available to greet the children. Ping pong balls were taken to merchants to receive prizes.

I was not able to track down the exact year, but when the Idaho grown national Christmas tree came through Orofino on its way to Washington, DC, the community celebration became the Christmas Festival and there were numerous activities planned and carried out by a committee of merchants groups and business people. Gloria Schloss was the spark that prompted the expansion and addition to the community activities. She and her husband owned Awesome Augie's at the time. When they left the community, others organized and managed the festival.

A Window on the Clearwater news article from the fourth annual celebration in 2006 lists numerous activities including such things as demonstrations, business open houses, participation activities and more. Youth could attend a bird house making clinic. Clearwater Memorial Public Library had an open house and gave children books. There was an Old Fashioned Lighted Parade through downtown. Caroling involved the Orofino High School Choir. The Senior Citizens had a scholarship fund raising breakfast. A holiday street fair was held on the sidewalks along Johnson. Barnett Thompson Chevrolet had an activity for children to string popcorn. The Little Elf Shop provided a way for children to purchase surprise gifts for their family members. There was a free movie at the Rex. Mountain Motor Sports demoed ATVs. Bell ringers performed at the corner of Johnson and College. Donations were collected for the Food Bank and much more.

Along the way, other activities have been added like the Live Nativity and other activities like the Patchwork Bazaar have been going on for decades. None of the people I talked to remembered when the Community Tree lighting started, but the sparkling tree that stands at the entrance to downtown is an enduring symbol of the season.

Trivia Archives

Sponsored by:

Want accurate, daily news for Orofino and Clearwater County?

Subscribe to:

Window on the Clearwater
Traditional news Today's technology

It's a bargain at $3 per month, $18 for 6 months or $30 per year. (Idaho residents, please add 6% sales tax)

Subscribing is easy:

  • Drop us a check with your email address and we will sign you up. (See the mailing address at left)
  • Pay online: Click this Registration link and follow the Pay Pal instructions.

Window on the Clearwater
P.O. Box 2444
Orofino, ID 83544
Orofino 476 0733
Fax: 208-476-4140