The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Michele Smith
the Times 

'The Town that Still Believes'

Dayton Chamber of Commerce kicks off the Christmas season Nov. 23 and 24


November 15, 2018

DAYTON—Dayton is known as “The Town that Still Believes,” and to celebrate the holidays once again, the Dayton Chamber of Commerce is putting on the 12th annual Christmas Kickoff celebration the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving.

On Friday the Backroads Club in Dayton will hold its Ugly Xmas Sweater 5k walk/run, on a 3.2 mile course around town, starting and ending at the Columbia County Courthouse. The race is dog, stroller and wheelchair friendly, and there are cash prizes in individual and group-related categories, said organizer Rachel Hutchens.

Registration begins at Dayton’s historic courthouse, at 10 a.m., and the race will start at 11 a.m. The cost is $15 for participants six years old and up, she said.

From 2:30 to 5:30 p.m., carolers will be roaming around town. Kruger’s mules will stage at the Dayton Historic Depot on both days from noon until 3:30 p.m., for hayrides around town.

Izzy the Camel will be featured during the Live Nativity behind Dingle’s Store, at 4 p.m. and again at 5 p.m.

Kids and adults can visit live reindeer Dasher and Dancer on N. First St. from 1 to 5 p.m. They can also take in a free showing of “The Muppet Christmas Carol” at the Liberty Theater at 3 p.m.

Tractors, combines and Santa’s Sleigh are just some of the entries in the seventh-annual Lighted Parade, which will take place along Main St., at 6 p.m.

Immediately following the parade, the public is invited to the Elk Drug parking lot for the Christmas tree-lighting ceremony and the singing of Christmas carols. The outdoor fireworks display will begin at 7 p.m.

Fifteen minutes after the fireworks end, a Columbia County Public Transportation bus will depart from Elk Drug, giving riders an opportunity to judge the best of Dayton’s homes entered in the annual Tour of Lights.

This year Santa will be at Village Shoppes from 1 to 5:30 p.m. on Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Misty Yost said organizers of this year’s Gingerbread house contest are calling for people to let their imagination run wild. See the gingerbread creations at various locations on Main St. The first-place winner will get $100 in Dayton Dollars, she said.

Cookies and beverages will be provided to visitors at the Palus Museum at 426 E Main St. and at the Smith Hollow Schoolhouse Museum at 113 N Front. St. on Friday from 1-7 p.m.

The Boldman House Museum at 410 N. 1st St. will be decked out for Christmas on both days, from 1-4 p.m.

Pianists will perform at the Boldman house both days: Roger Tumbocon, on Friday, from 2-3 p.m., Dwyla Donohue, on Friday, from 3-4 p.m., and Marilyn Putney, on Saturday, from 3-4 p.m.

Admission is free of charge, and there will be free nose flutes for youth, along with recipes from the Boldman Family collection, according to Museum Director Sylvia Beuhler.

The Christmas Market at the Dayton Historical Depot Museum at 222 E Commercial St. will have hand-crafted gifts, including locally produced snacks and artisan wares for sale on both days from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., according to Museum Director Tamara Fritze. The Depot gift shop will be stocked with unique gifts and stocking stuffers, and poinsettias will be available for purchase.

Tickets for a hand-made Christmas quilt by Dianne McKinley are $5 and may be purchased at the Depot for a drawing during Ladies Night Out on Dec. 3. The FFA will have wreaths for sale in the Depot courtyard.

In addition, the caboose in Caboose Park, adjacent to the Depot, will be open from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday.

The Wenaha Gallery, at 219 E Main St., will be open both days from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., said Marketing Manager Carolyn Henderson. The gallery is featuring gourd artist Sheryl Parsons and Fine Artist Steve Henderson, on Friday from 2-6 p.m. Also, the fractal art of Debbie Lind will be held over, for Christmas Kickoff.

Henderson said raffle tickets for three gift baskets can be purchased on Friday for a drawing at 5:30 p.m. that day. The gallery is also celebrating its 25th anniversary, with up to 25% off on each $250 purchase, and cake all day on Saturday.

Music by Switchgrass, the Whipper Snappers and Two Steps Back will be presented in the lobby of the Weinhard Hotel on Friday, from 3-5 p.m. Spokane musicians Diane Copland and Heidi Gnos Kuban, will perform in the lobby of the hotel after the fireworks display.

The Touchet Valley Arts Council’s fall musical production, Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka, will have an evening performance on Wednesday evening and two performances Saturday. Tickets can be purchased at the box office, or online at

Chamber Director Melissa Bryan said retail shops will open at 9 a.m., on both days, and eateries will stay open later than usual.

St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, at 112 S. 1st St. will hold their annual Christmas Bazaar in the Parish Hall on Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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