Vets gift store
The American Legion Auxiliary Christmas Gift Store at the Columbia Falls Veterans Home takes place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday.
Veterans will each receive a gift for themselves and one gift for each family member. Members of the Auxiliary wrap the gifts and either give them to the veteran to give to the veteran’s family or package them and send them to destinations throughout the United States and Canada, all at no cost.
Community members are also welcome to volunteer. If you would like to be a part of the event, contact Jeanna Sibbert at 212-5395 (Kalispell Unit), or Cassandra Thommen at 897-2240 (Columbia Falls Unit).
Kalispell Art Walk
The Kalispell Holiday Art Walk takes place from 5 to 9 p.m. today downtown.
The annual Community Christmas tree lighting and caroling will be at 6 p.m. in Depot Park. Bring the children and your cameras at 5 p.m. to get a photo with Santa and play in the bounce house.
Stores will be open late. Shoppers can enter to win one of several $100 gift certificates to use at more than 45 participating downtown locations.
Smart Alex will be playing at Valley Bank and the Trinity Lutheran Hand-bell Choir will perform near Alpine Lighting. Bethlehem Lutheran Church is hosting a stained-glass craft activity and First Presbyterian Church will have an art show on exhibit.
The Whitefish Christmas Stroll is from 5 to 9 p.m. tonight downtown on Central Avenue.
• North Valley Music School students perform at 5 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church.
• Santa arrives between 6 and 6:30 p.m. at the O’Shaughnessy Center.
• The Alpine Ringers hand-bell choir performs at 6:15 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church.
• “Whitefire,” a local fire juggling/dancing troupe, perform in front of the O’Shaughnessy Center at 6 p.m., and again at about 7:15 p.m. in front of the Winter Carnival float.
• The annual lighting of the Depot Park Christmas trees and Santa’s grand arrival are set for 6 to 6:30 p.m. in front of the O’Shaughnessy Center. Kids of all ages can get their pictures taken with Santa at the Stumptown Marketplace on Spokane Avenue beginning at 6:30 p.m.;
• Dancers from the Whitefish/Bigfork Dance Academy perform at 6:30 p.m.
For every $10 you spend with a Whitefish Chamber member on the day of the Christmas Stroll you’ll get one entry into the Grand Prize raffles that’ll be held that night. To enter, bring receipts for your purchases to the Whitefish Chamber tent by 8:30 p.m.
Night of Lights
Columbia Falls Night of Lights is tonight.
A crafts fair gets underway at 4 p.m. at the North Valley Teakettle Room on Nucleus Avenue in Columbia Falls.
The parade begins at 6:30 p.m. After the parade, head to The Coop to visit with Santa and enjoy hot cocoa, chili and a live holiday concert and caroling featuring the Stringlers, Columbia Falls High School Columbians and Sonifers.
Breakfast with Santa
• Woodland Montessori School Foundation’s Breakfast with Santa is from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Flathead County Fairgrounds Expo Building in Kalispell. Tickets are $12 at the door, which includes breakfast, a photo with Santa, and more.
• The Whitefish Moose Lodge hosts a breakfast with Santa from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. All kids eat free. The lodge is located at 230 10th St. W.
• The Rotary Club of Columbia Falls annual Brunch with Santa is from 9:30 a.m. to noon at Timber Creek Village, 375 Meadow Lake Drive, in Columbia Falls. The cost is $10 per adult; children 12 and under eat free with a paid adult. Tickets are available at the door or call Doug, 406-407-2445.
Stuff the Bus
The Flathead Composite Squadron Civil Air Patrol hosts its Stuff the Bus event from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in front of Shopko in Kalispell.
Members of the community are encouraged to donate unwrapped Christmas gifts for the Salvation Army Angel Tree Program.
Purpose Church (formerly Baptist Church) has its annual bazaar and luncheon from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The church is located at 305 W. Wyoming St. in Kalispell.
Lunch will be served at 11 a.m., featuring Creamy Cheddar Chunky Chicken Chowder, dinner roll, pumpkin dessert, coffee or tea for $8 per person. All proceeds go to local outreach.
Yellow Bay Community Club’s holiday fair is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Yellow Bay Clubhouse, Montana 35 at mile marker 18. Christmas decor, crafts, baked goods and more will be for sale. Lunch will be available for $5.
Parents, Let’s Unite for Kids organization hosts a Sensory Santa event from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday at Gateway Community Center, 1203 U.S. 2 W., in Kalispell.
Geared for children who are sensitive to noise and stimulation, the event is a quiet celebration of the season with appropriate activities and treats, a cozy space and no lines.
Reserve your family time at mtpluk.org. Call Cindy at 406-407-4392 for more details.
The South Flathead Modular Railroad group operates their HO gauge trains at the Gateway Community Center from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at the North end of the mall, entrance C. Those who have locomotives and/or cars they wish to run are welcome to bring them. There is an opportunity to bring related HO train items for sale or swap.
Spectators are also welcome.
Kalispell’s annual City of the North Parade starts at 5 p.m. Saturday on Main Street.
The parade will travel from the intersection of Main Street and 10th Street to the intersection of Main Street and Center Street. Parking will be prohibited on the east side of Main Street starting at 4 p.m. Saturday and will resume immediately afterward.
The Kalispell Chamber is partnering with the Flathead Marines during parade to collect unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots. The Flathead Marines will be the third-from-last entry in the parade and will collect toys from parade spectators.
Winter survival talk
A park ranger will give a “Winter Survivalist” talk from 5 to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Lone Pine State Park Visitor Center near Kalispell. The cost is $6 for ages 13 and over; and free for those 12 and under. Register on Eventbrite.
Valley Voices Community Choir holds two nights of its “Celebrate the Season” concert this weekend.
The choir performs at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Glacier High School auditorium. A second concert will be held at 7 p.m. Sunday at Risen Christ Catholic Church in Kalispell.
The concerts are free and everyone is welcome.
The Swan River Inn in Bigfork hosts a philanthropic event at 7 p.m. Saturday. The public is invited to donate a wrapped gift which will be given to an underprivileged child.
Labeled the gift with the age and gender of the child for whom it is intended. The children are in kindergarten through eighth grade.
The event features music by Don Beans and readings by local author Leslie Budewitz. Light refreshments will be served. Doors open at 6 p.m.
Let the Swan River Inn know how many in your party plan to attend by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictures with Santa
Bring your children to the Conrad Mansion from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday to get their pictures taken with Santa and enjoy cookies and hot cocoa. There is a suggested donation of $5 per child.
There will also be a drawing for three different gift baskets.