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Come one, come all to a magical Christmas in Old Town celebration on Commercial Street in Portola on Friday, Dec. 6. Photo by Lauren Westmoreland

Christmas in Old Town planned in December

The Lost Sierra Chamber of Commerce and the city of Portola are teaming up again this year to kick off the Christmas season.

Both groups are inviting members of the community at large to join in an effort to re-vitalize Portola’s holiday celebration which will take place Friday, Dec. 6.

The Chamber has re-branded the popular community event “Christmas in Old Town.”

“We want families, especially, to get excited! So, we are planning a great outdoor Christmas market, games and prizes for children and adults, caroling and sing-a-longs, food, a bonfire, wagon rides, an amazing light parade and of course, Santa,” says Donna Mills, LSCC board president.

The momentum seems to be building as the Chamber has already received a lot of suggestions for this year’s event and hopes to add ideas and activities as funding becomes available.

“We are only a month out and are on a shoestring budget right now, so we are reaching out to the community. We have been able to do a lot with the support of the community in the past, and look forward to another great celebration,” says Mills.

“Right now, we are soliciting donations for a special Santa prize drawing,” Mills says. Each child visiting Santa will get a stocking with goodies, including a “golden ticket.” Children can enter their ticket into a special drawing. Winners will be drawn the same evening.

The more money the Chamber can raise, the more prizes they can purchase for Santa’s drawing.

Mills is working on other ideas with members of the community to make the event memorable, including a “Fantasy of Lights” window display down Commercial Street.

“We just want it to be fun. Commercial Street offers some great windows that could be so beautiful with a few lights, some paint and a little imagination. I’m talking to businesses and have reached out to the art department at Portola High School. We aren’t New York or Macy’s. We are a quaint mountain town that just needs a little polish to make it shine,” Mills says.

Mills has been posting and handing out flyers around town seeking participation in the special light parade and vendors for the Christmas Marketplace. She hopes the excitement continues to build so that there is a good turnout for the evening.

Mills says anyone can be in the parade, and it is a great way to advertise a business or just have fun. Marketplace booths are free. If you are interested in participating in either or both of these activities, or wish to help in any way, contact the Chamber office at 836-6811.

“If we all roll up our sleeves just a little, Christmas in Old Town will be a night to remember,” says Mills.

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