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Portola, Graeagle’s holiday festivities attracts hundreds

Events in Graeagle kicked off the holiday season almost two weeks ago with Black Friday and Shop Small® Saturday specials, and a beautiful art fair sponsored by the Mohawk Community Resource Center.

Twenty vendors packed the fire hall with hand-crafted art, wood carvings, jewelry, photography, soaps, honey  and more than 20 dozen of the best homemade cookies for holiday shoppers. There was a steady stream of foot traffic braving the slushy conditions to shop the fair and the little red boutiques in downtown Graeagle.

All in all, the weekend was a huge success according to event organizers and shop owners. Thank you for supporting your local businesses.

As I write this chamber update a week before the update publishes, I am checking all my weather apps — biting my nails and hoping for a small break in the weather for Portola and Graeagle’s tree lightings. I know how badly we need the rain and snow, but seriously… Life in the mountains. As they say in these parts though, “If you don’t like the weather [report] … wait 10 minutes.”

Each time I check my apps (I usually give it a couple hours,) I am encouraged. At 10:34 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, (mere hours before my chamber update deadline and a day before our event) the predictions for Friday are for partly cloudy skies during the day, giving way to a 10 percent chance of light precipitation later in the evening. The forecast earlier in the week was 90 percent chance of rain, snow and wind — an outdoor event crusher!

LSCC worked our tails off the past couple months preparing for Christmas in Old Town and are thrilled Mother Nature is working with us. Our community helped as well, supporting us with funding for children’s prizes from Santa, prize donations for our fundraiser and lighting up their Commercial Street businesses in downtown Portola.

Eighteen vendors braved the weather reports, signing up for the largest outdoor marketplace we have had in years. Participants in the magical light parade promised to show up in style — rain or shine. If past years are any indication, Santa and Mrs. Claus — our most popular attraction — will have received dozens of children, handing out goodie bags filled with treats and “Golden Tickets” for a special free children’s-drawing. Members from our local Methodist Church will have strolled through the crowd, leading everyone in Christmas carols. Prizes to raise money for the Lost Sierra Visitors Center — including a huge Smart TV — will hopefully make several folks’ Christmas extra special.

It’s a beautiful thing to see so many people working together to make this community event a success. For “the rest of the story” on how Christmas in Old Town actually turned out, read our Jan. 15, 2020, chamber update.

In other news, we will be changing to winter hours for both the Chamber and the Visitor Center soon and will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. We will take a winter break and close the offices for business from Dec. 23 to Jan. 31, 2020.

If you need anything during this time, please call our office. We will drop by the office at least weekly to check on messages and to work on planning our events and fundraisers for 2020. If we happen to be in the office during the break, please come in. We are happy to assist you.

Thank you for your support this past year. We couldn’t have done it without you! We can make a stronger community by working together. If you see your way to volunteering a little time to help us staff the offices, please give us a call. We can always use help and welcome suggestions as well.

On a closing note, we at the Lost Sierra Chamber of Commerce and the Lost Sierra Visitors Center wish you and yours the very best, and look forward to serving you in 2020.

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