DAYTON _ "The Town that Still Believes" is once again celebrating the launch of the Christmas season with fireworks, lighted home tours, music, artist receptions, a living Nativity and hayrides in a mule-drawn wagon.
The Nativity will again feature Izzy the camel, along with donkeys, sheep and a cow. The human characters will be from the churches of the Touchet Valley. The Nativity is at 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. Friday behind Dingle's.
Additions to the Nativity this year include song sheets for attendees to join a sing-a-long, and Nativity story coloring books for children age 10 and younger. The event is sponsored by the Touchet Valley Ministerial Association.
At the Wenaha Gallery on Main Street, an artist reception for Bonnie Griffith and Andrea Lyman will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday.
Griffith's show, "Plein-air and Parks," includes plein-air (painted outside, on location without photography or studio work) and focuses on works created from visits to national parks as well as city parks in locations around the United States.
Griffith, who lives in Walla Walla, paints almost exclusively landscape. Most of her paintings are of landscapes in southeast Washington.
Jewelry-maker Andrea Lyman says her pieces are one-of-a-kind creation.
"Most interesting to me are unusual, rare, vintage or handmade beads and buttons, and other trinkets that I collect on my many travels," she said in a release.
Other artists displaying works during the weekend include Monica Stobie at Dumas Station, and Nathan Riley at Palus Museum.
The Dayton Historic Depot will hold its annual Christmas Market at the Depot both Friday and Saturday. Items available include high quality handcrafted gift items, handmade candy, honey, eggs, soup mix and coffee.
The Depot is also the place to catch the mule-drawn wagon for a hayride around town. Inclement weather may cancel the rides.
A lighted parade gets underway at 6 p.m. on Main Street, followed by the Christmas Kick-off traditional fireworks will set the sky aglow at 7 p.m. near the Courthouse.
Many businesses will offer free treats and refreshments throughout the day Friday.
Music offerings range from soloist Tammy Weppler, singing "jazzy pop" songs at the Weinhard Caf, The Lentil Bros. modern folk duet appearing at Mace Mead Works, Rock-a-Billy and classic rock at Woody's Bar and Grill, and easy listening in the Weinhard Hotel Lobby. Most performances are Friday. (See schedule.)
New this year are lighted home tours by the Columbia County Public Transportation both Friday and Saturday evening.
There is a charge for the lighted home tours, but nearly everything else is free, including two showings of "A Christmas Story" at the Liberty Theater Friday, and tours of the Boldman House Museum, 410 N. First St., Friday and Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m.
Also free both days is a Make & Take Crafts for Kids at the corner of Second and Main streets.
Santa will be on hand for pictures with his fans at 164 E. Main St. from 2-7 p.m. Friday and noon-4 p.m. Saturday.
Here is a schedule of events for Dayton's Christmas Kickoff:
Unless otherwise noted, all events are free and on Main Street.
- All Day: Special Holiday Bazaar and Crafts, Main Street.
- All Day: Treats and refreshments, many downtown businesses.
- 12:30-3:30 p.m. - Muledrawn Hayrides, Historic Depot, 222 E. Commercial St. Sponsored by Puget Sound Energy. (Weather permitting.)
- Noon and 3 p.m. - Free movie matinee, "A Christmas Story," Liberty Theater, 342 E. Main St.
- 2-8 p.m. - Easy Listening, Weinhard Hotel Lobby, local instrumental and vocal talents. Visit hotel for detailed schedule.
- 2:30-4:30 p.m. - Jazzy Pop Soloist, Tammy Weppler at the Weinhard Caf.
- 4-7 p.m. - Bonnie Griffith and Andrea Lyman artists' reception, Wenaha Gallery.
- 4-9 p.m. Modern Folk Duet, The Lentil Bros., Mace Mead Works.
- 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. - Live Nativity, behind Dingle's, 179 E. Main St.
- 6 p.m. - Lighted Parade, sponsored by Inland Cellular.
- 7 p.m. - Fireworks show, sponsored by Pacific Power.
- 9 p.m.-1 a.m. - Rock-a-Billy, "Rubberneck," Woody's Bar and Grill.
- Time TBA: Live Band, at the Eagles.
- 3 and 7 p.m. - Live show, Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," Liberty Theater. Tickets available at the theater or online at www.libertytheater.org.
- 9 p.m.-1 a.m. - Classic Rock, "Money for Nothing," Woody's Bar & Grill.
- Friday and Saturday
- All Day - Free Make and Take Crafts for Kids, corner of 2nd and Main.
- 1-4 p.m. - Historic tours, Boldman House Museum, 410 N. First St.. Free Boldman family holiday recipes, nose-flutes for kids and live piano music.
- 2-7 p.m. Friday, noon-4 p.m. Saturday - Pictures with Santa, 164 E. Main St. Sponsored by Ski Bluewood.
- After fireworks Friday, 7 p.m. Saturday - Lighted Home Tours. Buses depart from Elk Drug, Sponsored by Columbia County Public Transportation. $1.50 fare, $1 for ages 60 and older.
- 1-4 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday - Art Show featuring art of Monica Stobie, Dumas Station, 35229 Hwy 12.
- 1-7 p.m. Friday, 1-4 p.m. Saturday _ Art Show, "Photo Images and Metal Sculptures Inspired by Rural Columbia County Landscapes and Vintage Farmsteads," by artist Nathan Riley. Palus Museum, 436 E. Main St. Complimentary arrowhead while supplies last.
- 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Christmas Market at the Depot, 200 E. Commercial. High quality handcrafted gift items, handmade candy, honey, eggs, soup mix, coffee.