Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

By Staff Report
Whitman County Gazette 

Winterfest fireworks set for Thursday, no parade


December 3, 2020

Garth Meyer | Whitman County Gazette

Nichole Kopp, Colfax library teen librarian, makes an adjustment to the Festival of Trees display in The Center window.

COLFAX - Despite the coronavirus quarantine, the annual Winterfest fireworks will go ahead as planned, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3. If tradition holds, the fireworks will set off from the big blue water tank on the east side of Colfax, providing viewing from all around town.

While the fireworks will still take place, the annual Winterfest parade has been canceled.

The cancellation was announced last week.

Even though Santa won't be the featured guest in a parade, he will be visiting Colfax - virtually.

The Whitman County Library District's local branch, 102 S. Main St., is hosting a Storytime with Santa and Mrs. Claus on Dec. 17, 7 to 8 p.m.

While the venue may be different, it will be the same face of Santa Claus youth have seen at the library for the past several years. Twelve-year Santa stand-in Jim Berdal will be Zoom-ing in from the North Pole. Berdal has moved to North Dakota since his last appearance as Santa.

The annual Festival of Trees is also being effected by Gov. Jay Inslee's coronavirus mandates.

Seven trees are stationed in the front window of The Center, 110 S. Main St., and can all be viewed from the sidewalk.

Residents are invited to view the trees through the glass and vote online for their favorites through the library's website.

Voting closes Dec. 19. One prize will be awarded for People's Choice. Prize sponsor is yet to be announced.

"WCL staff couldn't imagine The Center windows without the Christmas trees this year," said Nichole Kopp with the library. "We were determined to make a scaled back version of The Festival of Trees work even though current restrictions made tree setup difficult. We couldn't have individuals or groups in for hours at a time decorating like years past, so we had to ask participants to bring their trees fully decorated or send us supplies and instructions to decorate their tree. It was heartwarming to hear how thrilled the participating agencies and individuals were that the event wasn't canceled. They sent us instructions and supplies, partially completed trees, and we even had a fully decorated tree delivered by pickup truck! Their beautiful creative trees bring a touch of magic back to a year that hasn't been so magical."

Trees and decorations will be packed up and taken home Dec. 28.


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