Tuesday, December 12, 2006

This is my first holiday season in a small town and I am really enjoying it.
There is something precious and unique that I didn't find in the larger cities I've lived.The others may have had fancier decor and more uptown celebrations yet there was something impersonal too.

A few weeks ago Bob and I attended an annual celebration called "Frontier Christmas".
It was walking back in time.
Many of the residents dress up in period costumes and reenacted what Christmas time and holiday celebrations would have been like in those early days in Oroville.

It was held at the Visitor's Center at Lake Oroville so that was a backdrop in itself.
There were booths set up to show off different aspects of frontier life at that time.
Kids were able to make wreaths from native plantings;they panned for gold.
There was a lady showing off the toys used at that time and she played holiday music on a dulcimer.

The gift shop booth was recreated into holiday decorations from that era.Some of the most creative uses from acorns,pine cones,paper and fabric I've ever seen were on exhibit and for sale.

There was the ticket booth to sell tickets for the stage coach ride into Nevada and an old time preacher marrying folks as they arrived.

At the concession stand was food done up as it might have been then and all the ladies were wearing their long dresses made of calico and wearing their bonnets.
You paid for your food and drinks with wooden nickels you purchased at the bank.

There have been ongoing celebrations in town throughout the season.
There was the reception given at the Lott home by the Historical Society to honor the tradition when James Lott brought his new bride to Oroville and he used a holiday party to introduce her to her new neighbors.

There was the Parade of Lights;an annual celebration that folks decorate their cars,pets,themselves and anything else and parade through the downtown business district.This officially kicks off the holiday celebration downtown.
Everyone is invited to participate or just watch.

There is a parade of homes that are uniquely decorated with lights and other decor that you independently drive around and then judge yourself which is best,submit your selection to the newspaper and the top three win a prize.

All the downtown shops are so festive with their windows dressed in holiday decor.Some are almost recreations from the past.

To end the season this year there is the Centennial Ball at the Municipal Auditorium celebrating Oroville's Centennial as an incorporated city.
It began in the gold miner's days as Ophir City both names reflecting its rich(no pun intended)history as the area where the gold rush of 1849 happened.

I feel blessed to get to experience the small town atmosphere with a big heart at this time in my life.

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