Char-Koosta News

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Mission Valley Under the Lights to become annual holiday fare

By Lailani Upham
Char-Koosta News

An old model truck is parked as one of many displays that lit up at the Ronan Fairgrounds. (Lailani Upham photo)An old model truck is parked as one of many displays that lit up at the Ronan Fairgrounds. (Lailani Upham photo)

RONAN — Creating family memories for the holidays is the driving force behind the inaugural Mission Valley Lights Under the Big Sky December event.

The event kicked off this past weekend at the Ronan Lake County Fairgrounds and will be ongoing each weekend until Dec 17.

The Christmas village of lights set up at the fairgrounds is a collected effort of volunteers and groups from around the valley to merge local heritage and culture that makes the winter affair a festive gathering for locals and possibly for a few out-of-towners.

A formation of multi-colored sparkling Christmas trees stand at attention along a path near the barn at the Big Sky Under the Lights village in Ronan. (Lailani Upham photo)A formation of multi-colored sparkling Christmas trees stand at attention along a path near the barn at the Big Sky Under the Lights village in Ronan. (Lailani Upham photo)

“We wanted to create a community place for people to come,” said Sjaan Vincent, Friends of the Fairgrounds volunteer. Vincent said the goal is to build a holiday path in Ronan so families don’t have to drive to Missoula or Kalispell to simply enjoy a buffet of lit up eye candy.

There will be activities for kids and a weekend bazaar for adults to find local gifts and stocking stuffers.

Vincent said the event has been in the works for a year and the committee listened to the needs of their communities to bring Christmas family activities to promote rural values to the area.

A Charlie Brown Christmas display greets families at the south entrance of Big Sky Under the Lights. (Lailani Upham photo)A Charlie Brown Christmas display greets families at the south entrance of Big Sky Under the Lights. (Lailani Upham photo)

The winter wonderland with a trail of colorful light displays, live music, kids activities, food, shopping and of course Santa.

Live Christmas music will range from surrounding church groups, Mennonite choirs and more. There will also be a petting zoo inside the barn for the kids. Adult activities include a dart game tournament with hot drinks to warm all ages.

A festive Christmas teepee completes the local heritage holiday theme at the Big Sky Under the Lights event at the Ronan Lake County Fairgrounds. (Lailani Upham photo)A festive Christmas tepee completes the local heritage holiday theme at the Big Sky Under the Lights event at the Ronan Lake County Fairgrounds. (Lailani Upham photo)

The times are Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Gate ticket prices are $3 per person and $15 for a family of six or more. Children age four and under are free.

For more information call 406-250-8808 or visit http://www.bigskylights.org.
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