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Jubilant atmosphere at Unity's Winter Wonderland festivities

Twenty-two events and activities were part of Unity's Winter Wonderland festivities held Dec. 8, capped off with a Winter Lights parade.

UNITY — A beautiful sight, everyone was happy tonight as they walked in Unity’s Winter Wonderland.

An annual tradition in Unity was highly anticipated and those who hosted events as part of Dec. 8 lineup of activities brought out legions of residents, and visitors, to take in the community Christmas kick-off. A committee of eight women orchestrated the event including lining up activities, arranging for judges for window decorating contest, enlisting local talent for live musical performances and gaining entries for the Winter Lights parade.

Activity ranged from various hot chocolate bars to sleigh rides and bonfire, to in-house games for prizes. The majority of items on the day’s/evening line-up list were free for participants. There was plenty of sugary treats to be enjoyed, doled out be various businesses including cotton candy, cookies and treat bags.

The team from Compass Minerals and Unifor Local No. 677 braved the frigid temperatures to hand out free sidewalk salt and take-and-make craft kits for kids.

One community member said, “With all of the action lined up for Winter Wonderland, whether it was hosting an event, a sale, entering the window decorating contest, or putting a float in the parade just demonstrates the best thanks you can give is to support these local organization’s activities and fundraisers as well as continue to put our money where our house is and shop local.”

Downtown Unity was full of both vehicle and foot traffic as people moved from station to station to take in as much of the event as they could fit in before the parade started at 7:30 p.m.

The Unity Miners Hockey team braved the cold and played more than a solid hour of street hockey with dozens of kids who were anxious to beat their senior hockey stars. It was evident an old-fashioned street hockey game brought as much delight to the Miners as it did to the kids who came to challenge them.

Hometown Designs owner, Toni Bryan, was kept busy at the photo booth she set up at Hollyhock’s Greenhouse that included pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Donations for the food bank were being accepted as part of the photo opportunity. Hollyhock’s also handed out KidSport balloons. Kids could make ornaments next door at Delta Co-op then travel through to hang them on the Christmas wish tree located at the greenhouse.

The lineup outside Ma and Me Bakery started right at 2 p.m. and rarely subsided until they closed at 8 p.m. as kids flocked in to get a gingerbread man decorated to take home with helpful tips from the baker herself, Jenn Belcher. Belcher said she went through 289 gingerbread men at her event.

Delta Co-op hosted live music performances starting mid afternoon and running until the parade began. They also had an ornament creation station and kids were encouraged to hang theirs on the wishing tree set up next door at Hollyhock's Greenhouse.

Also at Delta Co-op, at 6:30 p.m., Winter Wonderland committee members announced the winner of the window decorating contest presenting a interestingly crafted trophy, created by Found Treasures – Trena Klein. Unity Motor Products was announced the winner for their full multi-window display.

Sleigh bells were ringing and the lineups at the one of the longest running Winter Wonderland events were continuous as Unity Credit Union once again hosted horse-drawn sleigh rides, hot chocolate and hot dogs for those who came.

Stand Out Dance Collective held a “Just Dance” drop-in Christmas party, that was enjoyed by more than 80 participants.

Residents packed the parade route showing their appreciation for those who committed to a parade entry. The beautiful gingerbread house/candy land creation of Realty Executives was deemed as one of the most popular floats in the parade, although all the floats earned high praise for their efforts.

It was impossible not to be enchanted by all there was to offer for festive fun in Unity. Many people remarked on the community camaraderie by walking along, greeting smile after smile, hearing children’s laughter as well as seeing their wide-eyed wonder at everything that was taking place in their town. Many remarked on the full Main Street of cars and people and the endless sharing of good tidings and joy.

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