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Home for the Holidays

‘Lights Under the Big Sky’ event planned for December weekends

RONAN – After a year of planning, a new family-friendly winter event will soon kick off for the Mission Valley. 

The inaugural “Lights Under the Big Sky” event will be held the first three weekends in December at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Ronan. Christmas lights displays, live music, Christmas market vendors, food vendors, children’s games, Santa appearances and more are planned.

Organized by a group of valley-wide volunteers, the event is a way to bring wholesome family fun and commerce to the Mission Valley, explained steering committee member Angela Collins.

Collins and others have met monthly for the past year and are now meeting twice weekly as they transform the fairgrounds into a winter wonderland.

Half of the fairgrounds’ community center will house Christmas vendor stalls while the other half is being set up like a lodge.

Trails through outdoor Christmas light-covered displays will lead to various activities including live music in the horticulture barn and children’s games and crafts. 

Five to seven fire pits, custom built by students at Plains High School, will serve as outdoor warming stations.

The event is modeled after an annual event in Silverton, Oregon called “Christmas in the Garden.”

Last winter Collins and several other committee members traveled to Silverton to visit the city’s lights event.

Among the highlights were 13-foot-tall lighted flower sculptures and various other lighted displays, a lighted candy cane tunnel, an ice-skating rink, vendors and lots of families.

“It was beautiful,” Collins said. “And very well attended. They had a great set up.”

Her group returned excited to start a similar experience back home.

 “We really want the whole valley to participate,” Collins said. “I think this will be a wonderful event.”

Lights Under the Big Sky will be open to the public the first three weekends in December: Dec. 1-3, 8-10 and 15-17. Hours of operation are 5 to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 1-6 p.m. on Sunday.

Admission is $3 per person. A family rate of $15 for 6 or more people is offered on Sundays. Children four years and younger are admitted free.

To learn more about the event or volunteer opportunities, visit: www.bigskylights.org, or email: bigskylights@ronan.net.

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