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Lights Under the Big Sky plans sparkling holiday season

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News from Lights Under the Big Sky

RONAN – Elves have been sawing, sanding, painting and planning in readiness for the holiday season. Nope, not Santa’s elves, the Lights Under the Big Sky elves. 

Lights’ first night will be Dec. 7 for its second year in operation. The Christmas Market is back this year, housed in the Lake County Community Center, where you’ll find handmade items, gifts and food vendors. Entry fees are $3 per person or $15 for a family of six or more. Come marvel at all the lights, meander down Candy Cane Lane, check out the Reindeer Barn and stop at a fire pit to warm up.

Market hours are 4 to 9 p.m. on Fridays and 2 to 9 p.m. on Saturdays with lights on from 5 to 9 p.m. each of those evenings. Dates for Lights Under the Big Sky are: Dec. 7 and 8, Dec. 14 (no Market on the 14th) and 15 and Dec. 21 and 22. Santa visits and kids’ activities in the Reindeer Barn are scheduled from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. each evening.

A new treat will be the Native American Market on Friday, Dec. 15, from 2 to 9 p.m. with a special appearance by a hoop dance. 

“Plus we’ve got new vignettes,” said Sjaan Vincent, chair of Lights Under the Big Sky. “Come see ‘em.” 

As far as how many lights are draped around trees, barns and buildings, volunteer Patti Winter said she couldn’t begin to imagine, but it had to be thousands and thousands. She also cuts and paints decorative figures and heads up the kids’ games.

Visitors can get a dual dose of holiday cheer on Dec. 7 by visiting Lights Under the Big Sky and then attending Dolce Canto’s concert for Mission Valley Live at 7 p.m. at the Ronan Performing Arts Center. Dolce Canto is Missoula’s premier A Capella group.  

The Lights Under the Big Sky elves, a cadre of approximately 30 dedicated volunteers from Polson to St. Ignatius, could use help. If you’d like to lend a hand, head to the fairgrounds in Ronan where the elves meet every Saturday from 12:30 to 4 p.m. If you’d prefer to volunteer during the event, contact Shandice Kerr at Valley Bank at 406-676-2000.

Jennie Youngren is the lady to contact if you’d like to be a vendor for Lights. Please call 406-360-8051 in the evening or go to to register online.

The Lights program will wrap up Dec. 21 and 22, which is the same weekend as Ronan’s Parade of Lights on Dec. 21 with a Holiday Treasure’s drawing and the Santa Stocking giveaway on Main Street. 

With fire pits blazing around the grounds, lighting the way to Santa’s cottage, hot chocolate to warm up your insides, kids' games and crafts, selfie spots and Christmas decorations, a visit to Lights needs to be added to your holiday fun list.


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