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Holiday Weekend to Remember offers family activities

by Joyce Hollister

A family weekend. That’s how the Holiday Weekend to Remember is billed, and to judge by the turnout the last couple of years, Carson Valley families enjoy it.

The 10th anniversary of the Light the Lights in Minden will draw hundreds to the Minden Park gazebo when the lights are turned on Friday, Dec. 3.

“Our main focus still and continues to be family,” said Roxanne Stangle of the Minden Business Group, the sponsoring organization.

“We want people to know it’s a family event. We don’t serve any alcoholic beverages. Four different entities donate cookies, hot cider and hot chocolate.”

Providing refreshments are the Carson Valley Inn, Ladies of Winhaven, Minden Business Group and Heidi’s Restaurant.

New lights and decorations will greet people who attend the lighting of the park.

“We’ve added about $3,000 worth of Christmas decorations this year,” Stangle said. “We try to do that each year, and we have added new lights.”

From 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., the Christ Presbyterian Church choir will sing. From 6 to 6:30 p.m., the Carson Valley Middle School choir will sing, and at 6:30, the lights will be turned on.

Children may visit Santa Claus at the C.O.D. Garage from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m., and each child may get a free photo with Santa courtesy of the Minden Business Group.

“This is Santa’s 10th year,” Stangle said. The core group of Santa’s helpers are also the same people who helped start the Light the Lights festivity 10 years ago.

The Douglas High School Choir “Image” will sing at the Minden Inn, 6:45 to 7:30 p.m.

n Letters to Santa. The Douglas County Public Library will sponsor writing letters to Santa at the Minden Inn from 6 to 9 p.m.

On display in the CVIC Hall will be posters drawn by Minden Elementary School students.

The students entered a poster contest for the theme of next year’s holiday celebration, “Light the Lights 2000.” The posters winning the grand prize and first and second in each category will be marked. The students win cash awards.

Stangle and the Minden Business Group were pleased to have people volunteer for the event.

“This is the first time the Christ Presbyterian Church is working with us,” she said. “They came to us and said, ‘We’d love to be part of your event.'”

Heidi’s Restaurant also approached the Minden Business Group and asked to be a contributor to the celebration.

“People are realizing it’s a family event and a lot of fun. They want to be part of it. We’re really excited,” Stangle said.

n Food for closet accepted. Residents who take preserved foodstuffs and drop them off at any of the Minden core businesses – Artistic Nature, Tumblewind, C.O.D. Garage, Lone Tree Frame and Gallery Co., Nevada Gourmet Grocery – will get a raffle ticket for merchandise donated by the businesses. The food will be donated to the Carson Valley Community Food Closet, and the prize winners will be posted Saturday morning on the windows of each business.

n Elks Christmas Tree Bingo, spaghetti feed. In addition, Friday evening will be the time for spaghetti dinner and Christmas Tree Bingo as the Minden-Douglas Elks Lodge offers its annual benefit.

“The entire community is invited to join with us in celebrating the upcoming holiday season,” said Elks spokesperson Dave Trueblood. “Not only will you be able to have lots of spaghetti, green salad and garlic French bread, but you can watch the lighting of the Minden Park gazebo and surrounding area, as they kick off this joyful season.”

The event will begin at about 4:30 p.m. with no-host cocktails. Dinner will be at about 5 p.m. and Bingo games begin immediately after the lighting ceremony at the park.

The cost for dinner is $6 for adults, $4 for children 6 and under. Cost to play Bingo is 25 cents per card. The proceeds from this event go to the club’s charity fund, which is used to help needy families.

For more information, call Trueblood at 782-3416.

n Saturday’s events. Saturday’s events begin with the Soroptimist International of Carson Valley’s annual Holiday Home Tour. There are five decorated homes to visit. The last stop is traditionally that of Jerry Bing’s home, 1580 Fifth Green Court, where a Christmas party will cap off the day.

Linda Faff, who is in charge of tickets to the tour, said, like the Light of the Lights in Minden Park, people have approached the Soroptimist group to ask if they could be a part of the tour.

“We’ve got a nice turnout of houses this year,” she said. “We raise money from this, plus we have a good time. We give people the opportunity to see how other people decorate for the Christmas season, and we have some very nice prizes after the home tour.”

The tour begins at noon and lasts until about 4 p.m., when the party at the Bings’ home gets into full swing.

“It’s a nice time to see your friends,” Faff said.

The following homes will be open for visitation:

n Sue Haugnes’ Wildrose Inn, 2332 Main St., Genoa.

n Mr. and Mrs. Charles Boyd, 1005 Lakeside Dr., Gardnerville.

n Arlene Gleich, 1668 East Valley Rd., Gardnerville.

n Dick and Lolly Clark, 656 Stones Throw, Gardnerville.

n Gail Della Vedova, 2231 Meadow Lark Lane, Genoa.

Tickets are $10 and are available from any Soroptimist and at the following locations: Nevada State Bank (Gardnerville branch), Carson Valley Market, Sharkey’s Nugget and The Record-Courier.

n Parade of Lights. On Saturday at 5 p.m., the fourth annual Parade of Lights, with the theme, “Lighting the Way to the New Millennium,” will begin to wind its way from the senior citizens center in Gardnerville to Minden Park.

The parade features floats, autos, individuals and “other creative mobile objects” decorated with lights – and with Santa bringing up the rear.

The event is designed to provide quality family entertainment for the Valley, according to the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Authority Ambassadors committee, which sponsors the parade.

Corporate sponsors for the parade are Accolades Trophies, Engraving and Gifts, Carson Valley Inn, MD Barns and Topline Construction, Carson Valley Medical Center, Barton Skilled Nursing Center at Virginia Creek, Sharkey’s, The Record-Courier, PolyPhaser and Valley Do-It Center.

Parade of Lights sweat shirts are on sale at the Chamber office and the R-C.

Categories include civic groups, businesses, paramedic, police, firefighter or medical groups, youths and animals.

n Letters to Santa. In addition, the library will sponsor writing letters to Santa from 6 to 8 p.m. again on Saturday as part of the parade festivities.