A great way to make your holiday season bright is to visit The Center, the library and downtown Colfax. So much is happening this year that you won’t want to miss it.

Throughout the month of December, The Center boasts the Festival of Trees with 25 creative, bright and eclectic trees for the community to enjoy. The trees were designed by local businesses and individuals. Visitors are encouraged to vote for their favorites. Last year, more than 900 votes were cast and many past winners have returned to defend their decorating titles.

After you visit the trees, make sure you explore downtown Colfax. You will be pleasantly surprised with the number of new businesses and of course, the unbeatable service of your old favorites. The Colfax Chamber is hosting a window decorating contest so you can vote for your favorite business window as well.

For family fun, Winterfest, on Thursday, is a great choice. The celebration in The Center runs from 3-6 p.m., culminating with a lighted winter parade and fireworks show on Main Street, starting at 6 p.m.

Center activities include free pictures with Santa Claus from 3-5:30 p.m., The Festival of Trees (with a special children’s voting category), holiday music, technology activities for kids, free refreshments and hot cocoa. For the third year in a row, Pioneer Title Co. is providing a tree for raffle, with proceeds benefit library children’s programs.

Called “Twelve Ways of Giving,” this year’s tree is comprised of 12 beautifully wrapped packages containing surprise gifts like Star Wars Legos, WSU Cougar gear, a girls’ fun package and a whole lot more. Raffle tickets are available through Dec. 18, when prizes are drawn. The 12 gifts are perfect to keep or give for the holidays.

One event I never miss is the Hospice Tree of Lights and Remembrance Ceremony, this year at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, at the library. The ceremony includes music, readings and memorial ornaments bearing the names of loved ones being remembered. The program concludes with the lighting of the tree, which remains lit throughout the holiday season. For more information, contact Hospice at (509) 332-4414.

A brand new community party called Jingle and Mingle is set for 5-8 p.m. Dec. 18 in the Center. Attendees will munch on complimentary hors d’oeuvres, and enjoy a generous selection of beverages while viewing the trees, enjoying the artwork and having a glorious good time. At 7 p.m, winners of the Festival of Trees and chamber holiday windows will be announced, along with the raffle tree winners.

Last but certainly not least, The Libey Gallery in The Center continues its exhibit works from a number of talented artists and photographers. When their works are mixed among the trees, you get lovely visual experience you won’t want to miss.

Hours to view the trees and artwork are 10 a.m.- 8 p.m. Mondays-Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays-Fridays, and 1-5 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays. If you’d like information on any of these events or others happening in downtown Colfax, visit the events calendar at www.whitco.lib.wa.us or choose events at www.explorecolfax.com.

Kristie Kirkpatrick is the director of the Whitman County Library.

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