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Sparkling Spectacle: All is Bright Christmas Tour delights hundreds at Grand Opening

SIDNEY- With a host of delightful activities and attractions available to attendees, the Cheyenne County Department of Tourism launched their first ever Holiday Festivities with the Grand Opening of the All Is Bright Christmas Tour located in the Pavilion at the Cheyenne County Fairgrounds in Sidney. This indoor Christmas walking-tour is set to create lasting memories and immersed people in the wonder and magic of the holiday season.

During a meeting of the Visitors Committee last January, members discussed the necessity of organizing a larger-scale Christmas event in order to attract more tourism and the County Commissioners gave their approval to the project in September of this year.

The All is Bright Christmas tour was fortunate to receive a significant amount of donations from the community and several organizations. One of the major contributors was Cabela's corporate office, which generously donated 20 pallets and 4 truck loads full of supplies, making it the largest donation received. Triple O's, another generous donor, contributed $400 worth of lumber specifically for the construction of the reindeer stables and the gingerbread house. These contributions played a crucial role in creating the festive atmosphere of the event. In addition to these donations, Adams Industries made a significant contribution by donating a semitrailer that was used for storage.

Keeping true to the history of the holiday, strollers-by could witness a live nativity scene presented by young members of the Holy Trinity Church. This enchanting display showcases the birth of Jesus, reenacting the biblical story with vivid costumes worn by local children. Nativity scenes go back as far as 1223 in Greccio, Italy where it is recorded that St. Francis' meditations on the life of Christ led him to create the first-ever Nativity scene. It is believed Francis' inspiration to do a live representation of the birth of Jesus came from his time in the Holy Land in the years 1219 and 1220.

The age-old heartwarming tradition of writing personal correspondence to Santa not only brings excitement and anticipation, but also spreads the magic of Christmas within the community. With that in mind, one of the highlights of the tour is the opportunity for kids of all ages to write letters to Santa. In previous years, area children's letters had been written by students in grades K-3 during classes at local schools and then they were submitted by the schools to the newspaper for publication. This year, it was decided to open it up to allow kids of all ages to provide letters and thus also offering parents the opportunity to be a part of the letter writing process as well as deciding whether or not they wanted to have the letters published.

If parents would like to have their children's letters published, a designated mail box has been set up in the Pavilion. Letters may be dropped off December 2nd and 3rd, and 8th and 9th. Letters may also be dropped off anytime during regular business hours at the Sun-Telegraph office, located at 817 12th Avenue.

During the chilly winter months, nothing warms up the spirit like a cup of hot chocolate. That's why many walked the grounds with smiles on their faces thanks to Devany Turner, Mandy Sandoval, Johanna Griffith, and Kacey Mulhback, top representatives of Viaero Wireless. "We served around 10 gallons of hot chocolate and 200 sugar cookies" said Griffith, e-commerce specialist at Viaero.

The Cheyenne County Rotary organized a bake sale with many delicious items for sale with proceeds going to a good cause.

When it comes to fundraising, every contribution counts. The Table of Grace understood the power of popcorn and harnessed it for a greater purpose. The funds raised through these sales can be directed toward supporting various causes, such as feeding the hungry and helping people in need. Each bag of popcorn sold becomes a symbol of hope and a reminder that small actions can create significant changes.

No Christmas celebration would be complete without a visit from the man in the red suit himself. Santa Claus made a special appearance at the All is Bright Christmas Tour, ready to watch faces light up as kids got pictures with him.

"Although it was less than 15 degrees outside, we counted 525 visitors," said Kendra Mitchell, Cheyenne County Tourism Director. Although Mitchell was the driving force behind this imaginative and impressive endeavor, she shared credit and accolades wth all involved. "We couldn't have done it without all the sponsors and volunteers who worked countless hours creating each area. I'm very thankful to everyone who helped and those that braved the cold weather to come out on our opening night."

Mitchell, originally from Texas, has been a resident of Potter for over ten years and has been a vital and integral addition to the community ever since. She was chosen as Director of Cheyenne County Tourism in May of 2022 and also sits on the board of the Cheyenne County Chamber of Commerce.

She and her husband Thomas are the proud parents to six year-old daughter named Kaylie.

Mark your calendars and let the All Is Bright Christmas Tour ignite your holiday spirit with twinkling lights and vibrant decorations.

The free admission tour will be open from 4p.m. to 8 p.m on December 1 & 2, 8 & 9, and 15 & 16.

 

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