The Museum of Idaho will hold a tree lighting Thursday night to kick off its holiday season.
“This is going to be our 10th annual Olde-Fashioned Christmas,” marketing director Deborah Chessey said.
The lighting will take place at 5 p.m., but the museum’s holiday exhibits will remain in place through Dec. 30. The exhibits will include large collections of Santa figurines, gingerbread houses, hundreds of nativity scenes and lots of candy, Chessey said. Thursday’s event is free to the public, as are horse-drawn trolley rides that will be offered afterward. Free tickets to the lighting ceremony are required, and can be picked up ahead of time at the Museum of Idaho or at Chesbro Music Co. in Idaho Falls or Rexburg, a museum news release said.
Pets also will be available for adoption from Snake River Animal Shelter.
One section of the museum will be set aside for winter celebrations other than Christmas, including Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and the winter solstice.
“It also celebrates some of the winter celebrations that we in eastern Idaho may not know as much about,” Chessey said.
The event is the work of countless volunteers drawn from churches and other religious organizations throughout the community, Chessey said. The Idaho Falls Interfaith Alliance took a major role in organizing events, she said.
“The special thing is the community involvement,” Chessey said. “There are hundreds of volunteers who come together to put this on.”
There will be a holiday concert series held throughout the days leading up to Christmas.
Chessey said the final music lineup isn’t complete, but it will be available starting Thursday on the museum’s website and Facebook page. The music will include everything from children’s piano recitals to a Tuba Christmas event. Tuba Christmas is an annual tradition that draws musicians who play carols on the tuba and related brass instruments.
“It is unbelievable,” Chessey said.
Chesbro Music has sponsored the event throughout it’s 10-year history, Chessey said.
Reporter Bryan Clark can be reached at 208-542-6751.