A highlight of the holiday season is the parade of lights set for 5:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7 on Main street.

Santa Claus will lead the parade, riding on the first float designed by staff of the sponsor, East Idaho Credit Union.

Floats will line up ahead of time on Second Street in no particular order behind Santa. The entry fee is a wrapped gift for a child worth about $10 or less. The parade route goes down Main to 12th Street where it turns and travels one block to Pleasant Street. The Christmas tree lighting in front of the Custer County Courthouse will follows. Santa will have some gifts to hand out to children at the lighting ceremony.

A Christmas concert follows the tree lighting, inside the middle school auditorium. Area musicians and children perform at the free show.

All floats and walking or riding entries that want to be judged will receive a number so members of Challis Girl Scout Troop 731 can pick the float with the most lights, the entry that’s most original and the entry showing the best Christmas spirit.

The credit union staff hopes to top the 25 entries in their inaugural parade last year and hopes spectator turnout is as good or better, too. That might be hard, because the high temperature Friday is forecast to be 26 degrees, but that will drop significantly after sundown when the parade starts. The low is expected to dip to 6 degrees Friday night, according to the National Weather Service.

“Show up and be surprised,” a credit union spokeswoman said. “We’re not giving away all our secrets ahead of time. We’re just hoping everyone has a fun time.”

To be on the safe side, the staff suggests that people don’t throw candy from floats but have walkers toss it more accurately to children on the sidewalks. Parents might purchase glow sticks in festive Christmas colors to attach to their kids to make them more visible after dark or have them carry flashlights or wear headlamps or reflector tape.

East Idaho Credit Union will close at 4 p.m. Friday afternoon to allow staff enough time to organize and set things up.

“We’ve had a lot of fun putting it together this year,” the credit union spokeswoman said of the parade.

Also this weekend, the American Legion Christmas bazaar runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Challis Legion Hall. An open house at the MadDog Gallery is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Challis Shop Hop is from 10 a.m. to 4 or 5 p.m. Saturday, depending on the store. Participating merchants include The Bent Rod Outdoors, Round Valley Supply, Challis Floral, Allied Builder’s Supply, Land of the Yankee Fork State Park gift shop, The Front Porch, Gyspy Soul Boutique and Village Square.

Kids can eat breakfast with Santa from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday at the Tea Cup Cafe.

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