Last Friday, we all headed over to the nearby town of Red Lodge, Montana. Red Lodge is a great little town with a bustling main street. It’s around 4,000 feet in elevation, so the opportunity for a white winter is always present. Red Lodge is one of our favorite places to visit when we have company for a quick day trip. One of my sisters says Red Lodge has a “resort town” feel.
First, we enjoyed the Blade Parade, which mostly consists of snow plows, trucks with snow plows and utvs with snow plow attachments. The vehicles are all lit up and dressed in holiday decor.
Red Lodge does a great job of getting out the town to include all of the main street businesses in this holiday tradition! The main road is blocked off and cones set out for the parade route. Bonfires are lit throughout the route and businesses contribute to the fun with offerings of beer, wine, spiked cider, hot cocoa for the kids, finger foods and sweet treats. There were even a couple of fire pits with tables setup nearby for s’mores!
As mentioned in this weekend’s newsletter, any vehicle or individual with an apparatus to remove snow is welcome to participate in the parade. Drivers throw candy out the windows to the kids as they pass. The kids would surge forward to grab what they could before the next vehicle passed.
As we strolled down Broadway and popped into the different shops, we saw live musicians set up in Back Alley Metals, an interesting metal shop that does decorative, functional and custom metal work. My mom may be getting something from them for Christmas next year! One of the musicians was at our hotel the next morning and commented that they played for 5 hours and one person played so much on his guitar that he started bleeding! That’s dedication!
As we toured farther down Broadway, we saw people singing on the corners. We even observed a little girl tap dancing on a sheet of metal. The bars had live bands. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find anywhere with karaoke. Maybe next year!
Emphasis on Local Business
The businesses on Broadway participate. There is a competition amidst the participating businesses for the “Best of the Christmas Stroll”. Customers can vote on as they tour through each business. My favorite was probably Kibler & Kirch, for the decadent furniture, luxury throws and beautiful candles they offer. Almost every business had some sort of a special going on. Paris Montana even had live mannequins in the windows!
A Norman Rockwell Christmas
It seems like my mom’s entire neighborhood made the trek out to Red Lodge for this event. One of the older neighbors said the event reminded him of the Christmas outings when he was a kid. In a throwback to a bygone era, Red Lodge does a great job of bringing an entire community into this season of togetherness with offerings for all ages. The event has the same feel as the scene from Norman Rockwell’s “Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas (Home for Christmas),” 1967.
I’d say this is a new Christmas tradition for the Copper and Smith families. One that I will look forward to every year!
Do you have an outing you do every year to kick off the holiday season?