By RODNEY D. BOAM
The new Festival of Lights Committee is bringing some fresh looks at the old festival and some excitement that hasn’t been there for a few years. Chaired by Kris Beckstead of Beckstead Real Estate and Ron Smellie of Webb Funeral Home and flanked by 20 new faces, the group is ready and willing to breath new life into the celebration.
“I’m amazed at the sense of community business owners had as we went around and talked to them. Everyone wanted to see the Festival be successful. We really live in a unique place. It was really cool to see them offer support,” Smellie said.
Smellie is going to lead the cause of the Festival Candlelight Dinner. The dinner will include prime rib prepared by New York Deli owner, Mike Nicholas. Area businesses will be donating the rest of the dinner.
Bailey Beckstead said there will be two seatings of the dinner. It will be held at the Robinson Building Nov. 19, with the first seating at 6 p.m. and the other at 8 p.m. The Preston Community Orchestra will play the background music. The cost of the dinner is $15 per plate.
Smellie, who is selling the tickets, reported to the group that tickets were going fast. For tickets or to volunteer to help at one of the events contact Smellie at Webb Funeral at 852-0533.
Brad Wall of Flagship Financial, is chairing the Grand Lighted Parade. Wall said he was interested in getting feedback from people.
“I would love to have people come up and talk to me about the parade and get their ideas on how to improve it,” he said. For more information contact Wall at 760-7690.
Chris Barton, First American Title, is a licensed firework maker. He is donating his time and some of his personal materials to do the fireworks before the Grand Lighted Parade on both nights.
“I do it for the City, Rodeo, Rotary and everyone else who needs them done,” Barton said.
He said he learned how to make them from local firework legend, Jay Moyle. “He taught me how to do it, I learned it right,” he said.
Tiffany Jeppsen has agreed to do the children’s parade on Saturday morning. Long-time Bed Race organizer Tracie Jensen and B.J. Hull, former Cub River resident and owner of Badger Printing in Logan, agreed to help with the bed race on State Street on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Santa Claus will be in town after the International Bed Race between the Kid’s Parade and the movie hosted by the Lions Club on Saturday.
Saundra Hubbard from the Preston City Council, who is working with the committee, said city crew will assist local businesses in putting the lights up to adorn the trees along State Street. “It’s time we get the downtown businesses to step up and decorate their businesses and put some floats in the Lighted Parade. Our goal is to have at least 30 lighted floats in the parade this year,” Hubbard said.
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