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Committee aims to get most out of 2020 Winter Carnival

Sean Ellertson
St. James Plaindealer

On Tuesday morning, a small committee of St. James Chamber of Commerce President Joe McCabe, Tracy Hurley, and Shae Cowell met to discuss the potential schedule for a Winter Carnival.

This year, Chamber of Commerce Director Joe McCabe is aiming to give out more chamber bucks to local residents and businesses. 

“My goal is to pump as many chamber bucks out of the chamber as possible out of the chamber office,” said McCabe. "Because that to me, is the only way we're going to get people into the stores."

The chamber has also been offering a discount program.

The St. James Fire Department has canceled their annual chili cook-off, but depending on how the  Thanksgiving Day meal distribution goes at the community building on Thursday, the city would consider giving the department the Oliver heat sealer for a to-go chili cook-off.

Santa's workshop is still on schedule but will be moved to the community building.

“Santa’s workshop, we're moving that offer to the community building because of the fact that we have more items donated to be used and it can offer kids the opportunity to be socially distanced,” said McCabe.

McCabe also offered an update on the Memorial Park lighting project. The goal of the project was to raise $3,500. So far, the cause has raised over $5,000.

The annual Christmas parade is still on. A longer route has been proposed to make sure people maintain social distance.

Pictures with Santa are also up in the air.

Carnival rides have gotten expensive in recent years, and it is very difficult to socially distance on the rides.

"I would rather just pump another $500 chamber bucks out," said McCabe.

The Chamber is also holding a Christmas lights contest for local businesses and residents. The grand prize is $100. The participant with the most lights wins $50. The most creative display wins $50, as does the most inspirational display.

A business with the most creative window display wins $25.

A winner will be picked from each of the Northwest, Northeast, Southwest, and Southeast sides of St. James to win $25.

Contact the Chamber of Commerce to confirm a spot in the contest. Winners will be announced the week of December 13th.

Tentative schedule:

Nov. 27th:

Christmas at Memorial Park

Display of lighted trees in Memorial Park

Nov. 30th:

Medallion Hunt begins

Christmas lights display contest starts

Dec. 5th:

Winter Carnival Parade down 1st Avenue South at 7:00 p.m.

Dec. 12th:

Santa's Workshop: 9:30-11:30 a.m.- gifts for all ages