Day begins in Downtown Nampa with Shop Small Saturday activities and includes: free Garage parking, free admission to the Museum, free carriage rides, and ends with Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus arriving on a brightly lit fire-engine sled
New activities are planned for the annual Christmas Tree lighting scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 25, in Downtown Nampa at 12th Avenue and Front Street.
Saturday morning, Downtown businesses will have “Shop Small” events to encourage Thanksgiving weekend shoppers to check out local businesses. Parking in the Downtown Garage will be free.
The tree lighting ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will feature Christmas music, a kickoff of The Salvation Army’s Kettle Drive, free hot chocolate and cider and time with Santa Claus (and Mrs. Claus) after the tree lighting so parents can take photos.
Joe Wheeler, owner of American Construction Supply, donated the 35-foot evergreen in honor of his mother, Linda Lou Wheeler Carr, who died earlier this year at age 74. Wheeler and his family will join Mayor Bob Henry to light the Christmas tree at 6 p.m.
The Nampa Parks Division decorated the tree with approximately 2,500 lights.
Free horse-driven carriage rides will be available on Saturday between 1 and 5 p.m. in Downtown Nampa, thanks to the Downtown Business Association and the following sponsors: Idaho Central Credit Union, Qualitree, D.L. Evans Bank, Mountain America Credit Union, Washington Trust Bank and Intermountain Gas Co. The sponsors also helped pay for some additional lighted snowflakes on light poles in Downtown Nampa.
The Canyon County Historical Society will open the Nampa Train Depot Museum to the public all day on Saturday and admission will be free, according to Museum Director Gail Christiancy. Instead, visitors will be asked for a memorial donation in memory of Canyon County residents who have died this past year. The museum will honor them with a place to write names of their loved ones. Cookies will be offered to guests, starting at 1 p.m., and the Museum plans to stay open for guests after the tree lighting ceremony.
An anonymous private donation of $22,391 covered the expense to create a permanent home for the Downtown Christmas tree. A custom manhole was installed so the large annual Christmas tree can be prominently displayed in Downtown Nampa. In the past, the tree has been placed in a small area against a building and supported with guy wires, the tree will be visible as people drive up 12th Avenue.
With the tree in the middle of 12th Avenue at Front Street, thru-traffic will be diverted to 11th and 13th avenues to access the parking lots and Front Street.