Sugarplum Festival

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman were just some of the colorful characters roaming along Washington Street during the 2018 Sugarplum Festival in Blair.

The holiday season kicks off Nov. 21 in Blair.

The Blair Area Chamber of Commerce will host its 18th annual Sugarplum Festival from 5 to 7 p.m.

This year's event will include two start locations — Country Gardens Blair Florist, 1502 Washington St., and Taylor Quik Pik West, 1807 Washington St. — where children can receive a goodie bag and a list of participating businesses.

Chamber Executive Director Jordan Rishel said safety and the need to alleviate congestion for the two-hour event prompted the second starting location.

“If you're standing in line for that long, you're not going to be able to make it through all of the businesses and get your picture taken and get over the soup supper,” she said. “As a board, we thought it might be good to have two start locations.”

Rishel said about 50 businesses are participating in the event, which takes place along Washington Street from 15th to 19th streets.

“It really is meant to be a downtown event,” she said. “The businesses that are not located downtown are invited and encouraged to set up and partner with businesses that are down here.”

At each stop, children will receive candy and can participate in activities.

Children can get a free photo with Santa at PSC Construction, 1569 Washington St.

A free soup supper will be held at the South Fire Station. Freewill donations will be accepted for the Blair Volunteer Fire Department.

Hay rack rides, provided by Santa's Woods and Jenson Shires, will also be available. The rides begin and Butch's Deli and will travel as far as Tighe It With A Bow and Ortmeier TV & Appliance.

In addition to family fun, people can also donate to several area organizations, including the Washington County Food Pantry and The Blair Optimist International Club's toy drive.

Rishel said the Sugarplum Festival has grown over the last few years and encourages residents to support local businesses.

“I think it just really creates that excitement for the holiday season,” she said. “People just enjoy getting out and visiting businesses that maybe they don't get out to on a regular basis. It really is something that attracts them downtown. It's really their one evening each year that they don't have to worry about traffic.”

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