Plus, they ride with Santa during Dec. 4 paradePublished 6:00am Thursday, November 26, 2009
Jolly Ol’ St. Nick may just think he’s seeing double when he climbs aboard the carriage that will transport him in this community’s upcoming Candle-light Christmas Parade, though it’s likely, instead, to be the angelic faces of Lori and Marc Weller’s 6-year-old twin sons.
Henry and Cole Weller, of Dowagiac, and 7-year-old Emalee Foote, the daughter of Vicki and Dennis Foote, also of Dowagiac, were the winners of the two giant, three-foot gift baskets, which the Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce gave away Nov. 21 during its Christmas Open House Weekend.
The three-day annual event kicked off the Chamber’s two-part Old-Fashioned Christmas Celebration that culminates Friday, Dec. 4, as this community’s Candle-light Christmas Parade takes to the streets.
In addition to winning the gift baskets filled with Barbie and Hot Wheel products, the children also received a special invitation from the Chamber of Commerce to accompany Dowagiac’s Old-World Santa in the holiday parade.
Vickie Phillipson, Chamber of Commerce and DDA program director, said the Weller twins and Emalee were among 230 children who registered for the free drawing, which was held on Saturday at Wood Fire Italian Trattoria, where Dowagiac’s Old-World Santa greeted families within the elegant Pompeii Room.
The Old-Fashioned Christmas Celebration is proudly presented by Borgess-Lee Memorial Hospital and the Chamber of Commerce.
This year’s two-part, $6,500 yuletide event was underwritten, in part, by five corporate sponsors that included: Matthew Cripe Dental P.C., Dr. Charles Burling and Dr. Jon Gillesby, Family Fare and Spartan Stores, Dowagiac Area Federal Credit Union and Wood Fire Italian Trattoria.
In addition to the children’s drawing, the holiday celebration also awarded $320 in Universal Dowagiac Gift Certificates to eight lucky shoppers, who entered the Open House Drawing, and to the four winners of the second-annual “Holiday Express” scavenger hunt.
Winners of the gift certificate drawing, which awarded a $25 gift card to each individual, were: Rita Baker, Kathy Casey, Sherry Hyink and Tim Glynn, all of Dowagiac; Jason Criffield of Grand Rapids; Debby Sansom of Bridgman; Sharon Dykstra of Kalamazoo; and Pat Touse of Constantine.
Phillipson said the four winners of the scavenger hunt will each receive a $30 gift card. They are: Linda Alexander, Dennis Foote (Emalee’s dad) and Pat Preston, all of Dowagiac; and Sydney Mead of Berrien Center.
Participating sites of the open house drawing and scavenger hunt, which co-hosted the retail promotion were: Booth’s Country Florist and Gifts, Caruso’s Candy Kitchen, Imperial Furniture, Laurie Anne’s, The Marshall Shoppe, Smoke Vision Care, Who Knew? Consignment and Wounded Minnow Saloon.
Dowagiac’s holiday celebration continues Friday, Dec. 4, as Borgess-Lee Memorial Hospital, the Chamber of Commerce and corporate sponsors host one of southwestern Michigan’s largest lighted holiday events, the Dowagiac Candle-light Parade. Chairing this year’s annual procession of lights is Trish Brazo, team leader for Huntington Bank, who is a member of the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
The lighted parade of floats and marching units steps off at an earlier time in the central business district at 7 p.m. as the procession encircles the downtown, traveling Main to Front Street, Division and Depot Drive.
Pre-parade entertainment will be presented at Main and Front streets, beginning at 6:30 p.m. by Positively Dance.