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COVID-friendly Candy Crawl, Small Business Saturday, Lighted Christmas Parade, Christmas in the Pines are a go

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Kim DanielsChamber slowly brings back events

COVID-friendly Halloween Candy Crawl, Small Business Saturday, Lighted Christmas Parade and Christmas in the Pines are a go

To many, it seems like 2020 has been canceled.

Events and activities from daily excursions to work and school, to festivals and concerts suddenly vanished in the spring with no estimate of when they might return.

Here in Crook County, we went without an Easter egg hunt, graduation ceremonies, Roundup, horse races and many other events. But over time, we are learning how to get back to the gatherings our community loves, while being safe and following health guidelines.

Here at the Chamber, we are in the midst of planning some of our first events of the year. With the support and guidance of local officials, the community will start having activities to put on their calendars. Masks, hand washing and distancing will be required for participation in the events, but we feel it keeps us all safe and gives us an opportunity to get back to the fun we have all missed out on in 2020.

Halloween is happening in Prineville! The Chamber will be holding the Candy Crawl, an event that gives both children and adults ways to participate in the tradition of trick-or-treating. It involves all our local businesses and is not reserved for only Chamber members.

Kids get to trick-or-treat, and adults fill out a passport for each business they visit which can be turned in at the Chamber to be entered into a drawing for prizes such as gift certificates to local restaurants, gift baskets, home décor and more. It's a chance to have fun as a family and to win some amazing prizes. It's also an opportunity for our business community to get locals into their shops and stores, and Candy Crawl creates a safe way to trick-or-treat for kids.

We will be notifying our businesses and those attending of the guidelines required to keep this a COVID-safe event and have some fun suggestions on how to keep distanced and safely hand out candy.

Next up on our agenda is to hold our second annual Small Business Saturday event. It is an American shopping holiday held during the Saturday after Thanksgiving during one of the busiest shopping periods of the year. This event will take place on Nov. 28.

Local businesses will be offered the opportunity to promote sales and specials through the Chamber. And thanks to a generous sponsorship from Facebook, the Chamber will be distributing swag bags with gifts and gift cards to our participating vendors the morning of. You will want to be sure to line up (6 feet apart) early to get one of these bags! Last year, we handed out over 75 swag bags, and we hope to have more this year.

We know how important our local small businesses are, and love being able to hold this event to help their sales during a tough year, and we also know how fun it can be to shop. Part of the fun of this event is also rewarding shoppers for spending money locally with a chance to enter a raffle for gift cards to Prineville businesses.

And last but not least, for 2020, there is brainstorming happening to determine the planning of the Lighted Christmas Parade. This event is also annually held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. While details are not set yet, it is traditionally set as the kickoff to Christmas in the Pines, a beautiful drive-thru Christmas light display at the Crook County Fairgrounds. This event that runs Saturday the 28th through Christmas Day has been growing in the number of displays every year.

The parade may snake through town similar to those we saw for Roundup and the 4th of July, or we may even hold a reverse parade where families don't have to brave the cold, but can drive by in the warmth of their vehicles and look at the floats. Although we are not sure how it will happen, we do know it will happen.

We know how much this community loves its events, and we are doing our part to bring them back, but also bring them back safely. It has been the partnership and support of our community and local leadership that has helped us figure out how to get back to the traditions we have held close for years.

We look forward to holding events again and hope that now that we have started planning a safe way to pull off these gatherings, that every community, every county, every city will follow suit and get back to events that bring people together.

It may look different how we gather this fall, but we look forward to seeing all of your "masked" faces soon.

To be involved in any of these events, you can contact us at 541-447-6304 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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