"An Old-Fashioned Christmas" will be the theme of Enterprise's sixth annual Winterfest Celebration, which will start early and end late on Dec. 4.

While the very popular annual lighted tractor parade at 6 p.m. will still be a major feature of Winterfest, numerous new events have been added by the Enterprise Merchants Association to make the event merrier than ever.

For the second year Lear's Main Street Pub and Grill will host Breakfast with Santa starting at 8 a.m. Reservations are required, and can be made by calling 426-3300.

A Big Boy Toy Store, featuring such attractions as ATVs, snowmobiles and other big boy toys, will be going on all day in the Main Street block next to the Wallowa County Courthouse.

Also going on all day will be the new Gingerbread House Tour, with 25 decorated gingerbread houses scattered at businesses throughout town. Shoppers will be invited to vote on their favorite gingerbread house, and prizes will be awarded to the winners.

The first 25 persons who bought gingerbread "kits" - with the basic components of the creation - for $5 at Country Quilters on Enterprise Main Street, and turn their decorated house in at the quilting business by the day after Thanksgiving are entered in the contest. Maps of the locations of all the gingerbread houses will be available at Country Quilters, and everyone is invited to vote for their favorite between Nov. 30 and Dec. 4

The winners of the gingerbread house contest, as well as a revival of a drawing for things given away by local merchants, will be held at Warde Park after the evening parade.

The annual Wallowa County Handcrafters Christmas Bazaar will run for two days at Cloverleaf Hall, starting Dec. 3, the day before Winterfest, and continuing during the celebration.

At 10 a.m. Santa's Express Train to Lostine will pull out with Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus and the Old-Time Fiddlers. Cost is $15 for adults, seniors (55 and older) $10 and students (K-12th grade) $5. Younger children are free. Children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult on the train. Tickets are available at Bookloft.

From noon to 4 p.m. Winterfest shoppers are invited to Warde Park for a chili feed.

At 1 p.m. a matinee showing of "Toy Story" for kids and parents will be showing at OK Theatre. Call the theater at 426-3544 for more information.

At 3 p.m. Mrs. Claus will conduct a story time for youngsters at the gazebo on the courthouse lawn.

The Wallowa Valley Choir, accompanied by local musicians, will perform "How Great Thou Art" at 5 p.m. at the OK Theatre. A slide show by the Wallowa Valley Photo Club is part of the performance, which has been given to enthusiastic audiences twice in past years. Admission cost is $3 adults, $2 seniors and $1 students.

Forms are now available at Enterprise City Hall for those who want to enter the Winterfest parade, which in the past has featured a large number of tractors creatively decorated with colored lights for the holidays. Other glowing entries have included trucks, wagons and riding lawnmowers. Organizers said that Santa Claus has given his verbal commitment to be part of the Winterfest parade, which starts at 6 p.m.

For the first time Enterprise Winterfest will end the evening with two dances. At 8 p.m. those 21 and older are invited to Cloverleaf Hall to enjoy the music of the band Cold Train from Lewiston, Idaho, while a teen dance will be going on simultaneously at the Wallowa Valley Family Youth Center off Highway 82 between Enterprise and Joseph.

Throughout Winterfest Enterprise merchants will be putting on their festive holiday face for shoppers, and some - like the Back Fence, which is planning an art show - may have special sales or in-house activities in progress.

For more information about Winterfest activities, contact officers of the merchants association: president Neal Isley at 426-3175; vice president Jeanette Singler at 426-9026; secretary Debbie Isley at 426-3175; or treasurer Ava Bridges at 426-3564.

The Enterprise Merchants Association invites all Wallowa County residents to the Winterfest celebration for an old-fashioned Christmas.

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