Winterfest draws record 22 parade entries Saturday

A group of some 30 carolers met at Ward Park in the midst of gathering fog Friday night to help launch 2003 Enterprise Winterfest festivities with a the singing of Christmas carols and the lighting of candles. The event was coordinated by the Wallowa County Ministerial Association. Photo by Elane Dickenson

Winterfest drew a record 22 entries to its fourth annual parade Saturday night, capping off what Enterprise Merchants Association officers termed "a very successful" event.

Harold Jensen, last year's first place tractor entry winner, repeated as the top entry for two years, with one of his refurbished old tractors pulling another on a trailer that was loaded with a Christmas tree, presents, Santa Clause and all the trappings of the season.

The runner-up entry was Enterprise Baptist Church, with Sam Wade and his spray rig coming in third. Winners in the new "sports" category were: first, Trail Riders four-wheelers; second, Action Outdoors; and third, Casey Kunkle. Receiving honorable mentions for their showings were the Enterprise Fire Department, Enterprise Flower and Joseph Fire Department.

Ponderosa Motel was the winner of the merchant's roving trophy for best business Christmas lighting and decorating.

"I thought it went real well, despite the fog Friday night," said Merchants Association president Lee Bollman of Winterfest. He noted that 30 or more carolers gathered at Ward Park Friday night, and that the local dancers of "The Nutcracker" played to a full house during both performances.

Association vice president Sondra Lozier was also pleased with the event.

She said that 67 persons rode in from Union County on two Moffit tour buses sponsored by the Merchant's Association, with herself and Gail Hillock serving as tour guides. The tourers watched the 1930s' "Shop at Home" Enterprise movie and "Story of Wallowa County video on the bus, went Christmas shopping in shops and galleries throughout the county, enjoyed Winterfest activities and left behind very flattering comments about their excursion.

"I think we did a bang up job of presenting Wallowa County to Union County," said Lozier.

She said that according to a survey, the trip also provided an economic boost. The highest amount any one person on the bus spent here was $800, and a number bought $200-$300 worth of Christmas gifts.

Lozier said that one 85-year-old bus passenger even recognized some of the people in the old Enterprise movie.

This year the parade of lights was helped along by the fact that a couple local hardware stores carried a type of Christmas lights that could be plugged into a vehicle cigarette lighter and also "inverters" that allow regular Christmas lights to be plugged into a lighter.

"I think it was tremendously successful, something to build on next year, " said Lozier about the entire Winterfest event.

The Enterprise Merchants Association meets at 7:30 a.m. on the first and third Wednesdays of every month at different locations, with the Dec. 18 meeting scheduled at Enterprise Diner. All members and anyone who wants to get involved is invited.

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