The Christmas season kicked off in Colusa County last week, as hundreds of people packed Market Street on Friday night to celebrate Christmas Tyme in Colusa.
“I think this is the best attended one we’ve put on,” said Colusa Lions Club member and event coordinator Larry Yeghoian. “We thought it was well-attended and it went off very smoothly. What I felt really went well was the cooperation between Rotary, the Lions Club, and the city. We got together in nice, festive harmony, to bring a nice event to the county. Also, the sponsorship and participation we received from people and businesses in the city was really special, and it allows this event to go on year after year.”
Attendees young and old sipped warm beverages as they sauntered through the crowd, greeting friends as they went. Children packed the Kid’s Zone at Davison Drug & Stationary, where they played games and huddled around a pair of snow-makers, and tried to catch the man-made snowflakes in their hair before they paid a visit to Santa and Mrs. Claus on Sixth Street to share their Christmas wish-list.
“The Kid’s Zone was so full, I don’t think you could have fit another kid in there if you tried,” said event chair John Rogers.
Sitting just down the block from Davison’s and soaking it all in was Colusa resident Mark Miller, who was selling his custom woodwork, including wine cabinets, duck call displays, and rocking horses, at the corner of Market and Seventh streets.
“My favorite part of Christmas Tyme is the people,” Miller said. “I love watching the people, and I love watching the kids play with the toys that I make. The people are a big deal to me.”
Miller said that it was his second year as a vendor at Christmas Tyme, and he planned to be back again in 2019.
“It’s been good,” Miller said. “I was right here last year, and I have this same spot reserved already for next year.”
Vendors like Miller lined the downtown thoroughfare, selling everything from festive food and drinks to homemade trinkets. Others were raising money for various charitable causes, including Daisy Franco, who was being helped by her son, Isaac.
Isaac, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in October 2016, has been battling cancer since just before his second birthday. The cancer remains in remission, and lately, Isaac has been able to do more of the things a healthy young boy should – like help his mother man the booth on Friday night.
Daisy said that she was raising money to buy toys for kids at the Pediatric Cancer Center and the U.C. Davis Children’s Center, as well as raising money for Wings of Eagles, a Chico-based charity for ill children.
“It’s been great,” Daisy Franco said. “We’ve had a lot of support from the community, like always.”
Franco said that her favorite part of Christmas Tyme was simply seeing everyone out having a good time.
“It’s an opportunity for local vendors to come out and sell their products, and a great opportunity for local fundraisers,” Franco said. “It’s something positive and a tradition we need to keep going.”
Colusa resident Mitchell Yerxa was selling prints and postcards of his photos as a fundraiser for the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation – a state-wide non-profit – to help with rebuilding community gardens across the state. While Yerxa said he didn’t raise much on Friday night, his booth did drum up some interest in his photography and his cause.
“I had a ton of people that stopped by and talked to me,” Yerxa said. “(The best part of Christmas Tyme), I just think it’s walking down Market Street and seeing people you haven’t seen for a while. I remember my first winter back from being at college at Cal Poly, coming back and feeling that community feeling – the whole town comes out with their kids and grandkids, and it gives a pretty cool sense of community.”
Also among the groups on hand at Christmas Tyme were members of the Pierce High School Future Business Leaders of America chapter, who were selling treats to raise money for section and state competition. Among them were Cody Stafford, Dylon Barnwell, and Santos Merino.
“All of the kids that are working on this are planning on competing at the Section and State competitions,” said Pierce High School business teacher and FBLA advisor Carol Keiser. “Most of what we make here will go to paying the cost for our members to attend the State competition.”
Christmas Tyme kicked off with the lighting of the tree at the Colusa County Courthouse. Colusa mayor Greg Ponciano, Colusa County Supervisor Denise Carter, Colusa Lions Club president Jim Pingrey, and Colusa Rotary president Michelle Matthews each spoke briefly at the ceremony and encouraged attendees to get into the holiday spirit. ■