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Holiday festivities open with soup kitchen

Upcoming Winterfest includes fireworks display
By: Gloria Beverage
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Colfax’s holiday festivities will open with Saturday’s old-fashioned Soup Kitchen from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at Sierra Vista Community Center. Hosted by Soroptimist International of Colfax, the fundraiser was originally held on the date income tax returns were due. “The thought was that people were down because of all the tax they’d be paying, so we’d offer a ‘cheap bowl of soup’ to ease their woes,” recalled Janis Quinn, president of Soroptimist International of Colfax. Eventually, the fundraiser was moved to December and the club arranged to have Santa visit with children and have his picture taken with them. After a few years, the Chamber of Commerce decided to host a holiday festival, which included the traditional tree lighting ceremony, a parade, street vendors and a craft fair, on the same night as the soup kitchen. The 21st annual old-fashioned soup kitchen will feature a variety of homemade soups, including clam chowder and chili. Colfax High School’s Chamber Choir has been asked to perform. Members of Colfax High School’s S Club have been invited to hold a bake sale during the evening. A number of gift baskets filled with gourmet food items and ornaments will be raffled throughout the evening. Advance tickets, at $7 for adults and $5 for children, ages 6 to 17, can be purchased from Soroptimist Club members. Tickets at the door will cost $8 for adults and $6 for children, ages 6 to 17. Proceeds are used throughout the year for community service projects. Unlike years past, there will be no need to hurry through dinner. Colfax Pride, organizers of this year’s Winterfest, has decided to hold the annual celebration from 2 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 13. Visitors will be able to shop at craft and vendor booths. Local crafters as well as nonprofit groups will offer food, drinks, handcrafted goods and products. Colfax Pride’s booth, “Ye Olde Christmas Spirits Station,” will be offering Irish coffee and other warm spirits. Proceeds will benefit community projects as well as community events hosted by Colfax Pride. Children and pets will be able to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus as well as their elves from approximately 2 to 5:45 p.m. at the gazebo in Roy Tom’s Plaza. A photographer will be available to take photos for a small fee. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be the guests of the Colfax Friends of the Library. The annual Parade of Lights will get underway at 6 p.m. Led by Santa, the light parade will proceed down Grass Valley and Main Streets. Pre-registration is not required. Just show up in your lighted creation at the staging area. For more information, call Ed Pearson with the Colfax Lions Club at 530-477-9889. The annual lighting of the tree at the corner of Main and Church Streets will be officiated over by Colfax City officials. Music and the annual bonfire will be held near the historic Freight Depot Building. For the first time in Colfax’s history, the grand finale will be a fireworks display coordinated by PyroSpectacular. Colfax Pride, Inc. will host a VIP section for sponsors who have donated to the fireworks. The sponsor area boasts special seating, a heated area, appetizers and drinks. Anyone interested in becoming a local events sponsor can call Bob Dearwester at 305-7110. For more information on the celebration, visit www.colfaxprideinc.org or call Laurel Mathe at 346-9399. Earlier in the day, Soroptimist International of Colfax will distribute food and toys to needy families ranging from Soda Springs to Applegate. “This year we estimate 150 families (500 individuals) from the greater Colfax area will be served,” said Stephanie Gargan, chair of the Christmas Project. Applications to receive food and toys are available at Buzz Thru Joe’s, Marson’s, Pizza Factory, Colfax Record, Fitness for Life, Colfax City Hall or Drooling Dog Barbecue. Deadline to submit an application is Dec. 10. The 29th annual Colfax Christmas Project will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Sierra Vista Community Center. “This is a community-wide effort thanks to donations of toys, food and money,” said Gargan. “At least 100 residents and businesses are helping us.” Trees with angel ornaments representing a child in need have been set up at businesses throughout the city. Select an angel from the tree, then drop off an age-appropriate unwrapped toy at one of the businesses listed above. Monetary donations can also be mailed to Colfax Christmas Project, Soroptimist International of Colfax, P.O. Box 475, Colfax, CA 95713. “The holiday season is a joyful one,” Gargan concluded. “This season can also be tough on families struggling to make ends meet.”