Tradition of Santa’s visit shows community’s spirit

Bonners Ferry Fire Chief Dave Winey helps Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus from their chariot as the make their first visit to Bonners Ferry to kick off the Christmas season.

By Mike Weland

Despite all the travails of possibly the most interesting year anyone has experienced in generations, the joy and smiles of the kickoff event of Bonners Ferry ‘s Holiday season were insuppressible, as both kids and adults awaited the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus, who arrived to cheers riding not their usual sleigh, but as passengers in a Bonners Ferry Fire Chariot piloted by Fire Chief Dave Winey himself.

After their arrival, kids who’d been waiting anxiously said not a word when Santa and Mrs. Claus delayed taking their seats in the Georgia Mae Plaza gazebo, for there was a youngster deserving a special visit, who made the trip with his family despite the fact he wasn’t able to leave the car.

But he wanted so much to see Santa the family made the arduous trip, and they weren’t disappointed; he was the first child to meet the honored guests, who went to meet the young man in the family’s car, spinning for the boy and his family a tapestry of holiday memories that will never fade or dim.

In the post office, a group of carolers warmed up and went through a quick rehearsal before going out into the chill night to spread warmth and cheer.

There was cocoa and candy canes, members of the Bonners Ferry Badger cheer squad lending exuberance to a chilly evening, rosy cheeks, twinkling eyes and good spirits saying no matter how trying the times, we will forge through, doing what needs done, never letting go of the traditions and the things that matter; faith, family, community, neighbors and friends.

As 2020 draws to an end, it was wonderful to see in the faces of children and parents alike the optimism, the faith. The certainty that no matter how dark the moment, we will overcome and abide, our spirit and faith steadfast, until brighter days return.

And isn’t that truly the meaning and the magic of Christmas?