Helena Christmas parade on its way

Girl Scout Troop 581 went all out – note their little quacker lips – for its float in the Helena Christmas Parade in 2010. The ducks, who usually only mob the waters of Buck Creek in July, were “bubbling” with excitement. (Contributed)

By LAURA BROOKHART / Community Columnist

Unless you have been in a cave preparing for winter hibernation, you know this Saturday is a big day in Helena.

Little ones can get an early start and have their photo taken with Santa (while they are still fresh and not sugar bloated) by Gretchen’s Photography, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. at LaReunion coffee café in Old Town. Next door, Robin Howell will open the doors to her second Annual Old Town Christmas Market with 20 vendors selling arts, crafts and holiday goodies from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“This is a great event for Helena. I remember the first time I shopped in Old Town many years ago, there were specialty shops all along the street. You could find one-of-a-kind items and spend a day in a quaint town with so much history. I am looking forward to the revitalization of Old Town shopping,” Carol Williams commented on the event’s Facebook page. The Old Town Christmas Market will be open every Saturday in December. However, note that Santa is only stopping in on Dec. 3.

“Come out and enjoy this market — it will be fun for everyone. Robin does an incredible job organizing this. I will have plenty of homemade sourdough breads — plain, cinnamon/sugar and cheddar cheese,” said Brenda Scott, owner of BB’s Breads.

Two By Two Animal Rescue will be represented at the back of the market, adjacent to its ‘Doggie Tree’ that looks like it is from the same crop as Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree and is topped with a red-ribboned bone.

On the tree, each ornament will represent an animal that needs a foster or full-time home.

You can also learn more at Facebook.com/pages/Two-by-Two-AnimalRescue/108992141938.

The annual Helena Christmas Parade will begin at 1:30 p.m. The theme this year is “A Small Town Christmas,” and Mayor Sonny Penhale will be the Grand Marshal. Our small-town Christmas parade this year may be one of Helena’s biggest ever, I have been told by the mayor’s secretary, Joy Childers, with more additions from Alabaster since its parade venue has been relocated to the Colonial Promenade.

Childers, who has headed Helena’s Christmas Parade committee for many years, never loses her enthusiasm for pulling this event together, along with her committee of loyal helpers, and we thank them all for providing this tradition annually for our small town with a big heart.

Laura Brookhart can be reached by email at labro16@yahoo.com.