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Historic Downtown Pocatello hosting Christmas events this weekend


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Santa during a Historic Downtown Pocatello event. | Courtesy Historic Downtown Pocatello Facebook

POCATELLO — Historic Downton Pocatello is ready to spread holiday cheer as Christmas quickly approaches.

Historic Downtown Pocatello will be hosting a drive-thru style event for kids to see Santa on Nov. 27 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Santa will be in the parking lots on the 300 to 400 blocks of North Union Pacific Avenue, behind the Downtown Pavilion. He will be on top of fire truck No. 1 where he will welcome families and his elves will have goodie bags for the kids while supplies last.

“We have always had a night lights parade in our community for 30 plus years. It’s a tradition,” Executive Director of Historic Downtown Pocatello Stephanie Palagi said. “In a really difficult year, we have tried to keep as many of our traditions that we’ve created downtown in place.”

Community members are also invited to drive thru the downtown area to see the restored historic neon signs on display, including the newest sign featuring Buster Brown and his dog on the west side of the Center Street underpass.

The Buster Brown sign located in downtown Pocatello. | Courtesy Historic Downtown Pocatello Facebook

Buster Brown was a comic strip character created in 1902. A sign of Buster Brown was placed at the Hudson’s Shoe Store in 1958 after the shop was moved to the Pioneer Block Building on the corner of West Center and South Main Street in Pocatello.

A few years later when the building was modernized, the sign was removed and placed in storage. But in Oct. 2017, the sign was found in the basement of the Pioneer Block Building.

“The Buster Brown sign that we’re relighting … is our 16th renovated historic neon sign,” Palagi explained. “It is part of our history.”

Those who attend Friday night are asked to enter the parking lots at West Wyeth and stay in their vehicles for the safety and health of the community.

Radio stations can be turned to Idaho Oldies 106.7 or 104.1 HD-2 to listen to Christmas music throughout the evening.

Santa will also be downtown the following day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. He will be inside a window at Kanda’s & Company at 159 South Main Street. The community is welcome to drive by, walk past or stop by for a selfie.

“While the kids aren’t going to be able to sit on his lap this year, they’re going to be able to take pictures, they’re going to be able to wave and then we have a mailbox that will be sitting outside so kids can share their Christmas list with Santa,” she said. “Santa will write back to each of the kids.”

Even though Palagi said they’ve had to adapt, change and modify the events due to COVID-19, she is looking forward to the festivities.

“We feel it’s really important to have kids in our community and families in our community have something to look forward to — to still be able to see Santa, to still be able to see some floats with lights and enjoy Christmas music,” Palagi stated. “It’s so important that we have some sense of normal.”