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Idaho Falls Downtown Development kicks off holiday shopping season with virtual tree lighting event

Idaho Falls

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IDAHO FALLS – Idaho Falls Downtown Development Corporation is kicking off its annual tree lighting ceremony Friday night.

The event kicks off at 6 p.m. at Civitan Plaza and will be held virtually due to COVID-19. The theme this year is “Honoring Idaho’s Brave.”

“The tree will be decorated red, white, and blue and have ornaments for the brave men and women from Idaho that have served or are serving in the military,” the event’s Facebook page says.

The tree will be decorated with an ornament for each branch of service, including an ornament for each battalion of the Idaho Army National Guard and for each soldier killed in a time of conflict since September 11, 2001. Soldiers killed in action will be represented with a purple ribbon for their sacrifice.

Other trees on the plaza decorated by local schools and other groups will also be on display. Santa and his helpers will be there to turn on the lights.

The tree lighting ceremony is the kickoff for Shop Small Saturday, a day to support downtown merchants.

“It’s a day to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for their communities,” the Facebook page says. “Celebrate the spirit of enterprise and entrepreneurship, as exemplified by small business owners. Unique one-of-a-kind items and that good feeling that comes with shopping in a small business that is owned and operated by your neighbors!” file photo

Horse-drawn trolley rides were available in downtown Friday afternoon and will continue to be offered every Saturday through Dec. 19 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The rides are free.

“This holiday season looks different than any other year, but the holidays are downtown and just as special and magical as any other year!” the group writes on Facebook.

The Veteran’s Tree is sponsored by Bank of Idaho and Brady’s is sponsoring the horse-drawn carriage rides. National Guard and local schools helped sponsor the decorations.

“We want to give special thanks to the Idaho Falls Civitans for the lights on the trees,” IFDDC writes. “This is truly a community effort!

The event will be streamed live on the organization’s Facebook page.