Santa will be returning with his firefighter friends for the second annual Santa’s Chariots of Fire event, hosted by South Boundary Fire District, that will be kicked off at the Naples Holiday Festival on Dec. 9.
The Naples Holiday Festival will begin at noon at the Naples Fire Station, with Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, and elves in attendance. There will be many free games and activities for the children, including ornament making and crafts at Santa’s workshop.
“The Santa’s workshop we started last year,” said South Boundary Fire Chief Tony Rohrwasser. “I picked up all kinds of wooden ornaments and we have Wayne and Bethany Cavender help the kids paint them and keep for free.”
There will be fire engine rides around the community, along with wagon rides provided by Paula Sandelin and her team of Percheron mares. For those preferring to stay inside, Christmas movies will be playing in the community room for all to enjoy.
There will be hot dogs, chips, drinks and s’mores for sale in the community room, as well as the opportunity to make caramel apples for a small fee. For an even sweeter time, the Helping Hands of Naples will be holding a bake sale.
“The Holiday Festival has been growing each year,” said Rohrwasser. “We try to do things for the kids for little to no cost. We do have to charge for some things and the food we offer, the money from this goes back into the festival for next year, to expand if possible.”
They will be selling Christmas trees for a donation that benefits the local food bank and the Firefighters Association.
“One year we had a $200 donation, once we had a handful of pennies and change,” said Rohrwasser about the tree donations.
Adults and children alike can warm themselves by the bonfire outside of the fire station. To commemorate the day, Santa will be waiting to pose for pictures with children from noon to 2 p.m. at the Naples General Store.
“At the last minute DeeDee DePue has jumped in and is reviving the craft fair,” said Rohrwasser. “We were in fear of losing this portion but she is rapidly gaining crafters to join. The cost to have a table is $5.”
“The best part is seeing so many local kids having fun for free or very little cost,” said Rohrwasser. “Also s’mores and hot chocolate by the fire is fun.”
At 4 p.m., Santa will have the honors of lighting the Christmas tree and at 4:15 p.m. the “Santa’s Chariots of Fire” ride will begin, leaving Naples in a procession of Fire and EMS Engines all lit up for Christmas.
The procession will arrive at Paradise Valley Fire District at 4:30 p.m., visiting with children there, before continuing on at 5 p.m. to the Bonners Ferry Fire Department, arriving there at 5:15 p.m.
At 5:45 p.m. Santa and his Chariots of Fire will leave and head up to North Bench Fire District, arriving there at 6 p.m. At North Bench Santa will be available for pictures with children, and there will be arts and craft activities, as well as cookies available.
All fire departments will have refreshments available. At 6:30 p.m. Santa will say his goodbyes and pack up, headed back to the North Pole.
For those interested in participating in the craft fair, contact DeeDee DePue: 208-946-0590