Libby & Troy residents celebrate Christmas tree lighting events

Mr. & Mrs. Claus & Company: Chuck Ekstedt, Carrie Denton. Elves: Missy Denton, Maurica Erickson

Jake and Misty Webley as Mr. & Mrs. Claus.

Libby high choir: Kaylynn Amos, Katie Brown, Racheal smith, Makenna Haddock, Livia Haddock, Elaina Covington, Kiera Haischer, Keirsi Leigh, Marrissa Hollingsworth.

Last Saturday night the city of Troy held its annual tree lighting celebration and parade downtown.

Since Santa is so busy this time of year, Jake and Misty Webley were happy to help Saint Nick and fill in as Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Waiting with open laps and hearts to hear the hopes and dreams of most of Troy’s kids. “we’ve been doing this over ten years, and we just love making the kids so happy,” Misty told The Montanian. Watching the festivities, was Misty’s daughter Tosha Yaedon, who shared  with a grin that her son has been coming to see Santa for eight years now.”

City of Troy officials, employees, and volunteers, including incoming mayor Chuck Ekstedt, created a lively and festive party. Ekstedt, who also has a tree business, was primarily responsible for installing the lights on the towering downtown tree. Deputy City Clerk, Chera Cole, along with other local volunteers, was busy giving out delicious, festive homemade cookies. “We had over 50 cookie donations, some from the Kootenai Kupboard, she told The Montanian.

The beloved tradition, very well attended this year by over 200 folks, was started, according to City Clerk Tracy Rebo, back in 1996. “ John Thrasher was the first Santa back in 96,” Rebo told The Montanian, “he came down and gave out candy canes. Now it’s morphed into this, and this year is huge.”

After listening to the children of Troy, The Mr. and Mrs. Claus joined a few colorful, festive floats and fire engines for a short parade down Highway 2.

The Libby area Business association (LABA) held its annual tree lighting on Saturday, Dec. 4. Over 100 people went down to the end of Mineral Ave. to see Santa, Mrs. Claus, and their elves, listen to a few carols, have cup of cider, a couple of cookies, and kick off the season.

Gail Burger, LABA president, was on hand with longtime volunteer Elizabeth Story to light up the tree.  “We chose Elizabeth (to be the tree lighter) because she is such a magnificent volunteer. She has put in countless hours here at Mineral park, at the Bowen Hill traffic island, and many other places. She deserves this honor,” Burger told The Montanian.

Lorraine Braun and Janean McBride were there with members of the Libby high school choir, to sing a few carols for the appreciative crowd. Choir members present included Kaylynn Amos, Katie Brown, Rachel Smith, Makenna Haddock, Livia Haddock, Elaina Covington, Keira Haisher, Keirsi Leigh, and Marissa Hollingsworth.

Troy’s incoming Mayor, Chuck Ekstedt, stepped in as Santa along with Carrie Denton as Mrs. Claus, and elves Missy Denton and Maurica Erickson, and Jerry Erickson as the Grinch. The Twisted turtle was awarded first prize in the Mineral Avenue pole decorating contest.


Christmas Tree Lighting articles and photos by
Moira Blazi, The Montanian.

City of Troy Hosts Community Meeting for the Greater Troy Area Outdoor Recreation Plan

Submitted by
City of Troy


What do you value most about outdoor recreation in the Troy area? How would you like these recreation assets managed and developed over the next 10 to 15 years? These are some of the questions that will be discussed at a community meeting on Thursday, Dec. 9 at 5:30 p.m. The City of Troy is hosting a community meeting at the Silver Spur  (13891 U.S. Highway 2, Troy) –  to solicit community input on the “Mountains to Town Troy Outdoor Recreation Plan.” The plan will inventory key outdoor recreation opportunities from the Yaak Valley to Ross Creek Cedars. Through mapping and community input, the plan will identify ways to improve trail connectivity and manage existing recreation assets. The plan will recommend enhancements to improve access to outdoor recreation while striving for a balance between livability and economic vitality.

Funding for the plan was secured from the Montana Department of Commerce and U.S. Department of Agriculture. The City of Troy has appointed a Task Force to oversee the planning process and to work with a consulting team headed by the Montana Access Project from Whitefish, Mont. City Council member Shawna Kelsey noted, “Community input is vital to develop a plan that reflects the community vision and to provide guidance for decision makers in planning for outdoor recreation.”

The meeting will include brief presentations and then engage participants through interactive mapping and community character discussions. For additional information, visit the project website at

For more information contact the City of Troy at (406) 295-4151.

2021 Audubon Christmas Bird Count

Submitted by

Gene Reckin


The 2021 Audubon Christmas Bird Count, which began in 1900 and now includes over 2,400 count areas in the western hemisphere, will take place in Libby on Saturday, Dec. 18.  This will be the fifty-second count in the Kootenai Valley.  Last year 16 field observers and nine feeder-watchers recorded 53 different species and a total of 3,678 birds.  Anyone interested in helping with the count please contact Gene Reckin at 291-8482.

Rosauers employee Scott Erickson retires after 41 years

On Friday, Dec. 3, Rosauers Supermarket of Libby honored Scott Erickson after 41 years of service.

Scott celebrated his retirement on his birthday. Locals and employees  came out  to honor Scott as he joined the “Hero’s Club.”

Top: photo of Friday’s festivities.
Below: Erickson early in his career at Rosauers.