With an assist from Northern Lights, Inc, of Sagle, Idaho, the Christmas Lights on the Ponderosa Pine located at Kootenai Avenue and 2nd Street in Troy were pulled this past September to be inspected, cleaned, rewired if necessary, spliced and re-stranded for the 2020 Christmas Season. Below: Troy Power Manager, Clint Taylor, and Department Employee, Dennis Dupois worked this past week to rewire the 100 ft strands of lights which they and several city volunteers had worked to restore over the past month and a half since they were pulled for the holiday overhaul. Photo by Stacy Bender, the Montanian.
By Stacy Bender
“This year things are going to be a little different than others,” the City of Troy Administrators shared this past week through a digital release. “We will be hosting a Christmas Parade to start this year’s celebration, to be proceeded by a drive-thru Christmas Tree Lighting where we are encouraging everyone to remain in their vehicles, follow the signs starting at the Troy Museum which will lead to this year’s Christmas Tree Lighting experience, and be sure keep an eye out for Santa!”
The parade, which is set to depart the Troy Museum at 5:00 pm on Saturday, November 28, will include local first responders, members of the Troy Cruzers Car Club, perhaps a few other spirited appearances, and of course, Santa! “This community is just outstanding in the way it comes together in times of trial to lift one another’s spirits and ensure the holidays are special for our kids,” shared Troy Mayor, Dallas Carr in a phone interview this past Friday.
“There are so many people who are working behind the scenes right this minute, and they will be working right up to the minute our celebration kicks-off next week,” Mayor Carr added. Young and seasoned alike will likely take notice as this year’s tree will don a newly refreshed twinkle of Christmas Magic betwixt its broad branches.
This past September, the 38 one-hundred-foot strands of lights – last replaced on the downtown Ponderosa Pine about 10 years ago – were pulled for inspection and restoration. Following all necessary bulb replacements, wire cleaning, splicing, and re-stranding, the sea of colorful lights has again been carefully rehung and tested for this year’s Christmas Season.
The storied pine was wired with lights by the Troy Commercial Club and Civic Improvements Committee 89 years ago and has been an anchor for holiday spirit in the Troy community every year since. Only because of a national blackout period during WWII did it ever stand unlit.
At the time the tradition began in 1931, the Troy area and its people had become depressed after the loss of its railroad Freight Division Point. Fire had destroyed the Snowstorm Silver and Lead Minds concentrator, and a year later the Sandpoint Lumber Pole Sawmill also burned. The tree became a conscious project of hope in the midst of dark and trying times.
Today, at over 150 years-old and 133 feet tall, with an outside diameter of more than 12 feet, the Ponderosa Pine continues to serve as a reminder of the resilient spirit of its residents, a source of encouragement, and a beacon of optimism for the Troy Community. “This year  has been tough on many of us. Especially our kids,” said Mayor Carr. “We are looking forward to lighting that tree again and giving the kids something to be excited about.”
Lighting the tree this year will be long-time and beloved Troy resident, Myrtle Anderson. “Each year, since I’ve been Mayor, I try to pick someone from our community who stands out,” Carr reported. “I’ve known Myrtle for years. She’s one heck of a role model. And she’s been bringing her kids and grandkids to this event for as long as I can remember.”
Following the Christmas Parade, and beginning at approximately 5:30 pm, residents and holiday guests will be welcomed to set course along the “2020 Drive-Thru Christmas Tree Lighting Experience.”
Beginning at the Troy Museum, one-way signs along the St. Regis Haul Road will lead everyone past hot cider stations, caroling choirs, towards the towering tree of lights, and right past Santa and Mrs. Claus who will be sharing a goodie bag with everyone they meet.
(Special Note: Due to Covid-19, the City of Troy is not encouraging contact with the Santa this year. Please ensure that all children who wish to greet Santa and Mrs. Claus are wearing their masks to ensure their 2020 worldwide sleighride tour proves uneventful this year!)
Following the Christmas Tree Tour, Letters to Santa can be deposited in a special mailbox designated for all mail bound for the North Pole. Then don’t forget to enjoy the displays as the 2020 Annual Christmas Lights Contest brightens area businesses and homes up and down Troy’s city streets.
“The City of Troy would like to remind everyone during this holiday season to ‘Mask Up.’ Please be respectful of our businesses, your neighbors, and your fellow citizens as we all aim to remember we are in this together! Thank you, stay safe… Happy Thanksgiving! And may this Christmas Season bring tidings of Happiness and Joy!”
Turkey Dash supports Libby Food Pantry & Kootenai
Kiwanis Koats for Kids
By Stacy Bender
Maverick Grotjohn of Libby zeroes in on the course at hand during the 2020 Turkey Dash held at J. Neils Park this past Saturday, Nov. 21. See page 6 for more.
This year’s annual Thanksgiving Turkey Dash to support the Libby Food Pantry and Kootenai Kiwanis Koats for Kids Program set course at J. Neils Park in Libby on Saturday, November 21.
“Though we weren’t sure what to expect, in the end we found over two dozen new participants registered for this year’s socially-distanced morning of family fun and fitness,” shared event coordinator, Stacey Thede.
“It was just a gorgeous day, our new location worked really well, and the residual commentary, smiles, and laughter were abundant,” Theded continued. “We appreciate all of those who came to participate, our volunteers and our sponsors. Thank you so much for making this year’s event a success and we look forward to dashing with you again next year!”
Continued on Page 6
Troy Chamber of Commerce
Presents: Troy’s Annual
Christmas Lights Contest
By Stacy Bender
The time is here! Troy’s 6th Annual Christmas Lights Contest is will officially launch this week. $100 cash prizes will soon be awarded in five separate categories: Most Over the Top Display, Classic Christmas (Tasteful & Traditional), Most Unique, People’s Choice, and Most Festive Business.
In memory of Jeni Bradley and her “Bright” idea which launched the annual light display in Troy, Angie Husentruit – who worked hand-in-hand with Jeni prior to her passing in 2016 – recently approached the Board of the Troy Chamber of Commerce to seek their support in facilitating the tradition which Jeni had started for generations to come. “The decision was unanimous,” shared Susie Taylor, Chamber President. “We could not be more excited to have been asked to step-up and receive the honor of carrying forward this annual tradition for our community!”
What that means? The Chamber will now serve as the point-place for area residents and businesses to register for each year’s contest and work with the community and it’s businesses to provide prize monies.
Those wishing to enter this year’s contest may do by contacting Tearsa at 406-359-1203 or sending a message through the Troy Chamber’s Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/Troy-MT-Chamber-of-Commerce-1315621471902057.
To be eligible, you must live within a 2-mile radius of the City of Troy. Deadline for entries is
Friday, December 11. Judging will take place on December 18-20. Winners will be notified by December 23, 2020.
The People’s Choice Category will be open for the public to cast their votes on Facebook. A list of addresses will be available online or for pick-up at the Troy Public Library.
Be sure to look for early entries while cruising this year’s 2020 City of Troy Tree Lighting Festivities on Saturday, November 28.