MCKENZIE BRIDGE, Oregon (STPNS) -- An early winter storm may have caused some cancellations but not all. In Rainbow, the Belknap Bridge was surrounded by snow on Saturday, December 7th, with a wreath made by McKenzie Garden Club and Christmas lights only adding to the already beautiful scene.

Pat and Fred Dymock threw the switch for the Bridge Lighting Ceremony, followed by a community potluck that followed at the Upper McKenzie Community Center. Contributing to the lighting event were Jo & Gene Hiatt, Bill Horton, and the Lane Electric Coop.



Upper McKenzie Community Center board members provided the main dishes, garlic bread and lots of desserts, after Maria Jensen, Rosemary Kinkead and Peg Hayward had transformed the center into a Christmas Party room. A decorated Christmas tree, donated by Dennis Mortimer, completed the holiday flavor.

The Upper McKenzie Fire Dept. and EASE provided traffic control ensuring walkers and most importantly, autos, could carefully manage their way on a very slick roadway.

Dick Laurer MC’ed, adding poetry and stories to the gathering that featured the McKenzie Community Choir for the music and carol singing after dinner.

In Walterville, the annual Christmas Bazaar was held on Pearl Harbor Day - which we all know was December 7, 1941. But on December 7, 2013, to many it will be known as the Walterville Christmas Blizzard. If you wanted it to look a lot like Christmas, December 6th was you day. In 12 hours or so, seven or more inches of snow was dropped on the lower McKenzie Valley, preceded by several days of freezer type weather.

That didn’t stop the good folks from the Vida Community Center who continued on with the Bazaar at the Walterville Community Center. The weather did keep several of the vendors away - not because of the cold - but because they couldn’t get out of their driveways. Vendors who usually were confined to one table to display their wares were able to spread out and show more of items - including homemade bread, honey, soap, jewelry, knives, and woodwork items - to name just a few.

Depending on the door people entered they could sense a different smell. It might be the scent of vegetable soup provided by Aunt Ding’s restaurant. From another doorway the first whiff was of hot chili or the sizzling hotdogs. Plus the counters were covered with such a variety of cakes, pies and cookies.

Santa too had a very busy day after using all of 220 horsepower to get his sleigh moving instead of his trusty reindeer. Meanwhile, Shelly Pruitt set up a table where children could decorate cookies while their parents shopped.

The Bazaar’s annual raffle prizes exceeded $2,700 this year with donations from many of local McKenzie Valley businesses. Winners took home certificates for golf, veterinary services, drift and jet boat rides, Hoodoo tickets, and more than a dozen restaurants offerings.

At mid-river the renovations of the Goodpasture Bridge were completed this year. During repairs, no holiday decorations had been allowed on the bridge until that work was complete. In prior years, the local garden club has created Christmas wreaths that were hung at each end of the bridge, and they have been sorely missed.

This year, several members of the Vida community worked together to ensure the wreaths would again adorn the beloved covered bridge. Much was done in a short amount of time in order to get them hung in time for the holidays. A flurry of activity - calls and faxes to the proper authorities, gathering and purchasing supplies - brought the group to the day of creating the wreaths, which of course, was the first day of snow Yet, with below freezing temperatures and the highway turned into a treacherous stretch, the wreath volunteers wouldn’t deterred. There was one vehicle casualty, however, but of concern to all involved.

The wreath committee’s thanks go to the Whitewater Ranch for the donation of greenery and also to the Vida Community Center for the use of the building.

The wreaths were be hung by EWEB on Monday, December 9th, adding a festive flair to the holiday season.