No more COVID closures, but lots of candy canes are expected this year, as Downtown Missoula marks the first full year of holiday events since the pandemic erupted after Christmas 2019. 

The Downtown Missoula Partnership is planning a full schedule of holiday activities, most of which are admission-free or low-cost, all in celebration of the season. 

"Downtown Missoula is a magical place during the holidays, and our team is thrilled to be back at full capacity for all the wonderful holiday events," said Josh Elder, President of the Missoula Downtown Association Board of Directors. 

While there are big plans, the downtown holiday season starts small, specifically with Shop Small Season, which is an expansion of the single-day event of years past. "Small Business Saturday" will happen this weekend, with the Shop Small Headquarters at the PaddleHeads Post on North Higgins handing out coupons for free hot cocoa, goodies, and a list of special offers. 

Don't forget a gift card

Those offers include the Downtown Gift Cards, which are accepted at over 200 businesses and can be purchased online at the PaddleHeads Post, the DMP office on East Main, or online. 

Santa will arrive in Downtown Missoula on Saturday, December 3rd at 1 pm at the Missoula Public Library and stay, along with Mrs. Claus, for photos through the afternoon.

More than 20 businesses will be hosting kid's events throughout that same day, which is also the Parade of Lights. Activities include cookie decorating at Bernice's Bakery, free movies at the Roxy, and ornament-making at the Create Art Bar. 

Parade of Lights stays in place again

The Parade of Lights will stay stationary again this year, with floats on display on December 3rd on Higgins Avenue from 5 pm to 8 pm.

Other events include the Winter Makers Market at the "Xs" on North Higgins, the lighting of the downtown tree at 6 pm on December 3rd, as well as carriage rides, Teddy Bear Tea Parties, and a window decorating contest. 

Full details can be seen on the Missoula Downtown Partnership website. 

And if you have a great light display at home, we want to see it! Prizes await.

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