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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Christmas arrives early in Spokane, with weekend parades and more

Workers put the last of the faux greenery on the giant holiday tree Wednesday inside the atrium at River Park Square in downtown Spokane. The downtown mall will celebrate the arrival of Santa Claus at 6:30 p.m. Friday.  (Jesse Tinsley/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
Workers put the last of the faux greenery on the giant holiday tree Wednesday inside the atrium at River Park Square in downtown Spokane. The downtown mall will celebrate the arrival of Santa Claus at 6:30 p.m. Friday. (Jesse Tinsley/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

The bells are ringing and displays are lit. Thanksgiving might still be a week away, but Christmas has already arrived in Spokane.

A number of festive events are planned for the coming weeks, including Santa’s arrival in River Park Square Friday afternoon, a Saturday afternoon parade in downtown Spokane and the annual Winter Glow Spectacular in Liberty Lake’s Orchard Park Saturday night.

Attendees to these early starts to the holiday season will want to bundle up in their winter gear as temperatures at their warmest are going to hover around freezing all weekend.

Friday, Nov. 18

At 4 p.m. Friday, Santa will be making his highly anticipated annual excursion from the North Pole to a seat at River Park Square under a 50-foot Christmas tree that will be lit up at 6:30 p.m.

Presented by River Park Square and sponsor Spokane Teachers Credit Union, photos with Santa will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Reservations are now available for photos from Nov. 20 to Dec. 20, during which walk-up photos and on-site reservations will be accommodated as availability allows. Photos with Santa will continue through Christmas Eve .

STCU members will receive $10 off holiday photo packages when using an STCU credit or debit card during the purchase, either online or in person. To redeem the discount online, members need to enter the first six digits of their credit or debit card as the promo code at checkout.

At 7:30 p.m., the Spokane Symphony Chorale and Chamber Singers will perform Handel’s Messiah at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.

Saturday, Nov. 19

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., River Park Square is hosting a parade pre-party with crafts, activities and photos with Santa.

Starting at 11 a.m., the Numerica Skate Ribbon will open to the general public for the first night of the ice skating season. The park will stay open until 9 p.m.

At 2 p.m., the Second Annual Merry & Magical Holiday Parade in downtown Spokane will get underway from the corner of Spokane Falls Boulevard and Washington Street. After an early morning of holiday photos, Santa will lead the parade as its Grand Marshal.

Presented by the Spokane Lilac Festival Association and sponsored by Davenport Hotels, the parade will first head south on Washington Street, turn west on Main Avenue, north on Wall Street, then wrap back around Spokane Falls Boulevard. The procession is expected to last until 3 p.m., according to organizers.

The Spokane Lilac Festival Association will be partnering with the U.S. Marine Corps for Toys for Tots collection during the festivities. Collection bins for unwrapped toys will be located along the parade route.

At 3 p.m., Handel’s Messiah will be performed again at St. John’s Cathedral by the Spokane Symphony Chorale and Chamber Singers.

At 5 p.m. in Liberty Lake, the opening lighting ceremony at the extensive Winter Glow Spectacular will begin at Orchard Park, located at 20298 E. Indiana Ave.

The Ridgeline Falcons band and cheerleaders will help get attendees into the festive spirit, alongside Liberty Lake Mayor Cris Kaminskas, Santa and the Winter Glow mascot. Boy Scouts will also be on hand to sell hot cocoa to attendees. The lights go on at approximately 5:10 p.m. and will be lit every night through Jan. 1.

Friday, Nov. 25

At 5 p.m., the 30th annual lighting ceremony in Coeur d’Alene begins with over a million holiday lights set to shimmer over the city’s eponymous lake after a parade winds through town.

Presented by the Idaho Central Credit Union, the parade will start at the intersection of 8th Street and Sherman Avenue, heading west on Sherman Avenue and ending at the intersection of Lakeside Avenue and Government Way.

The lighting ceremony itself begins at 6 p.m., followed at 6:15 p.m. with a fireworks show over the lake presented by the Hagadone Corp.

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