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& & by Andrea Palpant & & & &

Christmas time conjures up images of big city flair -- Rockefeller Square with a thousand lights, a towering tree and a horde of people enjoying a cosmopolitan celebration of the season. Still, the small town can put on a good show when it comes to holiday hoopla. For the upcoming Christmas season, the Pacific Northwest's own Metaline Falls, Loon Lake and Kellogg will feature a variety of festivals worth the trek through the winter snow.

& & Victorian Christmas Celebration & & & &

For the fourth year, Scrooge, Cratchit and a number of other Charles Dickens' characters will make an appearance in Kellogg, Idaho. Created as an event meant to capture the mood of 1850, the Victorian Christmas Celebration offers a variety of activities that transport you back in time. The festival features 200 costumed townsfolk from Kellogg.

"We use a lot of Dickens' characters," says Joan Block, a Kellogg resident and member of the Victorian Christmas planning committee. "Scrooge will be out looking for people that owe him money, Oliver Twist looking for his true identity and Fagin trying to rally the street urchins."

Beginning on Friday, Dec. 8, and going through Saturday, the festival includes an elegant High Tea, a Queen Victoria's royal dinner complete with a six-course meal and entertainment (both require reservations by Wednesday, Nov. 30). Then there's a Christmas craft fair, and a candlelight character parade with a town sing-along, as well as numerous other activities to keep folks warm and whistling.

The historian Tames Alan will make a costumed appearance in a dramatic presentation of Celtic life during the 1800s.

"Victorians were very fascinated with Celtic culture," says Block. "Alan's presentation is really a wonderful discourse on what happened during that era. This whole event's really fun for people. You can dress up and see a lot of things going on that you don't experience in this day and age."

& & & lt;i & The Victorian Christmas Celebration takes place in Kellogg, Idaho, on Friday, Dec. 8 from 7-10 pm, and Saturday, Dec. 9, from 10 am-10 pm, with a craft fair from 10 am-5 pm. Call (208) 784-0821. & lt;/i & & lt;/center &

& & Deck the Falls & & & &

The famous Cutter Theatre will be home to this year's Deck the Falls Christmas festival and craft fair in Metaline Falls. Built by Kirtland Cutter and used as a public school until the 1970s, the theater was reopened in the early-1990s as a community arts center.

"The theater is so well known," says Tara Leininger, chairman of the Deck the Falls committee. "It will be open to the public for them to come and enjoy -- lots of good Christmas shopping: you name it, from artwork to jewelry to Christmas ornaments, it's all there."

A preview of the crafts fair -- along with a community carol sing-along -- will go from 5-7 pm on Friday evening, and the actual fair will be open all day Saturday from 10 am-7 pm. While some of the featured crafters are local Metalinites, most come from various parts of the Northwest, specifically for the fair.

Special events include a dance recital at 1 pm on Saturday, featuring local children under the direction of Marisue Kimp, and a musical performance by Dave King. A local musician and celebrity, King's inspirational, contemporary and country music will take the stage in a special closing event on Saturday. Tickets are available at the door for $6. Over the course of the festival, various other carolers and musicians will entertain visitors throughout the building.

"The theater's a gorgeous example of what a community can do," says Leininger. "The Deck the Falls event is just another branch of the great sense of community that we have here."

& & & lt;i & Deck the Falls craft fair is on Friday, Dec. 1, and Saturday, Dec. 2, at the Cutter Theatre, Metaline Falls. A concert with Dave King is also Saturday, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $6. Call (509) 446-4108. & lt;/i & & lt;/center &

& & Kris Kringle Markt & & & &

The mall isn't the only place to find great Christmas shopping. The old schoolhouse in Loon Lake, Wash., might be the place you're looking for when it comes to unique holiday gifts.

On Nov. 24-26 and Dec. 2-3, the Loon Lake Historical Society will present its annual Kris Kringle Markt. Named for the German phrase meaning "Christmas market," the event offers shoppers the ambiance of an old-fashioned country store, complete with an array of quality arts and crafts -- everything from antiques to evergreen wreaths and other holiday decorations.

"We have a variety of handcrafted items," says Kathleen Grant, a member of the planning committee, "all with great prices."

Proceeds from the market help in the restoration and future improvement of the old schoolhouse, as well as preservation of the history of Loon Lake and the surrounding communities. Built in 1929, the school is on the national register of historic places.

"We paid the mortgage off and put a new roof on the school," says Grant. "There isn't much left around here that's old, and this is an important building in the community here."

& & & lt;i & Kris Kringle Markt is Nov. 24-26 and Dec. 2-3, open from 10 am-5 pm. The schoolhouse is at the corner of Maple Street and Colville in Loon Lake. Call (509) 233-8221. & lt;/i & & lt;/center &

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