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A half-dozen donít-miss events for December
11/26/2013 12:13:39 PM

By Josh Johnson
Splash Staff Column

Ask me in July, and I'll tell you life in these here parts centers around summer. The lake, the weather, the Fourth, the steady stream of events at Pavillion Park - it's tough to beat. 

And while it would take an awful lot of wintry magic to outshine my summer bias, this December is making a run at it. 

Christmas is a trump card right off the bat, but this year a half-dozen Liberty Lake-connected events are joining suit to make the case that this community's best month is right in front of us. Check out the following six don't-miss December events, and judge for yourself.

1. Liberty Lake Holiday Ball
Now in its 15th edition, the annual ball has truly become Liberty Lake's signature winter event. And for a guy like me who always has summer near the mind, the Ball is what makes this community's warmer truly season shine. The Holiday Ball is Friends of Pavillion Park's sole fundraiser for putting on the summer festival series at the park. 

If you are reading this before the Dec. 7 event, there is a good chance tickets are still available for you to attend, and FOPP lowered the price to $75 per person this year to encourage more people to attend. The usual dinner, dancing and auctions are an incredible compliment to a night out with neighbors. 

Plus, not every opportunity for getting spoiled at the Davenport is associated with helping procure future entertainment on your summer calendar. Liberty Lake didn't get this way without great people supporting it. Support the efforts of FOPP and your Liberty Lake summer with a winter trip downtown. 

2. ĎA Christmas Story'
The Central Valley High School Theatre Department has a reputation for pulling out all the stops for first-class performances. Maybe that's why CV is only one of three theatre entities in Washington, Oregon and Idaho granted rights to the production of "A Christmas Story" this season. 

I loved the movie growing up, but CV has plans to make it even better by adding a touch of home to the classic. Scenes from the production will include original animated figures from Spokane's downtown Crescent Building Christmas window from the 1950s, which were discovered in lost storage crates in the building's basement. Plus, real snow will fall on the CV stage as part of the performance. 

This is the type of performance where you are mistaken if you think you are going in order to support some second-rate student production. Prepare to be blown away.

3. ĎTiny Tim's Christmas'
The Liberty Lake Community Theatre is made up of some of the most creative, fun and talented people you'll ever meet. This year, the troupe is taking on a sequel to Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." In this one, Tiny Tim is grown up and in need of a lesson of Ebeneezer-like proportions. 

LLCT pulls off this comedy/mystery with some new names this time around, but many of them you may recognize from other facets of life in Liberty Lake. Support your neighbors with this community production. 

4. Winter Festival 2013
This year's version of the city of Liberty Lake's annual tree lighting event isn't your older brother's tree lighting event. When the city started this tradition a few years back, it was all about the cookies, carols, community and lights. 

This year, it's still about all of that, plus Snowgusta! What is Snowgusta, you ask? I did too, and I was told it is mini golf like it has never been played before. Add in things like turkey bowling and chestnut roasting, and the city's Winter Festival appears to have raised the bar again this Dec. 6. 

5. Blessings Under the Bridge
This Liberty Lake-founded outreach to the homeless of downtown Spokane is holding its 7th annual winter event Dec. 14. 

Under the leadership of Jessica and Mike Kovac, this event offers a great outlet for your holiday serving energy. Basically, it's all about setting up a brunch with hot drinks, treats clothing, winter gear, haircuts, music and more - all intended to bless a population who don't typically have parties thrown on their behalf.

Donations are needed in advance of the event, and volunteers are needed to help. If you've never been, you may not realize how big of a deal this is in Spokane - and what a great opportunity it is for you or the entire family to get involved in serving the less fortunate.  

For more, visit

6. Illuminate for Literacy
Liberty Lake Kiwanis Club members Charmaine Peterson and Linda Dockrey stopped by the office recently to explain a truly resplendent new tradition they are importing from the southwest. On Christmas Eve, some communities sell luminarias to line driveways, pathways and patios. Why not Liberty Lake?  

The Kiwanis Club is donating money raised to both its scholarship fund and the Liberty Lake Municipal Library. The ready-to-light luminarias are $9 a dozen, and - beat this - they will be delivered to your door before Christmas Eve by a friendly Kiwanian (is there any other kind?). 

For more information or to be part of this worthwhile new tradition, visit

Bonus round
Allow me to close with six more snippets that may not be connected to Liberty Lake, but have me amped up for December 2013 nonetheless.

1. "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever," my personal all-time favorite staple of Christmas theatre, is being performed at Post Falls' Jacklin Arts & Cultural Center the final two weekends before Dec. 25. 

2. The last time I saw Sophia Caruso, she was in a Sunday School class I was teaching at Valley Real Life a few years back. Next time will be in primetime on NBC Dec. 5, when this Spokane star will play one of the von Trapp children in a special performance of "The Sound of Music" starring Carrie Underwood. 

3. At the time of this writing, my beloved Washington State Cougars football team looks likely to actually be playing in a bowl game in December. If it feels like it's been a decade since Cougar fans could say that, it's because it has been a decade (Holiday Bowl, Dec. 30, 2003). 

4. On Dec. 19, I will be building a gingerbread house with my youngest daughter in her Central Valley Kindergarten Center class. I'm aiming for role reversal from what happened when I did the same thing with my oldest daughter a few years back. This time she gets to be the architect, I get to be the one who eats everything in sight. 

5. I have a soft spot for the annual December Business Connections Breakfast put on by the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber, because the theme is always "Season of Sharing," and local nonprofits take the spotlight. This year's event is 7 a.m. Dec. 20 at the Mirabeau Park Hotel. 

6. Best of all, this season is filled with connections. I will get to see most of my favorite people in the world this December. I hope your life will be blessed this season with dear relationships, too. 

To neighbors and friends in Liberty Lake: Have yourself a merry little Christmas. And while you're at it, have a holly jolly entire month. 

Josh Johnson is editor and publisher of The Splash. Write to him at

Want to be a part of the items described on this page? Information on tickets, locations and times for most of these listings is available on The Splash Community Briefs and Calendar of Events under the Community Tab.