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North Bend's Holiday Fest warms community on a cold night | Slideshow

The snow began to blow shortly after Santa arrived Saturday evening, Dec. 8, in North Bend, here to help turn on the community Christmas tree.

That tree, gaily decorated and about 20 feet tall, overlooked from its spot at Chaplin’s Chevy dealership a street scene on North Bend Way crowded with well-bundled families, performing choirs and dance teams, and the local Snoqualmie Valley Unicycle Club.

Merchants and organizations set up booths with treats for the big crowd, which kept warm at wood-burning braziers. Snow blew in courtesy of a special machine on the roof of Boxleys, where Santa settled in for portraits with families shortly after his big moment at the town Christmas tree.

The afternoon was a grand experience for little Emmalee Rowley, only 10 months old and experiencing her first Christmas, who toddled around the downtown with dad Jason Rowley. They were loving the occasion, Jason said.

Bernie Clark, of Kent, came with friends to watch their grandson perform in “A Christmas Carol” at North Bend’s Valley Center Stage that evening. She was talked into sitting on Santa’s lap, where she shared her Christmas wish.

“I just want happiness,” Clark said. “He said, ‘That’s the one I like to hear the most.”

Photos by Seth Truscott and Mary Miller

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