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Snowman brings a flurry of fun

LISA FARQUHARSON, director of The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce, poses with ‘Olaf,’ a character from the movie “Frozen” that has been re-created out of wood to help bring shoppers to local businesses. The Shop Local campaign kicks off Nov. 27 and continues through Christmas.

Photo by RaeLynn Ricarte
LISA FARQUHARSON, director of The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce, poses with ‘Olaf,’ a character from the movie “Frozen” that has been re-created out of wood to help bring shoppers to local businesses. The Shop Local campaign kicks off Nov. 27 and continues through Christmas.



Join the fun

The third annual Community Christmas Tree Lighting takes place about 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27, on the lawn outside The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce office, 404 Second Street.

These festivities follow the 26th annual Starlight Parade that begins at 6 p.m. at the intersection of Webber and Sixth streets.

Lighted floats and other entries travel down Sixth onto Third and through the downtown blocks before turning onto Second for a return to the chamber office, where the parade disbands.

Santa will be present at the tree lighting to visit with children and hot cocoa, popcorn and cookies will be served. There will be carolers and The Dalles Mayor Steve Lawrence is set to flip the switch that lights up the tree.

“It’s a lot of hometown fun,” said Lisa Farquharson, chamber director.

This year she said The Dalles Lions Club is going to help

keep traffic flowing and the city Public Works crew will set up electronic reader boards to alert

motorists that an event is in progress.

“We want to make sure everyone is safe,” said Farquharson.

For more information call the chamber at 541-296-2231.

The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce will be moving “Olaf,” a replica of the quirky snowman from the movie “Frozen” around town during the holiday season to create a flurry of shopping.

Lisa Farquharson, chamber director, said the wooden character will rotate locations between nine businesses every three days for a month. The campaign kicks off Sunday, Nov. 29, at Born to Bead Wild, 309 Court Street.

“Last year, we had so much fun with him and this year we wanted to make his visits a more purposeful reminder,” said Farquharson.

During the time Olaf is on the premises, people shopping will have two opportunities to participate in the annual Shop Local and Win drawings.

Not only will the usual rule of spending $100 to gain an entry into weekly drawings be suspended so any amount qualifies, customers will also have the opportunity to win a $25 gift certificate to a local store.

Farquharson said people taking a selfie with Olaf and posting it on the business Facebook page or website will be eligible for the certificate drawing, which takes place every three days.

The chamber will post the date Olaf visits locations on social media, including the chamber Facebook page and website, www.thedalleschamber.com.

Drawings are held every Thursday through December for the Shop Local gift baskets and the chamber is seeking donations from area businesses to get these assembled. A list of sponsors will be published.

Farquharson said monetary contributions are also welcome and will be used to purchase items from shops and service providers in town.

This is the third year the chamber has marketed Shop Local that incorporates all businesses in town.

Farquharson said the push to encourage community members to support businesses and service providers had paid off economically.

In 2013, the first year of focused efforts, a total of 2,778 receipts were entered into the Shop Local drawings. That resulted in an expenditure of $277,000 at area establishments.

A total of 3,550 receipts were shown (the chamber does not keep them) for entry into the 2014 drawings for a total of $355,000 in expenditures.

“If 45 cents of every dollar stays in the community then $159,750 stayed in our hometown during the holiday season last year,” said Farquharson.

She has set a goal for $500,000 in expenditures this year – the campaign runs from Nov. 27 to Dec. 25 — and encourages everyone to get out and have fun exploring what The Dalles businesses have to offer.

People participating in Shop Local can bring receipts for $100 of purchases or more to the chamber office, 404 W. Second Street, to enter.

Receipts are accepted not only from retail outlets, but dentists and medical centers – anywhere that people are spending money.

If the business is a chamber member, the shopper gets an extra entry.

Each Thursday, starting Dec. 3, a ticket is drawn for one of the gift baskets.

The name of the winner is announced on early-morning radio shows and posted on the chamber’s website.

Tickets collected that week are also entered into the grand prize drawing at the end of December.

Business cards are affixed to the prizes so people have the opportunity to know where the products came from, said Farquharson.

“I would like to see people shopping like this at businesses all year and we hope this gets that habit started,” she said.

To help businesses make the most of the extra focus, Farquharson said the chamber has prepared marketing packets for advertising purposes.

Flyers are also available that can be posted in the window of the establishment to let people know that they are participating in Shop Local.

“We are doing everything we can to get the whole community onboard,” said Farquharson.

For more information on the chamber’s contest, call 541-296-2231.



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