Chamber volunteers

Another wonderful Richmond Annual Christmas Extravaganza and Parade has come and gone, but the memories linger.

Like what goes into making sausages and into those gentle words and actions that a football coach will impart to prepare his lambs to take the field, the public does not need to know the backstory, only whether the meat that filled the bun and team that ran out onto the turf met expectations, and Richmond’s Christmas event succeeded admirably in doing what the public has come to expect – delivering a delightful evening of fun, family entertainment.

The Chamber of Commerce does all of the work that goes into making the event memborable. The effort involves members getting together in planning sessions to determine which activities to provide for the public and how to do so within a budget. Then comes contacting volunteers to ask them to participate in the event, and getting word out to the public about when, where and who will participate.

Preparations began well in advance of the extravaganza, and work continues up to the time of the event. Chamber Vice President Misti McKenzie provided one example. After the Santa House had been put into place on the Richmond Square, McKenzie looked at the house and decided the place appeared a little worn. As a result, she began working to make the decorations more festive for Santa’s guests.

“If it can be a little more sparkly, that’s a good thing,” she said during a brief break from adding candy cane decorations to the side of the building.

Because of the dedication to community betterment displayed by McKenzie and other volunteers, the extravaganza treated hundreds of area residents to performances by the Richmond High School Band, by the Richmond High School Noteworthy singers and by dancers from Shapes; to visits and photos with Santa; several community floats, including the Grinch on a trash truck; hot cocoa and cookies; and the Christmas tree fundraising auction.

The fact that the event went off without a hitch – other than the ones used to attach floats to the backs of trucks – is a tribute to the wonderful efforts of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce. The volunteers once again gave of themselves to make Richmond a great community in which to live.

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