Hill City welcomes Christmas

Gray Hughes

In spite of the threat of bad weather, the Hill City Olde Tyme Christmas celebration went off without a hitch Friday, Nov. 29.

Even before the celebration began, though, Hill City was already in the Christmas season.

Victor Alexander, Jason Alexander, Dallas Alexander, Dave Burleson, Jason Peters and Jaelyn Peters delivered Hill City’s Christmas tree to its location beside the Alpine Inn. Vic Alexander said they have been doing this for over 20 years.

Burleson is a logging truck contractor with Rushmore Forest Products and delivered the tree along with the assistance of the Alexanders straight from the Black Hills National Forest.

Throughout the week leading up to the celebration, the rest of Hill City got gussied up with businesses bringing all of their decorations out of storage.

There was concern leading up to the parade that it would be canceled or postponed. Roads were slick during the day and a powerful winter storm was knocking on the Hills’ door. However, the show went on and the weather held off until after the celebration ended.

The evening of the Olde Tyme Christmas Celebration began with hot chocolate, cookies and roasted chestnuts outside of the Alpine Inn. Dozens of people gathered on the porch and celebrated the start of the Christmas season together in a traditional, Alpine sense.

The parade followed after, starting promptly at 6 p.m. Victor Alexander kicked off the parade — as is tradition — in his vintage fire truck.

Following Victor Alexander were other emergency vehicles from in town and the surrounding areas. Following those were floats from the local community — including an appearance from Nugget, the Rapid City Rush mascot.

The parade was finished with an appearance from the most famous North Pole residents — Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

After the parade, the South Dakota State Railroad Museum was the place to be. It was the opening night of the Trees and Trains exhibit at the museum. The Clauses also made an appearance at the museum where kids were able to tell Santa Claus their Christmas wishes.

While Hill City hasn’t been named Christmas Capitol of South Dakota since the 1990s, it was hard to dispute the title this year as Hill City looked majestic with a combination of Christmas decoration, snow and evergreen trees.

To see pictures from the parade, purchase this week's Hill City Prevailer News.

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