Santa Comes to Malad Early for the Coloring Contest
The Enterprise Coloring Contest has been a staple of the season for over forty years, with the newspaper distributing prizes to those who submitted their colored pages to participating local sponsors. This year, dozens of local sponsors took part in the contest, with most of them reporting large numbers of submissions from all across the valley. Some businesses chose to select a small number of winners from each age group, while others decided that everyone who entered was a winner. Pictures of the participating businesses and the winners of their individual contests will be printed in next week’s Christmas edition, along with the childrens’ letters to Santa Claus.
In past years, the contest drawing was held outside Allen Drug on Main street. Over the last two years, the drawing has been held inside the Oneida County Event Center, out of the elements. Last year’s contest was the first to be held under the new management of Bryan Scott, and most felt that the process was streamlined from last year.
This year, an attempt was made to give presents to every child who entered the contest. Although there were certainly still some gaps in the process, the majority of those who entered their pages into the drawing ended up with something to take home, including twelve kids who took home the event’s grand prizes, which included TVs and a Nintendo Switch.
In addition to the prizes, guests were treated to craft tables, hot dogs, hot chocolate, and walking tacos provided by the Malad Drive-In staff and volunteers. Fifty pounds of taco meat, hundreds of bags of chips, dozens and dozens of hot dogs, and gallons of hot chocolate were served during the event.
Other than the grand prizes, the highlight of the evening was a visit from Santa Claus and his helper. After arriving via his traditional ride from the Fire Department, Santa made his entrance into the building to the joy of dozens of kids who had already lined up for a chance to speak their piece to the man himself. Santa, against a wonderful backdrop designed by Kelly Neal, listened to each child who took a seat to bend his ear, and handed out candy canes filled with candy. One of the best parts of living in a town like Malad is that Santa himself knew most of the children in attendance, as well as their parents and grandparents.
Grand Prizes were drawn from the full box of submitted entries, meaning that kids who had submitted multiple entries had a correspondingly higher chance of winning them. As each Grand Prize winner was named, they approached the central table to select from a dozen prizes, including a Switch donated by Gary and Sherma Shepard from the Dude Ranch, as well as a bike from Swire Coca-Cola, and a number of others provided by the Enterprise.
Grand Prize winners of the event were: Rylan Price, who won the Nintendo Switch; Alyssa Seamons, who won the Childs Tablet; Ike Carter, who won the Electric Scooter; Afton Wangsgard, who won a big Mickey Mouse; Saigelyn Cox, who won the Hover Board; Rhett Coleman who won a bike; Emma Spencer, who won the LOL Doll House; Ridge Wise, who won a TV; Audrey Moss, who won a TV; Taggart Smith, who won a Bike; Austin Wangsgard, who won a big Mickey Mouse; and Luke Allen, who won a Bike.
In addition to the grand prize, around two hundred other presents were given out this year. In order to make the event somewhat faster and more evenly distributed this year, the names of all of those who entered the coloring pictures were placed on spreadsheets in different age groups (0-4, 5-8, 9-12) and then randomized. Names were drawn ten at a time for each group from the randomized lists, and kids had their choice of presents from the appropriate table. Presents included RC cars, dolls, action figures, books, art supplies, and a range of other toys. The energy was constant, as each group of names led the crowd of kids to a different table to wait on the winners and see what they would select.
Before the event officially started, the tables were carefully examined by those in attendance, scoping out what they would pick if their names came up early. In the process of carefully examining the offerings, Brianna Williams noted, “I know the main things I want, but I like a lot of the things.” While probably not everyone got exactly what they wanted, everyone had a chance to get something, and the event ran smoothly and relatively quickly. While the crowds of kids were certainly eager, everyone was polite and good-natured as the event wore on.
During the down time, craft tables provided ornament kits for anyone who wanted to make Christmas ornaments, ranging from standard sparkly ball ornaments with faces, the reindeers, elves, dinosaurs and many others.
As the event wound down, many volunteers from the crowd helped to take down the tables and chairs and begin the process of cleaning the Event Center to make it ready for the next events. The Enterprise hopes to continue to expand and improve the event in the future, as it has been a longstanding highlight of the holiday season for kids and parents alike. (Though mostly kids, if we’re being honest!).
The Enterprise would like to extend our thanks to the sponsoring merchants: NAPA/Hess Truck Auto Ag, Oneida Pioneer Museum (take to The Idaho Enterprise), Nell J. Redfield Memorial Hospital, Thomas Market, Malad Drive In, Hess Lumber, KC Oil, KJ’s Super Store, Allen Drug and Variety, Bamma Wamma’s Pop, Mountain States Insurance, Thomas Electric and Furniture, ATC Communications, J Peak Propane, Tooke & Associates (take to Hess Lumber), MPI Water Solutions (take to Malad Drive In), Canyon View Cares Vet Hospital, Tiny Tots Daycare and Preschool, Malad City, Northern Title Company, Sinclair Central Service, Idaho Real Estate Group, Oneida Family Dental, Family Dollar, Farm Bureau Insurance, Edith’s Collective, Ireland Bank, Boot Lane Vintage, the Dude Ranch, Eric Crowther, Pepsi, Swire Coca-Cola, and all those who volunteered and participated in the event!