For decades, the beginning of America’s Christmas shopping season (since 1952) has been linked to a term called Black Friday.

But here in Ellensburg it has more of a family-oriented flare called Moments to Remember, centered around things like Plaid Friday, the Streets of Bethlehem and the night when more than 10,000 lights put a Christmas glow to the historic downtown district.

With the turkey from Thanksgiving still warm from the previous day’s activities, the hometown tradition — Moments to Remember — launches full swing into an all-day event Friday, scheduled to attract hundreds to downtown Ellensburg, beginning with the Teddy Bear’s First Christmas play at Fitterrer’s Furniture at 114 W. Fourth Ave. at 1 p.m., performed by Ellensburg Children’s Musical Theater.

Plaid is the flavor of the day and people are encouraged to wear their favorite plaid stuff on a day designated to show off the legendary pattern founded from Scottish heritage. Yep, here in Ellensburg it’s Plaid Friday that kicks off the holiday shopping spree.

The day also includes the Cookie Scavenger Hunt from 2 to 4 p.m., starting at Gallery-One where adventurers pick up the official map and head out to the 10-plus cookie topping locations spread out around downtown. Once completed, they’ll head back to Gallery One to decorate their cookies and enjoy hot cider and cocoa.

There will also be dancing in the State Farm windows at 5 p.m. and the Christmas tree at Safeway will be lit at 6:15 p.m.

For the past 30 years, Ellensburg has been generating Moments to Remember, drawing hundreds to downtown to mark the start of the holiday season with literally the flip of a switch. When darkness falls, the historic downtown buildings will come alive with more than 10,000 Christmas lights outlining their facades.

The night turns even more special with the gathering around the Rotary Pavilion for the Downtown Tree Lighting Ceremony at 7 p.m. The night will be capped off the night with the Street of Bethlehem traveling play along the alley way by Mountain High Sports.


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