North Idaho

Lake City putting final touches on Christmas kickoff

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - It's an Inland Northwest holiday tradition and we're just three days away from the kickoff to Christmas at the Coeur d'Alene Resort.

In downtown Coeur d'Alene they're adding the final touches up and down Sherman Avenue, getting ready for the holiday light show in the Lake City. Getting a parade, fireworks show and more than a million lights ready is no easy feat.

The cold weather, and a little rain, isn't getting in the way of the growing holiday spirit as Friday approaches.

Lake City holiday lights preps

"It's something we all look forward too," Dianne Dahlke at the Velvet Hanger said.

The lights and crowds that will greet the thousands of people will warm up any cold, wet visitor.

"We'll start off with the carolers singing a little bit," Bill Reagan with Hagadone Resorts said. "We'll shoot off some fireworks and turn about a million and half lights."

That's a million and a half lights not including everything along Sherman Avenue. Pair that with the annual parade and performances and how can anyone not be in the holiday mood.

The festivities will attract up to 45,000 people to Coeur d'Alene Friday, which means more people are in town, visiting, which also means downtown shops are ready for all those additional customers. Over at the Velvet Hanger they've already got all their gift items on display.

"This is when everyone is going to be out on the street, they're going to be wandering around with family," Dianne Dahlke said. She's expecting holiday sales to jump up to 50-percent compared to the last two months.

Up the street at Christmas By The Lake, every day is Christmas.

"A lot of people come in here to get in the spirit 'cause it's Christmas in here," Mary Peak of Christmas By The Lake said.

The holiday season not only spreads seasonal joy but also some seasonal revenue.

"This is probably close to 35 to 40-percent of total year's business," Peak said.

Now everyone is waiting for the next three days for the Lake City to light up and the holiday season to begin.