The lights are on in Riddle. Christmas lights, that is. Thank you, Riddle Fire Department. Our town is beautifully decorated. If you get a chance to visit, make sure to hit all the streets, as they are quite festive. The lights were a brilliant backdrop for the Timber Truckers Light Parade, which is successfully behind us, closing out another year of fun and festivities in Riddle. Special thanks for the donations of our beautiful downtown trees, graciously donated by Kathie Cameron, Ray Dodson and Roseburg Forest Products. Additionally, thanks to the hardworking volunteers who donated countless hours getting the trees delivered, set up and decorated.

Our new bakery, Sweet Confections, offered a Gingerbread decorating opportunity to the children of the community on Dec. 9, which was much appreciated and well attended. It was a great compliment to the annual chili feed offered up by the First Baptist Church. Our mayor kicked off the festivities with the 2nd annual tree lighting, followed by Christmas songs by Anne-Marie. With the success of this year’s festivities fresh in our minds, we have already started planning to revive the Ole Towne Country Christmas next year. This will coincide with the 25th annual Timber Truckers Light Parade. Mark your calendars for the second Saturday in December 2018.

With the holiday season mostly behind us, we look toward the new year with much anticipation. The closing out of the 4th street projects brings new streets, sidewalks and flashing lights to the busy area around the elementary school. Our water tanks are in repair mode and new floors will soon be under construction at the Community Center along with some upgrades to the city hall area. Summer will bring new surfaces to the basketball court at the park. Many thanks to great grant writing efforts of our city employees.

Shortly after the new year, we will welcome a new business to town. Cheer Stuff will be located at 115 E Street. Cheer Stuff is a leader in custom cheer bows in the Pacific Northwest, they are makers of custom bows as well as custom apparel like T-shirts, jackets, hoodies and more. We are so fortunate to have such a robust business in our fair city. On that note, the chamber is actively seeking businesses to complete our downtown. We still have a few vacant building lots and a building or two. Our goal is to entice a gas station and a grocery store to the downtown area. With two restaurants, a ceramic shop, post office, bank, machine shop and bakery, these are necessary additions to support the six mills we boast. The deli/coffee shop is slated for opening midway through 2018, another anxiously awaited occurrence.

As we bid 2017 adieu, we are excited to begin 2018 with so many opportunities. Before we know it, the Fourth of July celebration will be upon us, so we have lots of work to do. Come visit Riddle and enjoy the show.

Jane Mitchell is the president of the Riddle Area Chamber of Commerce.

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