Have Yourself a Merry Christmas at These Local Holiday Events

Decorated trees are displayed at the Chimney Rock Golf Course Clubhouse in Wells. The tree festival benefits the Wells Family Resource Center. Photo Courtesy of Wells Family Resource Center

Although the weather may be frigid, warm-hearted residents in remote ranching communities and towns welcome seasonal celebrants to their holiday events. Save the dates for light parades, an ecumenical church walk, Christmas tree festivals, students’ original plays, and candlelight Christmas Eve services at churches.


Christmas celebrants in Carlin launch the holiday season on December 2 with Sugar Plum Square, an evening of events that attract merrymakers from throughout the region.

“It’s just so magical with the lights, the smiles, and the laughter throughout the evening,” says Ellen Meshefski, chairperson of the Carlin Parks and Recreation Board, which organizes the annual event.

“We have both Santa and the Grinch coming. It’s a special reminder to so many of us, too, of our ‘Mr. Christmas,’ Jon Gift, and his community contributions.”

Jon and others help put up light displays in town. An illuminated village on Christmas Hill stays ablaze throughout the month.

The Carlin Light Parade features special appearances from beloved holiday characters. Photo Courtesy of Carlin Parks and Recreation Department

The 19th annual Sugar Plum Square starts with the Carlin Light Parade at 6 p.m. Participants begin lining up at 5:30 p.m. at Scott’s Market. The route ends at the Carlin Open Door Senior Center, where a bake sale to benefit the center is scheduled.

A Mini Christmas Tree and Wreath Festival will raise money for the Carlin Friends of the Library.

“We’ll have photo ops, local entertainment, and a cocoa hut,” Ellen says.

Ellen posts updates on the Sugar Plum Square Facebook page.


Wells hosts multiple events in December:

  • Ecumenical Trek, the annual All Faiths Church Walk, begins at 5 p.m. December 2 at the Elton Pavilion at Wells City Park. Stroll along to several churches, sing hymns and have refreshments.
  • The Parade of Lights is at 6:30 p.m. December 21. It starts at Humboldt Street across from Wells Rural Electric Company and travels along 6th Street. Santa will greet people at the end at Buckaroo Boutique, 573 6th Street.
  • Wells Tree Festival, from noon to 7 p.m., December 4 to 7, displays decorated trees at the Chimney Rock Golf Course Clubhouse. The Wells Family Resource Center, the event organizer, lists an event schedule on the Wells Family Resource Center website and the center’s Facebook page. To raise money for their programs, volunteers from local nonprofit groups provide entertainment, host lunches with takeout food, and sell traditional holiday desserts along with steaming hot chocolate and coffee.
  • Angel Tree is also hosted by the center at the Nevada State Bank. “Help make Christmas wishes come true for the children in Wells,” says center director Valerie Boyer. “Pick an angel to adopt.”
The Christmas Festival in West Wendover includes a Nativity scene. Photo Courtesy of West Wendover Department of Parks and Recreation

West Wendover

The Christmas Festival, a fundraiser for the West Wendover Recreation Center, is scheduled from 5:30 to 8 p.m. December 4, 5 and 6 at the Wendover Community Building. On the last night at 7:30 p.m., a drawing to win gift baskets begins. Residents buy raffle tickets for about 40 baskets.


An original play by students at Mound Valley Elementary School is performed at 6 p.m., December 20, followed by singing and refreshments. “Students are always excited to do it,” says teacher Tracie Zumwalt.

Mound Valley Elementary School students perform an original holiday play annually. Last year’s was “The Polar Express.” Photo Courtesy of Tracie Zumwalt

The students often start with a favorite movie, pick their roles, write a script, and then build their own props.

Ruby Valley

A live Nativity begins at 5 p.m. on December 23 at the white barn just east of the church in Ruby Valley.

Starr Valley

Starr Valley children perform a holiday program at the Progressive Club at 6:30 p.m. December 21. The younger children will present the nativity. Older kids will perform an original play.