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What better way to walk off those Thanksgiving calories than attending Anaconda’s annual Christmas Stroll tonight?

The yuletide event officially starts with the tree-lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. at the Kennedy Common, Third and Main.

Throughout the evening carolers will entertain strollers with traditional holiday tunes, according to Mary Johnston, director of the Anaconda-Deer Lodge Chamber of Commerce.

And, of course, Johnston noted, there will be a visit from Santa Claus. Hot chocolate and cider will be served, and the drawing for the Anaconda Bucks will also be held.

Music starts at 5:45 p.m., and jolly old St. Nick makes an appearance 6:15. In addition, most Anaconda businesses will be open until 8 p.m.

The town’s lamp posts have been dolled up as well — decked out in new garland, lights, and bows.

Johnston said residents have members of the Anaconda Garden Club and volunteers from the Anaconda Job Corps to thank, all of whom decorated the posts.

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It was not an easy task, as these volunteers decorated lamp posts two blocks on Main Street, and Park Street down to the Kennedy Common.

Money for the new décor came from Anaconda-Deer Lodge Parks & Recreation, as well as from grants.

The tree in the center of the Kennedy Common has new lights, as well. According to Johnston, many of the lights used in previous years have burned out and they are so old that replacement lights were not available.

“It was time for some new lights for the trees,” she said.

Organizing the annual stroll is not a small feat, and much of the work lies solely on Johnston’s shoulders. She was quick to point out, though, that it’s not a one-person job.

“I have a handful of volunteers that help out a lot,” she said.

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