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Darby shiver fest

Prepare to shiver: Inaugural event and parade to kick off winter season in Darby

Darby is a lot more than just a hibernating mountain village in the winter, according to Annie Edwards. She’s one of the main organizers of the upcoming inaugural Darby ShiverFest and the second annual Darby Christmas Parade, both of which kick off this Saturday, Dec. 7.

“Darby is going through a renaissance,” Edwards said. “This is going to be an event that takes on a life of its own. There are a whole bunch of events that people in Darby never thought about. We’re just thrilled.”

The parade will kick off at 10 a.m. Saturday on Main Street, and people can still show up to be in the parade before the event. Edwards just chuckles when people ask her if there is a sign-up sheet or registration fees.

“We’re getting bigger but we’re not that big yet,” she said.

Edwards said she heard from numerous people last year that it was the best parade Darby had ever seen.

“Bring your lawn chairs and dress warm,” she said. “Don’t forget your cameras. And we ask that you park on side streets and leave Main Street clear of vehicles so there are plenty of places to view the parade. Look for the warming stations for cold hands and food vendors in the park selling hot beverages. And there will be free wagon rides provided by Theresa Manzella.”

Edwards said that after shivering around a burning barrel last winter at a community event, she and other volunteers decided to organize the Darby ShiverFest this year as a way to bring the community together during the dark months of deep winter. The whole thing consists of several consecutive weekends filled with free events, culminating with the seventh annual Darby Dog Derby and Dog Sled Race on Jan. 19 at Lost Trail Pass. In between, there will be things to do every weekend in town, ranging from musical performances to cider tastings.

“There is something for the whole family to do in Darby over the Christmas holidays,” Edwards said. “We are incubating small business in Darby. There a lot of movers and shakers in this town, and everyone I’ve talked to said they are so happy because these events bring foot traffic into shops in town. We are building each year and growing in excitement.”

Darby ShiverFest schedule of events

Saturday, Dec. 7

9 a.m. – 4 p.m.:

• Christmas Craft Fair at the Darby Community Clubhouse. Call Evelyn Savochka (406-531-0327) for information on being a vendor.

• Sula Christmas Bazaar and Auction at 405 Eastfork Road at the Sula Community Clubhouse. Call Tammy Reed (406-821-0187) for more information.

9 a.m. – 3 p.m.:

• Christmas Bazaar at St. Philips Benizi Church on West Mills Street. Call Ada Almgren (406-821-4383) for info.

10 a.m. – 11 a.m.:

•Darby Annual Christmas Parade Down Main Street. Call Annie Edwards (406-370-1309) for information or to have your group or business participate in the parade.

• Pictures with Santa inside Darby Clubhouse following parade and pictures with Young Guns Wild West Fun Park Western Entertainment inside Darby Clubhouse following parade. Call Hilary McDowell (406-363-8662) for more information.

5 p.m. – 6 p.m.:

• Live Nativity at the Veterans Memorial south of town with parking in and around Loggers Day arena. Please bring a canned food item to benefit the Darby Bread Box food closet. Call Annie Edwards(406-370-1309) or Pastor Dan Wagenmann (406-821-3398).

Sunday, Dec. 8

7 p.m.:

Carols at the Darby Community Clubhouse. Call Ruth Decker (406-369-1281) for more info. There will be cookies and coffee after the singing. Please help by bringing cookies to share.

Friday, Dec. 13

7 p.m.:

• South Valley Christmas Choir at Conner Wesleyan Church, 4674 U.S. Highway 93 South of Darby. Five churches in Darby participate in the musical and drama. Cookies and coffee after the show. Call Pastor Dwight Peterson (406-821-3570).

Saturday, Dec. 14:

11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.:

• Cider Works is presenting a Hard Cider Tasting at 261 Rye Creek Road. Call Lee McAlpine (406-360-5078) or visit for more info.

3 p.m.:

•South Valley Christmas Choir at Conner Wesleyan Church, 4674 U.S. Highway 93 South of Darby. Five churches in Darby participate in the musical and drama. Cookies and coffee after the show. Call Pastor Dwight Peterson(406-821-3570).

Sunday, Dec. 15

10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.:

• Linda Lanier in concert at First Baptist Church of Darby at 107 West Missoula Ave.

Pastor Ron Fannin(406-821-3234) .

More events will be listed in the Ravalli Republic in January.

Reach reporter David Erickson at 363-3300 or