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Schweitzer opens Friday! With more than two feet of snow, and lots more snow predicted to fall in the 7-day forecast, Schweitzer Mountain Resort opens for the season this Friday, Dec. 2. Excitement couldn't be bigger for the awesome season to come. The mountain boasts 2,900 acres and 92 runs, just 11 miles from downtown Sandpoint. With 2,400 vertical feet, there are nine lifts serving two open bowls, treed glades and three terrain parks. Plus, the new Sky House lodge at the summit opens Dec. 16 -- which includes a restaurant and full-service bar. Get all details at Schweitzer.com.

Here's what's happening in December!

Christmas Trees and Sleigh Rides. Gather the family together, bundle up and enjoy an outing at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch. Load up on a horse-drawn sleigh and enjoy a scenic ride to the tree lot; pick out a locally grown tree, then ride the sleigh back to the lodge to enjoy fresh popcorn, hot chocolate, hot tea and coffee. More details at WesternPleasureRanch.com. Reservations required by calling 208-263-9066.

1 Festival of Trees Family Night
. Kinderhaven's Festival of Trees Family Night is open to the community, 4 p.m.  until 6 p.m. in the Bonner County Fairgrounds. View beautifully decorated trees, enjoy cocoa and cookies, plus a visit with Santa! Free admission. For luncheon and gala tickets, call Jacinda at 208-610-2208.

1 The Chris Robinson Brotherhood. The Hive, 207 N. First Ave., has been waiting a long time for Chris to bring the Brotherhood to Sandpoint, and the patience has paid off. In support of their new album, "Any Way You Love, We Know How You Feel," The Brotherhood will swing through Sandpoint spreading their love - and WE know how they feel - and it's GOOD! Presented by KPND and Low Country Boil Productions; doors open at 8 p.m. and the show starts at 9 p.m. General admission tickets are $20 in advance at LiveFromTheHive.com, and $25 at the door. Also check out VIP tickets! Ages 21 and older.

2 Schweitzer Mountain Resort Opening Day. Schweitzer opens for the season. See Hot Picks, above.

2 IPA Live Music. Idaho Pour Authority, 203 Cedar St., hosts live music with Baregrass from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m.

2 Winery Music. The Pend d'Oreille Winery, 301 Cedar St., hosts live music from 5:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. with The Powell Brothers. They play a variety of originals on homemade, electric string instruments that they build themselves. POWine.com.

2 First Fridays Live Music with Devon Wade. MickDuff's Beer Hall, 220 Cedar St., hosts First Fridays Live Music with Devon Wade from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. Devon is an independent country music artist from Sandpoint with a strong love for what country music has always been - songs about real life. Come out and hear his fun boot-tapping tunes! Free and open to the public. Non-smoking, fun and games environment. 208-209-6700

2 Backcountry Film Festival. SOLE (Selkirk Outdoor Leadership and Education) holds their annual Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.) in the Panida Theater, 300 N. First Ave. This community favorite event aims to inspire winter adventurers to seek the snow less traveled, while raising critical funds and bringing awareness to SOLE's winter programs for our schools and local youth. With a series of award-winning and juried films (all which celebrate the human-powered experience), a great holiday silent auction with gifts from vendors, raffle prizes, brews, and special surprises -- this is a family-fun event that's worth supporting! Proceeds support SOLE's SnowSchool Experience Program at Schweitzer. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door, or purchase a $20 donation ticket which includes five raffle tickets! SoleExperiences.org. 928-351-SOLE

3 Breakfast with Santa. Enjoy breakfast with Santa, tell him your last minute-holiday wishes, and snap that all important holiday photo during the Breakfast with Santa event at Sandpoint Community Hall, 204 S. First Ave. Breakfast includes pancakes, scrambled eggs, ham, orange juice, coffee, and hot cocoa. Limited tickets will be available for each seating at 8 a.m., 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. Cost is $10 for adults, $5 for kids with all proceeds going to the Sandpoint Teen Center! Purchase tickets at the Teen Center during operating hours or at Washington Federal Bank, 405 N. Second Ave. A huge thanks to the Lakeside Lodge 42 AF&AM Masons for making this happen!

3 Cedar Street Bridge Public Market. The Cedar Street Bridge Public Market. 334 N. First Ave., is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Come enjoy indoor shopping on the bridge spanning Sand Creek. Free and open to the public.

3 Sandpoint Waldorf School Christmas Faire. The 25th Annual Christmas Faire and Children's Festival takes place from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Sandpoint Waldorf School, 2007 Sandpoint West Dr. Enjoy a Christmas Crystal Cave, plus a craft room, kids-only store, puppet shows, food, plus an arts and crafts fair. Plus, "Professor Hooey" (aka The Honeyman) will be in attendance, celebrating the 40-year mark from his original start at the Sandpoint Christmas Fair. Free admission; open to the public. 208-265-2683

3 First Free Saturday: Crafting, Cocoa and Cookies at the Museum. Enjoy sweet holiday treats, supplies to craft ornaments, silly headbands and holiday cards, plus great deals on gifts during the First Free Saturday event from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Bonner County History Museum, 611 S. Ella Ave. Admission will be free, generously sponsored by Jack and Colleen Filipowski and Dave and Mary Daugharty, as well as U.S. Bank. Come check out the museum's exciting new exhibits! BonnerCountyHistory.org.

3 Fill the UPS Truck. UPS hosts their 5th annual Fill the Truck event from noon to 4 p.m. in the Yoke's parking lot, 212 Bonner Mall Way in Ponderay. Local UPS employees will be accepting donations - new, unwrapped toys and cash - for Toys for Tots and the Bonner Community Food Bank. Look for the big brown truck, and help Bonner County neighbors in need!

3 Pop-Up Christmas Arts & Crafts Sale. Pend Oreille Arts Council hosts a Pop-Up Christmas Arts & Crafts Sale from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. in the Columbia Bank Community Plaza, located at the corner of Third and Oak across from Jeff Jones Town Square. Shop for everything you can imagine for that hard-to-buy-for friend or relative: greeting cards, ornaments, metal sculptures, framed photographs, forest trolls, original paintings. From yard art to wall art you'll find unique gifts that will thrill the recipient -- particularly if it's you! Free admission and open to the public. ArtInSandpoint.org.

3 Artworks Gallery Holiday Reception Open House. ArtWorks Gallery, 214 N. First Ave., hosts a Holiday Reception Open House from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. This annual event features good food and wine, great conversation, and holiday festivities. It's also the only time of the year that all artwork in the gallery by member artisans is on sale! Support local artisans, meet them in person, and receive 10 percent off on all purchases. Free admission. SandpointArtWorks.com. 208-263-2642

3 IPA Live Music. Idaho Pour Authority, 203 Cedar St., hosts live music with Justin Lantrip from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.

3 Christmas Piano Concert with Del Parkinson. Hope's Memorial Community Center, 415 Wellington Pl., hosts a Christmas Piano Concert at 6 p.m. with Del Parkinson, professor of piano at Boise State University who holds a Doctorate of Music from Indiana University and a post-graduate diploma from the Julliard School. Each piece will include commentary and a time for open discussion after the performance. Families encouraged and welcomed to attend; afterwards, enjoy Christmas cookies and beverages.

3 Winter Showcase Dance Recital. Allegro Dance Studio shows off their steps with a Winter Showcase, held at 6:30 p.m. in the Panida Theater, 300 N. First Ave. Come warm up with dancers as they show off their hot new steps! Admission is $12 adults, $8 ages 12 and under. Buy tickets in advance at Eve's Leaves or Panida.org.

3 Holiday Ball. Semi-formal ballroom dance from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. in Sandpoint Community Hall, 204 S. First Ave., includes a two-step dance lesson by local instructor Diane Peters, refreshments and door prizes. Cost is $9 adults, $5 teens. Please bring an appetizer to share, and a donation of a non-perishable food item for the Bonner Community Food Bank. Sponsored by the Sandpoint chapter of USA Dance. 208-699-0421

4 Global Fat Bike Day +1. In its 5th year, Global Fat Bike Day is just like it sounds, a day to celebrate and ride fat bikes. Sponsored by Greasy Fingers Bikes N Repair and Schweitzer Mountain Resort, enjoy free Surly and Salsa fat bike demos from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Schweitzer roundabout (across from the fire station). There will be several sizes (sorry, no kids), and a short course set up on the groomed service road leaving from the roundabout. First come, first served! Group fat bike rides leave at 1:30 p.m. Maps will be provided. Need a fat bike for the group ride? Call Greasy Fingers and reserve a rental for $20 (available at 1:30 p.m. after the demos). 208-255-4496

4 Hospice Tree of Memorial Light Ceremony. The Bonner General Health Community Hospice Tree of Memorial Light Ceremony is held at 4 p.m. in three locations: the Free Methodist Church at 6957 Labross Hill St., Bonners Ferry, the Priest River Library at 219 Main St. in Priest River, and the BGH Health Services Building at 423 N. Third Ave. This is a community tradition where people gather and honor their loved ones. For more information and to have your loved one's name read at the ceremony, contact Lissa at 208-265-1185.

-- Here's what's coming up this week through Sunday, Dec. 11 --

5-8 Parade of Trees. Bonner General Health Volunteer Council Members sponsor a weeklong Parade of Trees in the BGH classrooms (next to the Gift Shop) at 520 N. Third Ave. Doors are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, Dec. 5 through Dec. 8. View 25 beautifully decorated Christmas trees, which will be on display for bidding all week. Final bids end at 4 p.m. Dec. 8. All are welcome to enjoy viewing the trees, and support our local hospital volunteers. Proceeds go toward education for BGH Volunteer Council Members and BGH employees. Free admission. 208-304-6374

6 Seniors Day. The Bonner Mall in Ponderay hosts Senior Day on the first Tuesday of each month from 9 a.m. until noon. Walk the mall, listen to speakers, learn health tips, enter drawings, play bingo and enjoy free refreshments. Sponsored by Bonner Mall merchants and Life Care Aging Better In Home Care. 208-263-4272

6 Art On The Go. Idaho Pour Authority, 203 Cedar St., hosts Art On The Go With Jules from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. Join Julie Ellis for a few hours creating art from recycled materials.

6 BCRW Silver, Gold and Green. Bonner County Republican Women, Inc. invites the community to attend the Silver, Gold and Green event featuring Rick Green of WallBuilders. This festive event begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Ponderay Event Center, 401 Bonner Mall Way. Green is a former Texas state representative who will be speaking on liberty and hope. Wine, sparkling cider, cheese, heavy hors d'oeuvres and chocolates will be served. A silent auction with fabulous items will be held to benefit BWCRInc.'s special programs. Tickets are $25 each or $40 per couple at Army Surplus, or contact stuartchristianacademy@yahoo.com. 208-659-3811

6 First Tuesday at Eichardt's. Monthly music event with featured guest at 7 p.m. in Eichardt's Pub, 212 Cedar St. 208-263-4005

7 ICL Holiday Party. Ring in the holiday season at the Idaho Conservation League's annual holiday party, held from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Idaho Pour Authority, 203 Cedar St. Enjoy a festive evening filled with craft beer and wine, complimentary appetizers, a raffle, and updates on conservation in Idaho. Check out ICL merchandise for everyone on your holiday list! Sponsored by the Idaho Conservation League and the Idaho Pour Authority. Free and open to the public. IdahoConservation.org. 208-265-9565

7 Magic Wednesday. Jalapeno's Mexican Restaurant, 314 N. Second Ave., hosts Magic Wednesdays with resident magician Star Alexander from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Star amazes guests at the dinner table and in the bar with up-close, interactive magical entertainment for all ages! * Takes place every Wednesday.

8 Toast the Trail. Join the Friends of the Pend d'Oreille Bay Trail to "Toast the Trail" at their annual year-end party, held from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Pend d'Oreille Winery, 301 Cedar St. Come on out with fellow trail lovers to support your community's stunning waterfront trail. Enjoy great local beer and wine, bid on awesome silent auction items, and take care of some holiday shopping. Hear the latest updates on the trail and learn what lies ahead for one of Sandpoint's most treasured trails. Free and open to the public. POBTrail.org. 208-290-2828

8 Elf. The Panida Theater, 300 N. First Ave., hosts a screening at 6:30 p.m. of the holiday film Elf starring Will Ferrell. Admission is just $5! See more details on the Sandpoint Movies Page.

9 IPA Live Music. Idaho Pour Authority, 203 Cedar St., hosts live music with Marty Perron and Doug Bond from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.

9, 11 The Messiah. An all-volunteer musical presentation of The Messiah, performed by the Pend Oreille Chorale and Orchestra, will be held in St. Joseph's Catholic Church, 601 Lincoln. This oratorio is technically difficult for the orchestra and chorale, and features eleven soloists. Performances are at 7 p.m. Dec. 9, and also at 3 p.m. Dec. 11. Free and open to the public. 208-263-0199.

9 Women's Shopping Night. Enjoy late-night shopping and complimentary gift wrapping during Women's Shopping Night, held in downtown Sandpoint.

9 Sandpoint Contra Dance. All are invited to attend a community dance in the New England tradition - a Contra Dance - starting at 7 p.m. in Sandpoint Community Hall, 204 S. First Ave. All dances are taught and called with live music. Beginners and singles are welcome (new dancers are encouraged to arrive in time for the beginning to start with the basics). $5 donation; bring clean shoes and a water bottle. Held on the second Friday of every month. Sponsored by Lost Horse Press and Sandpoint Parks and Recreation. 208-263-6751

10 Native Heritage Film Series: What Was Ours. The Sandpoint Library, 1407 Cedar St., hosts free screenings of the film What Was Ours, at 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. as part of the Native Heritage Film Series. This advance screening of Vision Maker Media's award-winning documentary film tells a story of hope and promise. A discussion led by Jane Fritz, director of The Idaho Mythweaver. follows each film. The series is a partnership of The Idaho Mythweaver and East Bonner County Library District. eBonnerLibrary.org.

10 IPA Live Music. Idaho Pour Authority, 203 Cedar St., hosts live music with Truck Mills from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m.

10 Beer Hall Live Music. Brian Jacobs and Chris Lynch team up for an exciting night of live music from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. at MickDuff's Beer Hall, 220 Cedar St. They are a fun duo with a great sound that will have you on the dance floor. Come by to hear them, grab some pints, play some games and enjoy the best place to be every second Saturday of the month! Free and open to the public. Non-smoking, fun & games environment. 208-209-6700

11 High Tea Fundraiser. The Sandpoint Area Senior Center, 820 Main St., hosts a High Tea Fundraiser to benefit the DayBreak Center. Tickets are $25; tea will be held in the dining room at 2:30 p.m. 208-263-6860

-- Here's what's coming up this week through Sunday, Dec. 18 --

12 Eugene Ballet's The Nutcracker. Experience the holiday spirit and a little magic with loved ones of all ages at The Nutcracker, held at 7 p.m. in the Panida Theater, 300 N. First Ave., as part of the Pend Oreille Arts Council's Performance Series. The Eugene Ballet will hold the audience star-struck, as the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier fly you away to the Snow Kingdom and the Land of the Sweets, but not before battling the not-so-scary Mouse King and his Pirate Henchmice. Tickets are $30 general admission, $25 POAC members, and $12 youth, available in the POAC office, 302 N. First Ave., Eve's Leaves, Eichardt's Pub, Winter Ridge, and online at ArtInSandpoint.org and Panida.org. Performance is ADA accessible; doors open 30 minutes prior to the show. 208-263-6139

13 Open Mic Night. MickDuff's Beer Hall, 220 Cedar St., hosts Open Mic Night from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. Hosted by Doug Bond, all local artists over 21 years of age are welcome to attend this fun and open night of playing at the Beer Hall! Come out for a positive environment to share your passion or just come to take it all in! Free and open to the public. Non-smoking, fun & games environment. * Held on the second Tuesday of every month.

14 Sandpoint Christmas Bird Count. All are welcome to join in the 114th Audubon Christmas Bird Count! The Sandpoint count begins by meeting at 6 a.m. at 5th Avenue Restaurant prior to starting to assign groups and plan the day. The group will be counting birds all day -- getting in and out of vehicles and some walking is involved, so dress accordingly and bring lunch. The group will reconvene to tally the count and share stories around 4 p.m. There is no charge, but please contact Rich Del Carlo to confirm at 208-290-1405.

15 MCS Youth Orchestra and Choir Holiday Concert. Watch the talented Music Conservatory of Sandpoint Youth Orchestras and Choirs showcase their skills in a holiday performance starting at 5 p.m. in the First Lutheran Church on Olive Street. Also performing will be the LPOHS Choir. A cookie and cider reception will follow. Donations are taken at the door, but no ticket purchase is required.

16 Third Fridays Live Music with Devon Wade. Sandpoint's Devon Wade performs at MickDuff's Beer Hall, 220 Cedar St., for the Third Friday event from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m! Devon is an independent country music artist with a strong love for what country music has always been - songs about real life. Come out and hear his fun, boot-tapping originals and classic covers! Free and open to the public; ages 21+ only. Non-smoking, fun & games environment. MickDuffs.com.

16 MarchFourth. MarchFourth is no stranger to Sandpoint, but things might get a little stranger when they make their first visit to The Hive, 207 N. First Ave. Combining funk, rock, jazz, Afro-beat, Gypsy brass, and Big Band, with a visual kaleidoscope of stilt walkers, acrobats, and Vaudeville-style performers, MarchFourth whips the crowd into a frenzy with high-energy compositions, colorful costumes, hilarious shenanigans, and infectious jubilation. Doors open at 7 p.m., show begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door; ages 21 and older. Presented by Low Country Boil Productions. LiveFromTheHive.com

16-18, 22-23 'Christmas Carole' - The Musical. The Panida presents Dickens' age old story with a twist and a kick! Musical theater performances at 8 p.m. Dec. 16-17, 22-23; 3:30 p.m. matinee Dec. 18. Panida.org.

18 Amahl and the Night Visitor. All are welcome to enjoy the Music Conservatory of Sandpoint's first children's opera production, Amahl and the Night Visitor, performed by the MCS's Young Classical Singers Troupe. Watch the story of a poor shepherd boy's encounter with three kings. This story has captured audiences around the world ever since its premiere in 1951. Then join a charming mix of song, dance, and delightful choruses. Matinee will be performed at 2 p.m., followed by an evening show at 5 p.m. in the First Lutheran Church on Olive Street.

18 StoryTelling Company Christmas Show. The StoryTelling Company's first show in two years will be held in Di Luna's Cafe, 207 Cedar St. Enjoy Christmas stories (true and not-so-true) and music with Sandy Compton and John Hastings during this family-friendly event. Dinner is served at 5 p.m., and the show begins at 6 p.m. Cost for the show is $12 (plus dinner and beverages). For reservations, call 208-263-0846 or e-mail storytellingcompany@gmail.com.

-- Here's what's coming up this week through Sunday, Dec. 25 --

21 Five Minutes of Fame. Writers, musicians, listeners ... all are welcome to the Five Minutes of Fame open mic at 6:30 p.m., held at Cafe Bodega inside Foster's Crossing, 504 Oak St. The open mic takes place on the third Wednesday of every month; this month's holiday party includes a dessert potluck, so please bring a dessert to share after the readings! 208-263-5911

23 Men's Shopping Night. Enjoy late-night shopping and complimentary gift wrapping during Men's Shopping Night, held in downtown Sandpoint.

23-24 Santa's Schweitzer Visit. Santa hits the slopes at Schweitzer Mountain Resort Dec. 23 and 24, handing out treats on the slopes. Enjoy a parade down the slopes on Dec. 24, followed by a stop in the Selkirk Lodge with Mrs. Claus to hear last-minute wishes. Schweitzer.com. 208-255-3081

25 Merry Christmas!

31 New Year's Eve. Schweitzer hosts festive parties Dec. 31 to usher in the new year at Taps and other locations at the resort. Tickets go on sale in the Activity Center on Dec. 1. Schweitzer.com. 208-255-3081

31 3rd Annual Hive New Year's Eve Ball. It's gonna get funky and loud ... but that's OK when you're ringing in 2017! The 3rd Annual Hive New Year's Eve Ball is a party for the ages, featuring the Pimps of Joytime and a New Year's Eve countdown with confetti and a balloon drop. Not only is this the Inland Northwest's biggest and best New Year's Eve celebration, a portion of each ticket benefits our local non-profit Angels Over Sandpoint! Ages 21 and older only. Ticket info at LiveFromTheHive.com.

Here is what's coming up in January!

6-27 Junior Race Series. Schweitzer Mountain Resort hosts Friday night races in January on NASTAR. Schweitzer.com. 208-255-3081.

7 Winter Trails Day. Enjoy free access to Schweitzer Mountain Resort's Nordic trails plus cross-country and skate ski lessons and equipment rentals. Schweitzer.com. 208-255-3081

13-14 An Evening with Viggo Mortensen. Enjoy a special screening event, An Evening with Viggo Mortensen,  featuring the highly acclaimed film "Captain Fantastic" with an introduction and question-and-answer session with the movie's star, Viggo Mortensen. The event takes place in the Panida Theater, 300 N. First Ave., and is presented by KRFY Community Radio. Panida.org.

14 Northern Lights at Schweitzer. Fireworks and a torchlight parade light up the evening over Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Weekend. Festivities wrap up with a party featuring live music in Taps. Schweitzer.com. 208-255-3081

19-21 Banff Mountain Film Festival. Mountain films screen at the Panida Theater, 300 N. First Ave., over three nights. Benefits the Satipo Kids Project and NIMSEF. Panida.org. 208-661-3857

Here is what's coming up in February 2017!

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