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Christmas Tyme powers on despite outage
Christmas Tyme in Colusa was a cold, wet and dark affair on Friday.
Vendors, volunteers, and early attendees battled rain and near freezing conditions, and that was before the lights went out.
Just five minutes before Mayor Greg Ponciano gave the opening speech for the event, all the powers went out in Colusa. In fact, the power was out across a large swath of the county, leaving 10,000 customers in the dark for a few hours.
"It's a little dark right now, but we're from Colusa, we're tough, and we'll persevere," Ponciano said, speaking over a sound system powered by a generator. Despite the less-than-favorable conditions, spirits were high on Market Street. Many vendors brought generators and their booths were illuminated by the Christmas lights they had originally strung up for decorative purposes.
"It's good. We're doing well," said Doug Weston who was giving away free nachos at a booth for the Charity Baptist Church. "We have a generator and we're staying warm."
"You could hear us, but you probably couldn't see us," Colusa band teacher Michael Phenicie laughingly said of his group of roaming musicians. "We couldn't see, either."
Using a backup power source, officials also managed to light up the Christmas tree in front of the courthouse, albeit a couple minutes behind schedule.
Christmas Tyme officials were forced to shut the event down early and vendors were told to pack up just after 7:15 p.m.
"It's a safety issue," the event's organizer Marilyn Acree said during the announcement of the various drawing and contest winners.
The entrees in the tractor decorating contest were a prominent source of light in the darkness. Superior Tire's tractor took first place, and the business donated its winnings to the Colusa Veterans of Foreign Wars. The veterans' tractor took third place.
"That was the kickoff for our fundraising for the memorial we have planned for Memorial Park. We got $1,000. That's a great start," Dennis Sanders, post commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2441 in Colusa, said on Saturday.