The Haines Volunteer Fire Department had their annual Christmas party at the Haines School on Monday. The celebration included recognizing Tim Holmes’ completion of his degree in Science in Paramedicine through the University of Alaska Anchorage. “I had to go to Texas for two and a half months to complete my 480 hours of internship, because Alaska doesn’t have the option to complete my course,” said Tim. Fire Chief Al Giddings recently completed his Firefighter 1 in Juneau. The two celebrated with cakes handmade by Corrie Stickler.

Holly Davis’s preschool gymnastics class opened at the annual Holly Jolly Follies last Sunday. Preschoolers aged 2 to 5 years performed gymnastics stunts and tumbling to the tune Let It Snow. Performers included Bella Long, Hazel Shweinefus, Alexia Arnold, Onyx Marquardt, Eden Del Prete, Lillee Mae Grant, Annabelle Beckish and Loralai DeWitt. The class was dressed as polar bears and the show started with them coming out of an igloo which was painted by Kelleen Adams. Big helpers on the stage were Natalie Grant, Makayla Henry and Meg Davis who helped ensure the girls hit their mark. “They really did a great job,” Davis said after the show.

The second annual Deck the Dock was judged last Sunday by Dacotah Smith and her partner Travis Russell. The F/V Inseine who is captained by Jake Bell and Macky Cassidy took the top prize which included $250 cash along with over $200 in donations from local businesses. Brent and Jess Crowe on the tender Pavlov took second place and in third place was the F/V Chilkat owned by Norm Hughes but decorated by John Hagen who was watching his boat while Hughes was on vacation. “We really liked the fish and the Santa who looked like it was driving the boat on the F/V Inseine,” said Smith. All are encouraged to drive by or walk the dock to check out the festive lights.

The Annual Chamber of Commerce Holiday Parade was well attended last weekend. “It was a very popular and festive event and our participants in the parade did a great job,” said Chamber Director Tracey Harmon. Onlookers were treated to Santa and his elves on a fire truck. The chamber’s float promoted Hot Havana Nights coming in February for the chamber banquet. The parade ended with the traditional snow dragon blowing smoke and winding its way down main street. “We also had a fireworks display that was supposed to be for the Fourth of July. We couldn’t have it this Summer because of the burn ban and it was almost a 20-minute show. We are grateful to Phillip Wilde and his crew that put on the spectacle. My goal is to have fireworks twice a year now, one after the parade and one for the fourth,” Harmon said.

The community education class hosted an Indian Culinary Cuisine Class with chef Travis Kukull. About 15 people showed up to learn and help make a variety of dishes. Kukull divided the teams into two separate groups. One group made curry Laksa paste and the other Malawai and Blackened curry powder. The curry concoctions were then used to make Chili Crab Curry and other dishes, including one with homemade ramen noodles.

Families were treated to a wonderful K-4 Holiday Concert at the Chilkat Center. Elementary music teacher Jennifer Johnson put on an entertaining show for all ages. Counselor Kristen Brumfield was the master of ceremonies as she took on the role of Mrs. Claus. Holly Davis’s elementary gymnastics class performed a stunts and tumbling routine and displayed their musical talents with a ukulele ensemble in front of the grade four class.

On Saturday Dec. 14, the Redneck Robo Hobos of Haines competed virtually in the FIRST Lego League Juneau Robot Jamboree with the theme “City Shaper,” related to architecture and city planning. They placed fifth in the Robot Game. Veteran Robo Hobos Nate White, Garrison Del Prete, Maddox Rogers, Brody Ferrin, Jacob Long, Madi Hart (formerly on a Gustavus team), and rookies Rowan Huff, Caedmon Del Prete, Winter Cheney, and Corbin Wright made up this year’s team. They practiced three times a week for the past few months to assemble the Lego mission models for this year’s game. They used Mindstorms coding blocks to create programs to carry out the missions autonomously with a controller to create a project presentation. Their project focused on their concern for the disorganization and hazards posed by the current traffic flow at the elementary school drop-off zone. As part of the development of their solution, they interviewed users, exchanged ideas with residents and school staff, and spoke with one of the architects who designed the driveway. Patty Brown coached the team.