The tiny community of Bigfork is known as Montana’s Christmas Village. From its volunteer elves gathering to deck the halls in fragrant evergreens and light the historic Swan River Bridge, to the Bigfork Playhouse’s two week run of A Christmas Carol, the little town by the bay is full of holiday cheer!
When the Bigfork Chamber of Commerce announced its first-ever holiday window display contest, local marketing firm Only in Bigfork wasn’t going to let the lack of a storefront stand in their way of participating. They convinced the owner of the former Collage Gallery on Electric Avenue to allow them to light up the otherwise empty building with a special display, meant to include the entire community, while benefiting a very special charity. Inspired by the online art installation PostSecret, that collects anonymous postcard submissions of people’s secrets to post publicly each week, the Only in Bigfork display seeks to collect as many anonymous holiday “wishes” from the community as possible to display in the four windows of the former gallery.
Less about tangible gifts that people hope to find under their tree on Christmas morning, and more about the true spirit of the holiday season, Natalie Paulsen and Amy Dempster, partners in Only in Bigfork, hope to receive a variety of decorated postcards using the prompt: “All I Want for Christmas is…” to display throughout the holiday season.
“It is our hope to receive a wide variety of creative submissions from heartwarming to heartbreaking, and from cute to clever,” said Paulsen. “Whether your wish is for world peace or just a little peaceful moment for yourself, we hope people will feel inspired when they see the anonymous submissions from their neighbors to go out and create a little magic for someone else this holiday season”.
To add a bit more inspiration to submit a postcard, Only in Bigfork has teamed up with PureWest Real Estate in Bigfork and Realtor Jennifer Shelley. For every postcard received, PureWest will donate $1 to local charity Child Bridge, up to $700. Bigfork based Child Bridge finds and equips foster and adoptive families to care for the almost 4,000 children in foster care in the state of Montana, most of whom have a Christmas wish of their own to find a safe, loving and permanent home.
“This is more than just a monetary donation and Child Bridge does more than provide basic needs to children in our community,” said Realtor Jennifer Shelley. “This is about nurturing the heart and soul of a child that feels like they have nobody to love and protect them. Child Bridge creates eternal family relationships”.
Postcard submissions are being accepted now and the window display will debut during Bigfork’s annual Parade of Lights on December 1. A collection box will be on the sidewalk in front of the display throughout the month of December to deposit additional submissions and the installation will be updated as additional postcards are received. Contributions can be a simple wish written on a blank card or an elaborate piece of original artwork to include drawings, collages, photography and more.
Postcards can be mailed to: Only in Bigfork, P.O. Box 2755, Bigfork, MT 59911. More information can be found at onlyinbigfork.com.
If you’re interested in buying or selling property in Bigfork, contact our local office or browse Bigfork real estate online.