These kids, many of them from the performance group Sunshine Generation, are listening to Christmas carols at the Hamilton Christmas Tree Lighting last Friday evening.

The crowd was one of the largest in recent history and many enjoyed cooking up s'mores at the downtown burn barrels. The Christmas Stroll was topped off with Santa making a visit and listening to kids' wishes. The events were sponsored by the Hamilton Downtown Association.

First Friday events will keep the stores open late this next Friday in Hamilton and Stevensville.

Stevensville will have their Montana Country Christmas celebration starting at 5:30 p.m., with tree lighting at 6:30 p.m. and a Parade of lights from Veterans Park to Third and Main, where Santa will be making a visit. There will also be a live nativity scene. Horse and wagon rides will happen Friday night and Saturday, along with Saturday's Booster Club Bazaar at Stevensville High School gym.

Darby will take over on Saturday, December 7, highlighted by a Christmas Parade at about 10 a.m. Christmas bazaars and craft shows are planned at the Darby Community Clubhouse, St Philips Benizi Church and the Sula Community Clubhouse. Christmas Tree lighting will be in front of the Darby Library at 6:30 p.m., followed by carols at the clubhouse at 7 p.m.

Small towns rule!