Lighting up the December sky |

Lighting up the December sky

By Steve Ranson Nevada News Group

Former Councilman Tewell lights Fallon’s Christmas tree

Strike another item from the bucket list.

Retired Fallon City Councilman John Tewell and his wife Faye and daughter Dotty Krake arrived early before this year’s Christmas tree lighting at the downtown fountain.

This year’s tree lighting was a different experience not only for the Tewell family but also for the community. Because of crowd restrictions placed on events by the governor, the city of Fallon decided to limit the number of people who could assemble at the fountain.

Afterward, though, motorists could pass the brightly lit tree.

Since John and Faye moved to Fallon from Elko 30 years ago, John Tewell said the tree lighting has been a “can’t miss” occasion even when the weather has been nasty with rain, snow or bone-chilling freezing temperatures.

“Since we’ve been here, we been down here taking pictures,” he said, sporting a big smile.

Tewell graduated from Elko High School. He spent eight years on the Elko City Council and worked for the Elko Daily Free Press for 30 years before he retired in 1982. John also worked for Farm Bureau Insurance. He campaigned for Fallon City Council and won the seat in 1993, holding the position for 16 years. For his many years spent on the fire board, the department recognized Tewell by making him an honorary member.

The Tewells said they’re grateful to their second city.

“Fallon has been very good to us since we’ve been here,” he said.

Judy Pratt, a volunteer who assists the city with the tree-lighting ceremony and activities, has known the Tewells for many years.

“I am more than happy you could do this,” she said.

Although the Tewells understand the reasoning behind the smaller crowds and restricted activities such as no craft fairs, they were still sad with the changes.

“We miss the goodies in city hall, he said, referring to the annual open house.

The city, along with Parkside Bible Fellowship, also handed out hot cocoa and cookies on Carson Street behind city hall, and a big fireworks show at the fairgrounds illuminated the clear December sky.

As part of the weekend events, the first responders of Churchill County also had their Holiday Food Competition on Sunday in front of the Fallon Walmart.

During this competition, organizer Beth Riley said people were encouraged to give any food item to the agency of their choice. The agency receiving the most food in weight won.

She said approximately 27,260 pounds of food was weighed. The breakdown showed the agencies and the amount of food collected: Fallon Churchill Volunteer Fire Dept., 9,180 pounds; Fallon Police Dept., 8,080 pounds; Churchill County Sheriff’s Office, 4,120 pounds; Banner Churchill Community Hospital EMS, 2,640 pounds; Churchill County Search & Rescue, 2,260 pounds; and Nevada Highway Patrol, 980 pounds.

The total weight of goods surprised Riley.

“This is a record,” she said. “Pastor John from The Out of Egypt Pantry said this amount of food will last them a year.”