Each Tuesday night, they arrive in huddled masses to the Christmas Valley Community Hall, prodded by not only the interior warmth of an indoor activity but also the hot bingo action.
An ongoing twice-monthly highlight in the northern Lake County community since November of 2010, the bingo nights are sponsored and overseen by the Christmas Valley Chamber of Commerce and run by the Tumbleweed Farmers and Crafters Market.
Christmas Valley Chamber secretary/treasurer Debbie Kirkland said the bingo nights are held twice a month from October through March and thanks to coordination with the Christmas Valley Parks and Recreation Department, has found a home in the community hall.
“We originally started with an average of 15 people per night attending,” Kirkland said, “selling 38 cards per night, and average pots of $9.50 per hand and playing 12 games per night. This year, (the average is) 23 people per night, selling 47 cards per night with a high of 64 cards in a night.”
The pots now average $11.25 per hand and the highest pot bringing in $15.50 per hand, and an average night sees 17 games played, Kirkland said.
Proceeds raised fund prizes for the bingo nights as well as varied community events throughout the year, she said.
There’s never a shortage of edibles for those that have a hankering for some snackables, with chili, cheese, nachos, popcorn, nuts, coffee, water and soft drinks available for purchase.
An additional element includes trivia prizes, which average out to six given away per night. Local Pat Huffman has donated a drawing prize for almost every bingo session, Kirkland said, which has ranged from the delectable in the form of a beef roast to the luxuriously leisure items; a 20-inch flat screen television with built-in DVD player serves as an example.