Friday, April 19, 2024

Let the holiday season begin

I’m one of those people who does not like to rush the Christmas holiday season. October means Halloween, November means Thanksgiving. When those two events are over, it’s time for Advent and Christmas to begin. In fact, I kind of feel sorry for Thanksgiving. It seems to get lost in the commercial habit of going directly from Halloween to Christmas.

But now, Thanksgiving is over so it’s time to move on to Christmas.

That will be easy for Dodge County residents this weekend as communities throughout the county celebrate the season on Saturday. Shopping is, of course, an important part of Christmas, but these celebrations offer more than a chance to buy presents. They also involve a variety of seasonal activities for children and adults to remember a non-commercial aspect of the holidays.

Mantorville is well known for its Olde Fashioned Christmas and this year is no exception. The day gets started with what else but food. There is a Candlelight Breakfast and live music at the County Seat Coffee House and a Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser for the Larger than Live project at Saloon 2 (the old VFW). Both events are from 8 a.m. to noon. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. you can enjoy a Family Lunch of chili, mac and cheese, hot dogs, and six different kinds of bars at the Senior Citizens Center. And of course the Chocolate Shoppe always has plenty of treats on hand.

Activities really get started at 11 a.m. and continue to 3 p.m. including Horse Drawn Wagon Rides, Miniature Horse Carriage Rides, visits with Santa and selfies, a pickle ornament hunt, tours at the Restoration House, a Farmers Market, and children’s crafts at the Mantorville Art Guild.

Carolers will be strolling through downtown, and Mantorville Firefighters will be collecting Toys for Tots.

And there will be opportunities to look for Christmas gifts with sales and specials at a variety of stores including Bronze & Co., Mantorville Square Antiques, Finds on Fifth, a Hubbell House gift card special and more.

Other communities are certainly not lacking in activities.

Kasson gets the day going with the Santa Parade at 9:45 a.m. with the day officially starting at 10 a.m. and continuing through 3 p.m. Stop by Colonial Clock Shop for pictures with Santa and the Liquor Store parking lot for live reindeer. Hy-Vee will have cookie decorating and the Salvation Army Canteen Truck will be downtown with apple cider and cocoa. Businesses will be participating with crafts and activities for kids and a variety of things to eat.

Hayfield is not going to be left out beginning with the Field Crest Bazaar at the Senior Center, 8 a.m. to noon, and the Trinity Lutheran Bazaar at the church from 8:30 to 11:30.

There are afternoon activities at the Fire Hall, including Build a Bear, a gaming trailer, Santa visit, ornament and cookie decorating, sleigh rides, burgers and chili. There is a wine tasting/bake sale fundraiser at Uncle Mony’s and family bingo at the Legion. The parade starts at 6 p.m. followed by the Christmas Tree Lighting at 7 p.m.

West Concord has a full day of activities starting with homemade donuts at the American Legion 7 to 11 a.m. There is also breakfast at the Wescon Lanes from 8 to 10:30 a.m.

If you are still hungry, there is “Coffee and Cocoa with the Council” from 8 to 11 a.m. at the Bell Tower, “Cookies with the Cops” at City Hall from 9 a.m. to noon, and “Cookies with the Cows & Hot Beverages” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Gochnauer Dairy Farm. Not to mention the coffee at Casey’s and coffee and cookies at Boe Auto.

There are plenty of kids’ activities too including Santa Claus at Heritage Bank, crafts at the public library and snowplow safety program, also at the library.

The day ends with a program and tree lighting at the Bell Tower and a free supper by the EDA in the Bell Tower Basement.

In Dodge Center there are a variety of activities between 1 and 3 p.m., most of them at the City Hall. Again, Santa will be there and along with cookie decorating, popcorn, a fire truck on display and Toys for Tots collection.

I guess most of you will pick one celebration to attend but I am going to do like I usually do and try to get to them all, at least for a little while. Maybe I will finally figure out how Santa Claus manages to be everywhere at the same time. I get Christmas Eve when he travels the world, but Saturday is always a mystery.


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Dodge County Independent

Dodge County Independent
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301 S. Mantorville Ave.
Plaza 57 • Suite 200
Kasson, MN 55944

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301 S. Mantorville Ave.
Plaza 57 • Suite 200
Kasson, MN 55944

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