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Mayor's Notebook: Holiday lights and holiday happenings

As we move into the holidays, I want to personally thank all of the Pequot Lakes businesses and community members who take the time to put up lights and decorations to help make our town look so welcoming and festive.

Having participated a week ago (along with my husband and one of the Breezy Point North Stars hockey players) in helping decorate the library with lights in two below zero weather, my thoughts are for putting up lights next October when the weather might be at least decent for being outside and up on a ladder.

As you drive through town in the evening, the park looks amazing thanks to our Public Works Department who did have the sense to put the lights up before the cold and snow arrived.

Also, as you go into a store that is decorated, please take time to thank the proprietor.

Pequot’s Santa’s Bobbin’ Into Town festival kicks off this Saturday, Dec. 14, at 3 p.m. when Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive at the Pequot Lakes Library for their annual visit, followed at 4 p.m. or so with dinner at the Hungry Loon Cafe ($4 for children). Be sure to bring your cameras as you can take pictures of Mrs. Claus and Santa with your children in the Jack Pine Center building.

Free horse-drawn carriage rides will be from 3-6 p.m. around town with a bonfire going in the park with cocoa and cookies for sale by Ms. Pequot and her attendants to raise funds for the Ms. Pequot scholarship.

Then, to top it all off, at 6 p.m. the Light Up The Night parade will take place down Government Drive. Santa will be riding on the fire truck — which, if similar to last year, you absolutely don’t want to miss. This parade is our own mini-Holidazzle Parade.

If you are inclined to join us, grab some lights or light sticks, call Barb Merritt at Merritt Jewelers to sign up and come along. You don’t have to have a fancy float (although there are those), but this is a fun parade now in its second year.

You don’t need to be motorized. There are lots of walkers (some wrapped as packages) and the entire parade takes place down Government Drive, starting at Sibley Street on the north and going down to Woodman on the south.

If you just want to watch, you can stand along the route or get to Government Drive early and back carefully into a parking space so you can watch from the comfort of your car. This parade will go on no matter what the weather, and we’d love to see you there.

Finally, for all of you who received your preliminary tax bill from the county several weeks ago, please note that it is called “preliminary” for a reason. When the bill was calculated, the Pequot Lakes city levy was entered as an 8.9 percent increase over 2013. After much continuing hard work on the budget, last week the final budget for the city was approved. The levy for 2014 will be a 0.13 percent increase from 2013, definitely bringing down your city portion.

Have a wonderful, safe holiday season. And be sure to come to Saturday’s parade!