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Holiday happenings: Area communities to host festive events

Area communities will celebrate the holiday season with a variety of events listed below.

Nisswa City of Lights - Friday, November 27

Nisswa's City of Lights Festival will take place Friday, Nov. 27. Following is a schedule of events:

2-7:30 p.m.: Eats and treats food items around town.

2-4 p.m.: Write a letter to Santa at the Nisswa Chamber Office; lighting of bonfires along the Paul Bunyan Trail and at Nisswa Square.

2:30-7 p.m.: Horse-drawn wagon rides at Nisswa Square.

3:45 p.m.: "Polar Express" storytelling in the caboose on Main Street (limited seating).

3:30-6:30 p.m.: Live reindeer in the BlackRidgeBANK parking lot.

4-7 p.m.: Strolling carolers throughout downtown.

4-5:45 p.m.: Santa Claus at Nisswa Square.

4 p.m.: Storytelling at Turtle Town Books & Gifts.

4:15 p.m.: "Polar Express" storytelling in the caboose on Main Street (limited seating).

4:30 p.m.: Central Lakes College Brass Ensemble at Nisswa Square.

4:45 p.m.: "Polar Express" storytelling in the caboose on Main Street (limited seating).

4:45 p.m.: Free hot cider and doughnut holes at the Pioneer Village.

4:45-7 p.m.: Kids crafts with Black Bear 4-H Club at the Pioneer Village.

5 p.m.: Lighting of the Luminaries at the Pioneer Village.

5-7 p.m.: Live Nativity scene provided by Lake Country Parish youth at the Pioneer Village.

5-7 p.m.: Pictures in the park provided by Family Time Games in the pocket park on Main Street.

5:29 p.m.: Countdown to the lighting of Nisswa.

5:30-6 p.m.: Holiday carolers in the gazebo on Main Street.

5:30 p.m.: Light up the town.

5:45 p.m.: Love Lights a Tree ceremony by the Good Samaritan Communities at the Pioneer Village.

6 p.m.: Christmas carolers perform and Santa arrives at the gazebo on Main Street.

7:30 p.m.: Fireworks from the Nisswa Community Center.

8-11:59 p.m.: Sideways Entertainment and drawing for the Lighting of the Lights raffle at the Nisswa American Legion.

Crosslake Santa's Breakfast - Saturday, November 28

The Crosslake-Fifty Lakes American Legion Auxiliary will host the annual Santa's Breakfast from 9-11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 28, at the Legion for area families, their children and grandchildren.

Santa will be on hand to listen to all Christmas wishes and present each child with a bag of goodies provided by the Auxiliary. There will be a free fishpond for children to fish for prizes.

Breakfast will include scrambled eggs, pancakes, sausage, juice and hot chocolate or coffee. Cost is $7 for adults, $3 for children 4-10, and free for children 3 and under.

Proceeds are used to support Auxiliary programs that benefit active duty soldiers, veterans and wounded warriors.

Sertoma Winter Wonderland - November 26-December 31

The annual Sertoma Winter Wonderland features a driving tour of more than 80 colorfully animated and lit displays Thursday, Nov. 26-Thursday, Dec. 31, at the Northland Arboretum in Brainerd.

Hours are 5:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, and every night Dec. 21-31.

Advance tickets are available for $10 from Guidepoint, Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union, Grand View Lodge and Cub Foods. Otherwise tickets are $15 per vehicle and $50 for small buses and limos.

Special walking-only nights will be Sundays, Dec. 13 and 20, for $3 per person.

Christmas at the Mansions - November 27-December 6

The ninth annual Christmas at the Mansions holiday event will run daily from Friday, Nov. 27-Sunday, Dec. 6, at Linden Hill in Little Falls. Hours are 1-7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $5 for students ages 12-17 and free for children 11 and under.

Both of the mansions - the Weyerhauser and Musser - were built in 1898 and will be decorated and open for self-guided tours. The theme is "Deck the Halls." Between the two mansions there will be 50 decorated rooms with volunteers in many of the rooms to help tell the story of the two lumber magnate families who once lived in these mansions, the Weyerhauser and Musser families.

Cookies and hot cider will be available for guests as well as live music in the Musser mansion.

Taste of the Holidays at Schaefer's - December 3

Schaefer's Foods of Nisswa will host Taste of the Holidays from 4-7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3, where participants will sample food and beverage items from every grocery department, including deli, produce, meat, dairy and bakery.

A minimum donation of $5 per person is requested, and all donations will go to support Kids Against Hunger Brainerd Lakes Area.

Jenkins tree lighting - December 4

The city of Jenkins will host its eighth annual tree lighting ceremony from 5-6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, at Veterans Park in Jenkins.

This is a free community event. A bonfire will be lit at 5 p.m. and there will be hot dogs, cookies and hot cider. Food and beverages will be served from 5-6:30 p.m., and hayrides and caroling will occur at that same time.

The tree lighting ceremony is scheduled at 5:30 p.m.

Pine River events - December 5

Pine River will be home to the following events Saturday, Dec. 5:

• United Methodist Church "Kid's Shop Day" from 10 a.m. to noon at the church.

• Pine River American Legion Arts/Craft and Bake Sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Legion.

• First Lutheran Church Cookie Walk from 10 a.m. to noon.

There will also be a number of business holiday open houses that day.

Crosslake Bazaar, Cookie Walk/Bake Sale - December 5

The Crosslake-Fifty Lakes American Legion Auxiliary will host its annual Craft Bazaar and Cookie Walk/Bake Sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Legion.

Local crafters will offer their wares for sale, and people can buy an assortment of cookies by the pound. Soup and breads will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for $5.

Proceeds will go toward the Auxiliary Scholarship fund with $500 scholarships awarded to local students in the spring.

Crosslake's Holiday at the Dam - December 5

The second annual Holiday at the Dam will take place from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Recreation Area in Crosslake.

The event will feature Santa, horse-drawn wagon rides, hot cocoa, hot dogs and a bonfire with s'mores. Crosslake retailers and restaurants will offer deals and discounts.

Pine River Parade of Lights Day - December 12

The Pine River Chamber of Commerce and community will celebrate the annual Parade of Lights Day on Saturday, Dec. 12.

The event includes a lighted parade with the theme Northern Lights. Two $100 Chamber gift certificates will be awarded to the parade unit judged Best Use of Lights In Theme and Overall Best Use of Lights.

No pre-registration is required to participate in the parade.

Following is a schedule of events:

10 a.m.-1 p.m.: Bake sale at the Pine River Library.

11 a.m.-1 p.m.: Lunch with Santa for kids, Pine River American Legion.

Noon-2 p.m.: Free horse-drawn rides with pickup and dropoff at the Legion.

3 p.m. until after the parade: Pine River Railroad Depot will be open for tours.

4 p.m.: Parade lineup at First Lutheran Church.

5 p.m.: Parade of Lights.

After the parade: Open house at the Information Center with hot chocolate, hot apple cider and free Christmas cookies. The First Lutheran Church youth group will sell hot dogs and nachos. A giant bonfire will be lit just south of the historic railroad depot.

6:30 p.m.: Fireworks display just west of the Highway 371 stoplights.

Santa's Bobbin' Into Town - December 12

Santa's Bobbin' Into Town, Pequot Lakes' holiday celebration, will be held Saturday, Dec. 12. A listing of events follows.

2 p.m.: Christmas for Vets dedication for wreaths placed at veterans' graves in five Pequot Lakes area cemeteries will be held at the city cemetery at Our Savior's Lutheran Church.

3-4 p.m.: Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Cole Memorial Building with story time, crafts and goodies.

3 p.m.: Bonfire in Trailside Park with hot cocoa, s'mores and caroling, hosted by Miss Pequot Lakes royalty.

4-5:30 p.m.: Dinner at the Hungry Loon Cafe. Cost is $4 for a kid's dinner.

4-6 p.m.: Free hay wagon rides around Pequot Lakes, starting at Trailside Park.

6 p.m.: Light Up The Night parade, starting from Pro-Build and going down Government Drive, taking a left onto Main Street and a left at the four-way stop. There is no entrance fee. For information, call Barb Merritt at 218-568-4695.