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Luverne gears up for Winterfest

LUVERNE — Dozens of angels, decorated trees, trolly rides, pictures with Santa, an arts and crafts show and a variety of musical selections are on tap for Luverne’s annual Winterfest celebration this weekend.

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“We have an outstanding weekend of things going on,” said Jane Wildung-Lanphere, executive director of the Luverne Area Chamber of Commerce.

Events get under way Friday with the opening of the Festival of Trees at the Carnegie Cultural Center from 1 to 5 p.m. This year, more than 20 trees have been decorated for the display. The highlight of the evening is the Monroe Crossing concert at the Historic Palace Theatre beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the concert are still available at the Carnegie Cultural Center, or may be purchased at the Palace the night of the performance.

The annual Winterfest Arts & Craft Show opens at 9 a.m. Saturday and features more than 100 vendor booths, including approximately 35 new vendors, Wildung-Lanphere said. The craft show is in the Luverne Elementary School and Commons, which is also the site for Santa’s Workshop and Pictures with Santa.

Santa’s Workshop, hosted by Rock County 4-H, is for children in kindergarten through fourth grade and features make-and-take holiday crafts as well as a shopping center.

Also for the kids, Luverne Community Education is sponsoring a Kids in the Kitchen event, in which children were asked to make or bake something to reflect the new “Luverne: Love the Life” theme. Monetary prizes will be awarded for the top three submissions.

Luverne’s Hinkly House, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, will be open from 1 to 7 p.m. Saturday. Decorated for the Christmas season, the Hinkly House this year chose the theme of angels, with more than 40 borrowed angels displayed throughout the house.

“There’s some old ones, handmade ones, a few fairy angels that are handmade,” said Diane Jauert, event organizer. “There’s a gold metal tree that displays Hummel angels — it’s very pretty.”

Desserts, cider and coffee will be served during the open house.

Molly the Trolly, a 14-passenger mini bus, will operate from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, making the rounds between the Rock County Courthouse Square and the Historic Palace Theatre. The Courthouse Square is the site for the Winterfest Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony, which begins at 6 p.m.; the Palace Theatre on Saturday night will be filled with “The Sounds of Christmas,” featuring staff and students of Luverne Street Music.

“It should be a wonderful night,” said Wildung-Lanphere, adding that the concert will feature 45 numbers, from vocals to strings, brass and piano performances.

A full schedule of events follows:


Puppet Show story hour, 10 a.m., Rock County Community Library.

Festival of Trees, 1 to 5 p.m., Carnegie Cultural Center.

Wine and beer tasting, 4:30 p.m. to close, Blue Mound Liquor.

Eagles Auxiliary Soup and Chili Supper, 6 p.m., Luverne Eagles Club.

Winterfest Cribbage Tournament, 6:30 p.m., Luverne Eagles Club.

Winterfest Family Fued, 7 p.m., Sharkees. Must pre-register in teams of five, call (507) 920-7644.

Monroe Crossing, 7:30 p.m., Historic Palace Theatre. Tickets available at Carnegie Cultural Center, (507) 283-8294.


Winterfest Arts and Crafts Show, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Luverne Elementary School & Commons.

Santa’s Workshop, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Luverne Elementary Commons.

Rock County Sno Masters free swap meet and membership drive with Rusty Nutz Vintage Snowmobile Club Show & Shine, 10 a.m., Sharkees.

Pictures with Santa, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Luverne Elementary Commons.

Angels at Hinkly, 1 to 7 p.m., open house and reception, Hinkly House.

Festival of Trees, 1 to 7 p.m., Carnegie Cultural Center.

Eagles Winterfest Buc Euchre Tournament, 2 p.m., Luverne Eagles Club.

Wine and beer tasting, 4:30 p.m. to close, Blue Mound Liquor.

Molly the Trolley Rides, 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony, Rock County Courthouse Square, 6 p.m.

D-Light-Full 5k Run, starting at the Luverne Aquatic and Fitness Center, 6 p.m. To participate, call Dave Duffy at (507) 920-3345.

The Eagles Winterfest Steak Fry, 6 to 9 p.m., Luverne Eagles Club.

“The Sounds of Christmas” performed by Luverne Street Music students and staff, Historic Palace Theatre, 7 p.m.

D-Light-Full Dance, featuring “Six to Midnight,” 9 p.m. to midnight, Blue Mound Banquet Center.

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at

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