Winterfest to feature new Holiday StrollLUVERNE — With Christmas celebrations planned in Luverne, Jackson, Reading and Sibley, Iowa, this weekend, there are plenty of opportunities for children to rattle off their wish list to the big guy — Santa Claus — and give adults ample time to soak up everything the holiday season has to offer.
By: Julie Buntjer, Worthington Daily Globe
LUVERNE — With Christmas celebrations planned in Luverne, Jackson, Reading and Sibley, Iowa, this weekend, there are plenty of opportunities for children to rattle off their wish list to the big guy — Santa Claus — and give adults ample time to soak up everything the holiday season has to offer.
Luverne is always bustling with activity during its annual Winterfest celebration, and this weekend is no different, with entertainment offerings extending from Friday night to Sunday afternoon.
The community has decided to forego its lighted holiday parade this year for a new event, the Holiday Stroll.
“They do it in Ely on Thanksgiving Eve and it’s one of their biggest success events of the year,” said Luverne Area Chamber Director Jane Wildung-Lanphere. She hopes the event, which already includes five venues, will only grow in the years ahead.
Luverne’s version of the Holiday Stroll includes open doors at the Hinkly House, Carnegie Cultural Center, Palace Theatre, Minnesota West and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church.
Between 5 and 7:30 p.m., people are invited to stroll between the venues and celebrate holiday cheer through the sounds of Christmas music, movies and cookies.
At the Hinkly House, Ron and Jane Cote will perform Christmas songs while guests enjoy the ambience of the lighted Christmas village, sip cider and sample cookies. The Carnegie Cultural Center will be welcoming visitors with its display of decorated Christmas trees.
“The Rock County Fine Arts Association is making pavers that spell Luverne, and with the new revitalization project next summer, the goal is to have these in the sidewalk,” Wildung-Lanphere said. “You get to take shards of stained glass and pottery and lay it in the pavers, and the fine arts association will finish, put grout in and seal them.”
The Palace Theatre will show 30-minute clips of Christmas shows throughout the evening, knowing that people will be coming and going as they make their way to most, if not all, of the stroll stops. Minnesota West will also be showing movies on big-screen TVs while people revel in decorating and eating their own Christmas cookies.
At Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, the Great Plains String Quartet will perform its Christmas show in the sanctuary.
The Holiday Stroll ends at 7:30 p.m. with a Silent Night Christmas Concert at St. Catherine Catholic Church. The concert will feature the Jubilation Choir, and there will be a free-will offering collected.
Following the concert, the community is invited to the Winterfest Night Tree Lighting Ceremony at 8:30 p.m., on the Kahler Terrace at the Rock County Courthouse Square. Area veterans who returned earlier this year from Kuwait will gather to light a 20-foot Christmas tree donated by the K.A.H.R. Foundation and decorated by Total Card Inc. employees. After the tree lighting, people are invited inside the Brandenburg Gallery for Christmas treats.
“It’s going to be 50 degrees in the daytime, 30 degrees at night and no snow,” Wildung-Lanphere said. “People can park and walk — it’s about six blocks —and you can come and go. It should be a fun, fun night.”
A complete listing of Winterfest events follows:
10 a.m.: Puppet Show, Rock County Community Library
1 to 5 p.m.: Festival of Trees, Carnegie Cultural Center
4:30 p.m. to close: Wine Tasting, Blue Mound Liquor
6 to 8:45 p.m.: Dollar Swim, Luverne Area Aquatics & Fitness
6:30 p.m.: Cribbage Winterfest Tournament, Eagles Club
7 p.m.: Winterfest Family Feud, Sharkee’s (pre-registration required by calling 507-920-7644)
7:30 p.m.: Holiday Jam with the Hegg Brothers, Historic Palace Theatre (Tickets available at the Carnegie Cultural Center, 507-283-8294)
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Arts & Craft Show, Luverne School Commons and Cardinal Gym
9 to 11 a.m.: Winterfest Snowball Cupcake fine art contest, Luverne school
10 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Santa’s Workshop make and take projects and shopping for children grades K-4, Luverne Elementary Commons
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Pictures with Santa, Luverne Elementary
1 to 7 p.m.: Dollar Swim, Luverne Area Aquatics & Fitness
4:30 p.m. to close: Wine Tasting, Blue Mound Liquor
5 to 7 p.m.: Holiday Stroll at Hinkly House, Carnegie Cultural Center, Palace Theatre, Minnesota West and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church
7:30 p.m.: Silent Night Christmas Concert featuring the Jubilation Choir, St. Catherine Catholic Church
8:30 p.m.: Winterfest Night Tree Lighting Ceremony, Kahler Terrace, Rock County Veterans Memorial Building
6 p.m.: D-Light-Full 5k run, with registration from 5 to 5:45 p.m. at the Community Pool (call Duffy at 507-920-3345 for info)
6 to 9 p.m.: Steak Fry, Luverne Eagles Club
9 p.m. to 1 a.m.: D-Light-Full Dance, with live band, Undercover, Sharkee’s Sports Bar
1 to 5 p.m.: Dollar Swim, Luverne Area Aquatics & Fitness
2 p.m.: Christmas movie, “Miracle on 34th Street” at the Palace
Traditions of Christmas 2012 returns to Sibley this weekend, with events ranging from Breakfast with Santa and a Christmas tour of homes to viewing of the Otter Valley Railroad Display.
Events get under way Saturday with the Team Trinity gift and bake sale from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church.
Other activities include:
10:30 a.m.: Christmas Story with Mrs. Claus, Sibley Library
9 to 11 a.m.: Breakfast with Santa, Pizza Ranch
9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.: Christmas French Toast Brunch, The Lantern Coffeehouse
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.: S-O Choir Boosters Tour of Homes
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Otter Valley Railroad Display, fairgrounds
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Viewing of Traditions Display, Osceola County Court House
1:30 p.m.: “Rise of the Guardians in 3D” matinee at Max Theatres
Noon to 5 p.m.: Viewing of Traditions Display, Osceola County Court House
On Sunday, the Reading Booster Club will host a Soup with Santa from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Reading Community Center.
Children may visit with Santa, make ornaments and decorate cookies, while parents and grandparents can visit with friends, old and new. Homemade soups and cookies will be served.
Daily Globe Reporter Julie Buntjer may be reached at 376-7330.