WORTHINGTON -- For many, Christmas means time with family, celebration of religious beliefs and an abundance of great food, but children who most look forward to receiving new toys got a sneak peek at the holiday at the Worthington Optimist Club's annual toy show Saturday and Sunday at Worthington Middle School. Parents and grandparents shopping for Christmas presents and collectors shopping for themselves all showed up for the toy show, some bringing children, who found a massive selection of toys that could be added to Christmas lists.
ROUND LAKE -- Something fishy went down Main Street in Round Lake Saturday, as more than 25 area fishermen showed off their ice fishing houses in the town's first Winterfest parade Saturday. "Who else is going to have a Winterfest parade with ice houses?" said Julie Sanwick, who announced the parade entries along with Dawn Murphy. "It's original. No one else is doing it." The sun shone down and helped offset the chilly November air, so spectators lined up along Main Street before the parade began.
JACKSON -- The turkeys and pumpkins have been put away, and the holly and candy canes can take their place as the holidays approach, with the Jackson community gearing up for the fourth annual Jackson Christmas Tea Dec. 7 at the Jackson Golf Club. The tea's theme this year is "The Musical Magic of Christmas," and The Village Singers, a group of adults with mental and physical disabilities, will provide entertainment for the event. "It's very heartwarming and humbling to listen to them. They're just awesome," said Mary Ruyter, chief executive officer of Sanford Jackson Medical Center.
WORTHINGTON -- Traditional and retro wooden toys, books and puzzles are the hot gift items for children this year, reported local sales associates. "I've got a lot of nostalgia toys," said Linda Kuhle, store manager at Sterling Drug in Worthington. Especially popular at Sterling are Dr. Duck, a duck pull toy wearing a top hat and carrying an old-fashioned doctor's bag that children can tug along behind them, and Snoop 'n Sniff, a similar wooden dog-shaped pull toy.
JACKSON -- Members of the Macy's Great American Marching Band performing in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will march to the beat of a different drummer this year -- percussionist Andrew Paulson, a senior at Jackson County Central High School. Paulson, who also plays the piano and the trumpet, was selected to play the crash cymbals for the Great American Marching Band after submitting an audition recording in September. He received his acceptance letter in October. "I was in shock, I guess," Paulson said.
WORTHINGTON --Replacing countertops is one way to quickly update an old-fashioned-looking kitchen, and now homeowners in the Worthington area have a new place to check out countertop patterns and styles: Mastbergen Custom Countertops, which opened in September next to Colonial Cabinets. "I always liked building things. I started liking it more and more and the opportunity came up to turn it into a business, and I jumped at it," said Mitch Mastbergen, who owns and operates the business.
WORTHINGTON -- Anyone who helps a senior gather information about their medical care, assists with buying groceries or household chores or simply lends a hand from time to time is a caregiver -- and may benefit from a little care. That's the premise of First Thursdays at the Center, an educational series on Caring for the Caregiver. "Caregivers don't necessarily know they're caregivers," explained Joanne Bartosh, Nobles County coordinator for RSVP.
WORTHINGTON -- Nearly a third of American women report physical and sexual abuse by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives, according to the Violence Against Women Act of 2005. Though historically the struggle against sexual and domestic violence has been primarily a women's issue, men in Minnesota have the opportunity to take a stand, promoting safe relationships, healthy sexuality and respectful practices and public policies, as part of the Minnesota Men's Action Network. Representatives of the Action Network will host a presentation at 7 p.m.
ARNOLDS PARK, Iowa -- The Midwest was the heart of rock and roll for decades, and many of the biggest acts in the business performed at Arnolds Park Roof Garden Ballroom -- the Everly Brothers, Jerry Lee Lewis, the Guess Who, the Shangri-Las and the Yardbirds are just a few examples. "These are classic names.
WORTHINGTON -- Purchasing compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) in October might be a bright idea, as area utilities and local ACE Hardware stores cooperate to offer the energy-efficient bulbs for less than a dollar apiece. "They're all Energy Star bulbs," said Gaylen Hubbard, manager of Schwalbach ACE Hardware, Worthington.