Celebrate the spirit of the season with holiday events in small towns

November 22, 2022

This paid piece is sponsored by the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance.

Take a quick trip out of Sioux Falls to neighboring towns served by the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance to catch the spirit of the season. You’ll find Santa, parades, pancakes, cookies, hot chocolate, and a cozy atmosphere.


Baltic’s Santa Day will be from 1-3pm on Saturday December 17th and the organizers are working on a venue and activities. Kids get to take a picture with Santa, and in recent years, they’ve been able to play games, do crafts, and decorate cookies. There is usually a cake walk as well. Get updates here.

Baltic High School will not have its traditional Renaissance-themed Christmas dinner this year. The organizers have decided to put it up every two years.


The annual parade of lights begins at 6 pm on Saturday, November 26. The VFW Santa float will lead the parade from the high school down Holly Boulevard to Main Street. Santa will be dropped off at the VFW Post Hall to meet and greet children of all ages. Hot chocolate and cookies will be served. If the parade is canceled due to weather, Santa will be at the VFW starting at 6 pm

That day is also Shop Small Saturday, sponsored by the Brandon Valley Area Chamber of Commerce. Local stores will offer sales and events to boost holiday shopping. Visit at least six participating stores to enter a drawing for prizes. Get the details here.

Photo courtesy of Brandon Valley Journal

The annual Cookie Fair Parade on Sunday, December 4 at Risen Savior Parish will feature a parade and pre-packaged Christmas cookies and candies. People will be able to go through the line to select their own treats. Prices are $15 per container (one 9-inch pie pan with lid) or two for $25. The cookie sale begins at 9:30 am and ends at 2:30 pm or sooner if they are all gone. Turkey croissants and soups will be available from noon. There will be a 50/50 cash draw and basket draw. Saint Nicholas will make an appearance.


The Festival of Trees returns. It will be from 10 am to 2 pm on Saturday, December 3 at the Canton Performing Arts Center. Check out all the decorated trees and shop at the Christmas vendor fair. Santa Claus will be there to listen to wish lists and photos.

The Canton Barn will host Santa’s Day from 2-5 pm on Sunday, December 4. Meet Santa and Mrs. Claus and take a horse-drawn wagon ride. The event is free. Canton Area Toys for Tots will be collecting toys and cash donations.

The Canton Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade begins at 7 pm on Monday, December 5 in downtown, running down Fifth Street from Milwaukee to the main streets. That is followed by the Lincoln County Courthouse tree lighting, Christmas carols and hot apple cider at 7:30 pm Santa will be there to visit the children.

Find the perfect tree to cut at Riverview Christmas Tree Farm, north of town. The farm started selling trees last weekend and will be open for the next three weekends, if inventory lasts that long! It is also open on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Visit Santa while you’re there and shop for Christmas crafts and Christmas wreaths at the lodge. Enjoy hot drinks, Christmas treats and wine tasting.


Santa Claus is coming to town on Sunday, December 11. It will be at the Crooks Community Center from 3 to 5 pm The event, organized by Crooks Area Working Together, will offer activities for the kids, cookies and a photo op with the big boys. Bundle up and enjoy the wagon rides, weather permitting. CAWT is collecting voluntary donations of new winter hats and waterproof gloves for the Tri-Valley Angel Tree. Find updates here.

That evening, there will be a parade of lights, beginning at 6:00 pm at the Crooks Branch of the Siouxland Libraries and ending at the Firehouse.

fast dell

Dell Rapids is celebrating Christmas in Dells December 2-4. The Christmas tree at Dells Senior Center will be lit at 6:15 pm Saturday, followed by the Parade of Lights at 6:30 pm on Main Street. Other Saturday highlights include kids’ crafts and activities from 9 a.m. to noon at the Carnegie Library, a free screening of a Christmas movie at 10 a.m. at the Dells Theatre, sleigh or hay rides from 1-3 p.m. at Main Street and Soup Dinner at the American Legion from 4 to 6:30 pm Dell Rapids High School and the St. Mary’s Jazz Band will perform at 7:30 pm at the Grand Opera House. On Sunday, the Corduroy & Pixie Dust offers free photos with Santa from 1-3 pm Click here for the complete Christmas in Dells schedule.


The annual Hometown Christmas will be on Saturday, December 10. Activities begin with a community appreciation breakfast of French toast and sausage from 9 am to noon in the Legion Dugout. Voluntary donations will go toward installing a sound system at the center. The Legion will also be hosting a vendor fair from 9 am to 1 pm and kids’ crafts from 11 am to 1 pm Visit the museum from 9 am to 3 pm for free popcorn, candy, cider and coffee. Fire truck and horse drawn carriage rides will be available from 1-3 pm downtown.

Photo courtesy of Garretson Gazette

The Main Street Parade of Lights begins at 6:30 pm See Garretson Hometown’s full Christmas schedule here.

Photo courtesy of Garretson Gazette

Light the Park at Split Rock Park will not take place this year.


Santa Claus arrives in Harrisburg on Friday, December 2. Meet at Ole Lake at 5:45 pm where you will help light the town Christmas tree at 6 pm The Harrisburg Chamber of Commerce will be serving hot chocolate and glow sticks for the kids to help welcome Santa to the city Send letters to Santa with a return address and he will reply.

Lava’s Old Fashioned Christmas will offer horse-drawn wagon rides provided by Darrell Vik. Rides will be from 10 am to noon on Saturday, December 10, starting in the parking lot of Lava’s Coffee & Café. Stop inside for a cup of coffee or chocolate and visit the gift shop.

Prairie’s annual Christmas concerts will be at 2 and 5 pm on Saturday, December 10 at the Harrisburg High School Performing Arts Center. Admission is free, but seats can be reserved here.

Find a freshly cut tree, decorated wreaths, vegetables and handmade crafts and gifts at Christmas Tree Acres on Highway 115. The business is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Tree sales started last weekend, and don’t wait if you want one: last year they sold out at the end of November. Hours are 3 to 6 pm on weekdays and 11 am to 6 pm on weekends. Santa will be at Christmas Tree Acres from noon to 3 pm the weekend after Thanksgiving and the weekend after, if there are any trees left.


Hartford Hometown Christmas will be celebrated on Sunday, December 4. The traditional community breakfast to start the day will be served at the Hartford Fire Station from 7 to 10:30 am From noon to 4 pm, there will be activities for the children with Santa and Mrs. Claus at the fire station, a carnival at the West Central Coliseum and a vendor show at the West Central Becker Center. Watch a children’s movie at 2 pm at the United Methodist Church, with Christmas carols at 4 pm Activities downtown in the afternoon include gingerbread house and mini Christmas tree contests, cookie decorating at Buffalo Ridge Brewing and a 4:30 pm campfire The Knights of Columbus is serving a community dinner from 4 to 7 pm at St. George Catholic Church.

The town’s Christmas Tree Lighting and Parade of Lights will be at 5:30 pm on Main Street, and the day ends with a fireworks display at 7:30 pm at the high school. Follow the event on Facebook at hartfordhtc.com for more details.


Santa Night and Tree Walk will be from 4-7 pm on Monday, December 12 in the LWC Intermediate cafeteria. Visit Santa and enjoy the treats.

The annual Table Festival sponsored by the Lennox Band Boosters has also returned. Browse the decorated tables and raffle items, and enjoy brunch on Saturday, December 10 in the LWC Intermediate cafeteria. Jazz band students will play Christmas music. Doors open at 10 am, and brunch will be served at 10:30 am, with the raffle beginning at 11 am Tickets are available in advance or at the door. Check the raffle items here.

Cut your own Christmas tree at the Tannenbaum Tree Farm, which is northeast of Lennox. It is open from Friday, November 25 from 12:00 to 17:00. Hours this weekend and possibly the next are 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. There are no Fraser firs available again this year, but there are Scots pines and three varieties of fir. Wreaths, door trims and winter containers are available. Get updates on availability on the farm’s Facebook page.


Salem Hometown Christmas, organized by Salem Community Women and the Progressive Salem Association, will be held on Friday, December 2. Activities include a bingo party, a soup dinner and a kids’ shop before the Parade of Lights which begins at 7 pm in City Park. Then Santa and Mrs. Claus will head to the Legion Hall to greet the children. Children can bring letters for Santa to put in their mailbox. The town’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony will be at 7:30 pm For a full list of activities, check out the event’s Facebook page.


Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at the Tea Community Library on Saturday, November 26. Take a picture with them from 9-10:30 am There will also be cookies, face painting and coloring.

valley springs

Santa Claus Day is Saturday, December 17. Santa will be in town at 3 pm at the American Legion for this Valley Springs Community Club event. He’ll be there until he hears what’s on everyone’s wish list. People can enter a raffle to win one of 12 turkeys. The draw will be at 2:55 pm


Worthing Masonic Lodge is bringing back its annual Breakfast with Santa after a two-year break. Santa arrives at 8 am on Saturday, December 10 at the Olde Towne Dinner Theater and breakfast will be served until 11 am All ages welcome for pancakes, sausage, eggs, juice and coffee. Voluntary donations are welcome. Take photos with Santa, and there will be prizes for the kids. In case of bad weather, the event will be on December 17.

The Billion Southtown Holiday Light Show features more than 10,000 lights synchronized to holiday songs and runs nightly from 4 pm to midnight. The show runs into the new year. Visitors are invited to stop at the dealership off Interstate 29 during business hours for popcorn and coffee.

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