Local News: Christmas in the hometown of Le Mars grows in activities and fun (11/21/22)

(Photo provided) Who doesn’t love the opportunity to have breakfast with Rudolph as part of the holiday activities on November 26?

LE MARS — Celebrate the true spirit of Christmas and join a day filled with festive family events and holiday cheer, and also help support local businesses at Christmas in the hometown of Le Mars this Saturday, November 26.

From elegant store displays and festive activities to heartwarming entertainment, explore what makes Ice Cream Capital of the World® an unmissable holiday destination to see and shop. Spend the Saturday after Thanksgiving at Le Mars shopping, taking pictures with Santa, listening to live music, enjoying great food, and watching a tree lighting ceremony at the Olson Events Center at 6 p.m.

“It’s going to be an eventful day,” said Margaret Catton, who is spearheading this year’s celebration.

The idea started in 2020 and featured a Christmas tree lighting and show at the Olson Cultural Events Center in downtown Le Mars.

The 2021 event added more in-person activities and again partnered with downtown businesses for Small Business Saturday shopping.

Now in 2022, more events have been added.

“We hope to add something new each year, grow a little more and get more people to come and experience our great community,” Catton said.

“It’s the real-life Hallmark Christmas meeting,” he explained. “There’s cookie decorating, there’s arts and crafts, there’s hot chocolate, there’s Santa Claus, and it’s everything you need in one nice little package. On top of that, you can shop Small Business Saturday at all of our great retailers and enjoy a grand finale that night. It really encompasses everything that a Hallmark movie is.”

He noted that downtown businesses have been good at participating in the activities.

The Le Mars Center for the Arts is hosting a craft event, and the library is hosting a goblin story time this year.

“Last year it was at the Olson Center and I really felt like I needed to be in a more intimate setting, so we really appreciated that,” he said.

There will be cookie decorating again at the Uptown Event Center, while the Convention & Visitors Bureau will host a cookie decorating activity for kids.

“We have added some festivities this year. We have our Christmas Carnival, which will be inside the Life Skills Facility at 44 First Avenue NE. We’ll take it during the day and turn it into a little carnival event, complete with face painting, balloon making, glitter tattoos, and two different time frames. to see a magic show. So it’s a nice new indoor event,” he said.

There will still be reindeer, but they are off-limits as far as touching them.

“They are limited because they are getting ready for work, but we will still have two. And we are adding pony rides and a petting zoo, with pigs, a baby alpaca, bunnies, goats and a donkey,” she said.

Santa’s schedule has also changed this year.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at the Habitué Coffeehouse and Bakery from 9 to 11 a.m. They will break for lunch and then head to the Olson Cultural Event Center from noon to 2 p.m. before the evening show downtown.

“So there will be three different opportunities to snag those photos for your Christmas cards that everyone needs,” Catton said.

(Photo provided) There will be a number of photo spots for everyone during the Christmas in Hometown Le Mars event on Saturday, November 26. From cutouts to sleighs to packages, there will be plenty of fun spots to pose.

Jill Miller will perform on the Olson Stage from 1-2pm, with the CDA Dancers at 2pm and The Turn Around Dancers at 3pm

Another new event is s’mores,” Catton said.

Safety with S’mores will feature campfire stations and s’mores hosted by the Le Mars Fire Department.

“I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that we will be doing Bingo with Blu, a new event, at The Wells Visitor Center & Ice Cream Parlor. I’m sure there will be some sweet prizes,” Catton said.

In the parking lot of the Olson Center there will be some festive food trucks.

“Habitué will have hot chocolate and fruit shakes, and the Wells truck will have ice cream, of course. There will be Jack’s Kettlecorn and a new truck with roasted pecans, almonds and popcorn,” Catton explained.

The Knights of Columbus Hall will also be busy all day.

It will host the start of the Santa Fun Run.

“We’re already well above our record numbers that we had last year, so we’re very excited about that,” Catton said. “It’s fun, it’s festive and everyone gets involved and dresses up, so that’s going to kick off the show. When they’re done there, we’ll have more Christmas crafts for adults, in the KC Hall, and also hot food there, chili cinnamon rolls, chicken nuggets, and hot food onsite viewing activities. A really convenient opportunity.”

Sign up going to Christmas at the Hometown Le Mars Santa Fun Run.

The end of the night is the Christmas Concert with The Browns and the lighting of the Christmas tree, starting at 6 pm at the Olson Cultural Event Center.

Don’t forget to catch the movie at the drive-in at Total Motors Friday night, November 25 at 7pm

On Saturday, Breakfast with Rudolph is at 8:30 am at The Browns Century Theatre. Tickets are required and must be purchased at Buy Tickets Via Tix – www.christmasinlemars.com Ticket Sales at Events.

Don’t forget Find the Joy in Christmas Scavenger Hunt.

Participating stores will have the “Find the Joy” image strategically placed within their store. Treasure hunters, upon finding the image, will have store staff initial the appropriate box on their tally card. Completed cards, with each store box marked, must be returned to the collection box inside the Wells Visitor Center & Ice Cream Parlor or Le Mars Convention and Visitors Bureau to be entered into a drawing. Remember to take a photo in each store when you “find joy”. Tally cards are available at all participating stores and at both drop-off locations.

There will be photo opportunities at the Olson Center, as well as downtown and Foster Park, complete with holiday decorations.

City crews have been busy making sure all the Christmas decorations are in town.

“The city teams are phenomenal. We have known each other very well over the past two years and I will be forever indebted and grateful for all of their help in getting things off the ground,” Catton said.

“Watch out for the Christmas clown who will wander around blowing bubbles,” Catton added. “And we also have our Christmas carols, a quartet, to add to the festive atmosphere. You will see them wandering here and there in the center of the city,” he said.

For a complete list of all Christmas activities at Hometown Le Mars, visit www.christmasinlemars.com.

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