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Holiday events listing published Nov. 30, 2022

The holiday season brings many special festivities. From family gatherings to school concerts and church programs, there are many events in which people may choose to participate. Listed are several concerts, festivals and other public activities set for the coming weeks.

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Through Dec. 30

* A festival of trees will be on display in the Barn Theatre event center. The trees have been decorated by businesses, organizations and individuals; open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and during productions of “Miracle on 34th Street.”

Through Dec. 31

* The “Celebrate the Light of the World” drive-thru lighted display is open from 5 to 10 p.m. daily at Robbins Island in Willmar. Nonprofits benefiting from the freewill donations are the Kandiyohi County Food Shelf, The Salvation Army of Willmar, United Way of West Central Minnesota and Habitat for Humanity of West Central Minnesota.

Dec. 1-4

* The Barn Theatre presents “Miracle on 34th Street” at 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the theater in downtown Willmar; adults $25 and students $15. Box office open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, call 320-235-9500 or visit thebarntheatre.com; 321 Fourth St. SW, Willmar.

Dec. 2

* The 16th annual Stuff the Ambulance Toy Drive takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Uptown Willmar (formerly Kandi Mall) main entrance. Donate new, unwrapped toys and cash donations that will be distributed by the Salvation Army in Willmar.

* The Olivia Lions Club presents a free “Time with Santa” from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at Traditions, 603 East Fairview Avenue in Olivia. Chat with Santa while Mom or Dad take a photo, decorate a Christmas cookie, color a Christmas picture, enjoy a cup of Grinch Punch and take home a bag of “Grinch popcorn.” Call or text Santa’s assistant at 320-579-0549, so Santa will know if he is going to see you. 

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* The Hometown Heroes Holiday Show will feature eight music groups at Hollywood on Main in Montevideo. Doors open at 5 p.m., with food and beverages available, and the show starts at 7. Admission is $5 and a non-perishable food item; donations accepted for the Mitten Tree, Family Coats and Toys for Kids. There will be a gift shop and baked goods for sale.

Dec. 3

* The New London Senior Citizens will have a holiday craft sale from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Community Center, 101 Second Ave. SW, New London.

* The 28th annual “Christmas at Trinity” will be from 9 a.m. to noon at Trinity Lutheran Church in Grove City. There will be cards, napkins, quilts, crafts, baked goods, lefsa and ethnic goodies for sale. Brunch will be served; adults $13, ages 10 and under $6, take-outs $13, coffee and roll $4. The church is located at 54384 U.S. Highway 12 East, Grove City.

* “Christmas in the Village, Navidad en el Pueblo: Celebrating the customs of Mexico, Central and South America” will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Historic Chippewa City, located at the junctions of Highways 7 and 59 in Montevideo. It will feature candy and bake sales and crafters, and visitors are invited to stroll the decorated village. There will be horse-drawn rides from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and visits with Santa Claus from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lunch from Plazita Restaurant available from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. or until sold out in the Village Hall. Admission is $3 for adults, $1 for ages 12-17 and children 11 and under admitted free.

* Passport to Christmas in Atwater will be from 10 a.m. through the evening with the first clue for the Medallion Hunt posted on the community board downtown and on the Festival Days Facebook page at 10 a.m. Children’s activities passports available at City Hall beginning Nov. 28 for use from 1 to 4 p.m. at various businesses. Santa parade to take place at 5 p.m., concluding with hot cocoa and s’mores at Centennial Park with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Chili/soup supper from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church for a freewill donation. There will be a community house-lighting contest open to all residents within the 56209 zip code area; register on the Facebook page Atwater Festival Days.

* A holiday bake sale fundraiser for local charities is set from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Willmar Eagles, 136 Sixth St. SW in Willmar.

* The 26th annual Pioneer Christmas will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Forest City Stockade. Admission is $5, ages 12 and under will be admitted free. Have a wagon or sleigh ride; visit with Santa; see a winter Native American encampment with teepee, wall tent and A-frame; tour the historic buildings, pioneer crafts and demonstrations. A variety of food will be available. Dress warmly, as many of the activities will be outdoors. Forest City is north of Litchfield in Meeker County.

Dec. 5

*The Willmar Senior High bands will present a concert at 6 p.m. at the Brau Performing Arts Center at the high school.

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* The Willmar Senior High orchestra will present a concert at 7:30 p.m. at the Brau Performing Arts Center at the high school.

Dec. 6

* Minnesota author D.L. Houseman will be reading his children’s book “Christmas Comes to Harvey and His Friends” at 4 p.m. at the Willmar Public Library.

* The Willmar Public Library classic movie for adults will be “Christmas in Connecticut” at 5:30 p.m.

Dec. 8

* The Willmar Public Library will have STEMtastic Holiday Slime at 4 p.m. for children ages 7-12. Create a jar of sparkly, festive slime. Younger children are welcome with an adult to help.

* The second annual Litchfield Candy Cane parade will be at 5:30 p.m. It will start at the north end of Central Park on Marshall Avenue, go south past the library and turn east on Second Street for one block and then turn north on Holcombe Avenue and end at Fourth Street and Holcombe.

Dec. 8-11

* Green Lake Lutheran Ministries presents a Christmas Dinner Theater “Just a Little Light” at 5:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday with 12:30 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday at the Green Lake Bible Camp in Spicer; $80, call the camp for reservations at 320-796-2181.

* The Barn Theatre presents “Miracle on 34th Street,” at 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the theater in downtown Willmar; adults $25 and students $15. Box office open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, call 320-235-9500 or visit thebarntheatre.com; 321 Fourth St. SW, Willmar.

Dec. 9-10

* The 36th annual Springfield Nativity Pageant will be at 7 p.m. at Riverside Park in Springfield. The live pageant is presented outdoors and features a community choir and a live manger scene including camels. Dress for the weather. Admission is free.

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Dec. 10

* The 69th annual St. Lucia breakfast will be from 6 to 9:30 a.m. at First Lutheran Church in Litchfield. Traditional Swedish breakfast with the option of scrambled eggs. Adults $10, ages 6 to 10 years $5, under 6 eat free.

* The West Central Singers presents “In Winter’s Time,” songs of the season and sing-a-longs at 7 p.m. at Peace Lutheran Church, New London. Tickets $10 adults, children and students free, available at the door.

* Santa night in Kandiyohi will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Kandiyohi Civic Center. Some of Santa’s helpers will be there passing out goodies for good boys and girls of all ages. You can have your photo taken with Santa.

* The Christmas Gala will feature “Bob and the Beachcombers” at the Litchfield Opera House. Doors open at 6 p.m. with an appetizers buffet followed by the show at 7. Tickets are $25; call 320-221-5781 and leave a message, and your call will be returned.

Dec. 11

* The West Central Singers presents “In Winter’s Time,” songs of the season and sing-a-longs at 4 p.m. at Calvary Lutheran Church, New London. Tickets $10 adults, children and students free, available at the door.

Dec. 12

* The Willmar Senior High choirs will present identical concerts at 6 and 7:30 p.m. at the Brau Performing Arts Center at the high school.

Dec. 13

* The Willmar Public Library will have winter sock creatures holiday craft at 5:30 p.m. for children. Pre-registration required on the library website.

Dec. 15

* The Litchfield Area Male Chorus presents “Let All Men Sing,” a holiday concert at 7 p.m. at the Litchfield Christian Church; freewill donation.

Dec. 17

* The annual Christmas program will be held at the Historic Salem Community Church, 28547 220th St., four miles north of Paynesville. Horse-drawn wagon rides from 3 to 4:15 p.m., followed by the program at 4:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served following the program. Bring a non-perishable food item and/or a toy that will be delivered to the Paynesville Community Center; freewill donation for the restoration and upkeep of Salem church and cemetery.

* The Sunburg Heritage Arts presents “Fiddle ‘n Christmas” at 4 p.m. at Hope Lutheran Church in Sunburg. Special guest artists Dempsey Schroeder and Maggie Harp will join 30 Sunburg area fiddlers playing Christmas carols, songs and fiddle tunes. Freewill donations.

Dec. 17-18

* The Southwest Minnesota State University planetarium presents the “Star of Wonder” holiday laser light show at 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the planetarium, located in SM 108 on the Marshall campus, seats 82 people. Admission is $5, available only at the door.

Dec. 18

* The 70th annual Lucia Day Festival will be from 10:30 a.m. to noon at Bethel Lutheran Church, 411 Becker Ave. SW, in Willmar. The St. Lucia Lighting ceremony will be in the fellowship hall, where guests may enjoy coffee and treats.

* The Reindeer and Santa event will be from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Andrew J. Volstead House in Granite Falls. There will be free hot chocolate and each group will be given a reindeer treat to attract reindeer on Christmas Eve. Children will be able to visit with Santa. Following the open hours, a special session from 3 to 3:30 p.m. has been set aside for children and adults with sensory and other disabilities to be able to participate without being over-stimulated. To join us for the sensory time, email gfheritage@gmail.com or message on our Facebook page.

* The West Central Connection Chorus presents “A Spectacular Christmas” at 3 p.m. at the Assembly of God Church in Willmar. The concert of traditional Christmas songs performed in the a cappella barbershop style will also feature the Broberg Family, Green Lake Bluegrass Band and “2701” Willmar High School choir. A freewill offering will benefit the Kandiyohi County Food Shelf.

* The Benson Arts Council presents “The Nutcracker Ballet” by the Continental Ballet Company at 4 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center. Adults $20, students $10 in advance, $25 and $15 at the door, available online at vancoevents.com/us/eventlist/bensonpublicschools .

Dec. 21

* A "Blue Christmas" church service will be at 7 p.m. at First Lutheran Church of Norway Lake, west of New London. Held on the longest night of the year, this is a service acknowledging loss, including prayers for healing and hope. Folks looking for comfort, hope, wholeness and renewal are invited to this time of quiet reflection, scripture, prayer, music and Holy Communion. Light refreshments will be served following the service. Everyone is welcome.

Dec. 23

* The annual Lillejulaften (Little Christmas Eve) Norwegian language worship service will be at 7 p.m. at Calvary Lutheran Church, 302 Olena Ave. in Willmar. The service will feature Norwegian scripture readings, prayers and songs. The service folder will be in Norwegian with a full English translation. Those with Norwegian sweaters and/or bunads are asked to wear them.

Dec. 23-24

* The Southwest Minnesota State University planetarium presents the “Star of Wonder” holiday laser light show at 7 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday at the planetarium, located in SM 108 on the Marshall campus, seats 82 people. Admission is $5, available only at the door.

Dec. 25

* Christmas in the Barn at Dale and Debbie Tonsfeldt farm, 13200 15th Street SE, Blomkest. The 9 a.m. Svea Lutheran Church service will include singing and a live nativity. Everyone is welcome, please dress warmly.

Dec. 27

* The Willmar Public Library will have a Pajama-Rama storytime at 6:30 p.m. Come in your pajamas, bring a blanket and listen to stories followed by milk and cookies before going home to bed.

Donna Middleton started working at the West Central Tribune in 1975 and has been the news assistant since 1992. She compiles the arts, health, farm and community page calendars, as well as rewrites and works on the special sections.
She can be contacted at dmiddleton@wctrib.com or phone 320-214-4341.
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