Tree lighting, Old Fashioned Christmas to festoon downtown
People who want to jump-start their holiday spirit can come to Delano for the city’s official opening events of the season Friday, Dec. 6, and Saturday, Dec. 7.
The Delano Chamber of Commerce will begin Delano’s Christmas adventures with its Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at 7 p.m. Friday at River’s Edge Park on River Street, just north of Bridge Avenue. The event will mark Santa’s arrival in Delano so that he can participate in Saturday’s Old Fashioned Christmas from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in downtown Delano.
Delano Royalty will throw a switch to energize lights on a live tree during the tree-lighting ceremony. Visitors at the ceremony will be invited to decorate the tree and have their pictures taken with Santa. A horse-drawn carriage will take visitors around downtown to see the sights.
At the tree-lighting ceremony, the Chamber of Commerce will collect nonperishable food items and new or gently used clean blankets or coats to help Love INC Heartland serve neighbors in need.
On Saturday, Old-Fashioned Christmas will take over downtown Delano. The Delano Area Council for Arts and Culture invites people to come for art, music, shopping and activities throughout Delano’s downtown.
The highlight of the event will vary, depending upon whether a visitor is an adult or a child. The Arts Council is planning activities for all ages. Start the day at Delano City Hall on Bridge Avenue at Second Street. Pick up a map and schedule of events and then choose where to go and when.
Downtown businesses will open their doors for almost 20 area artists to exhibit and sell their work. Artwork will include photography; paintings in oil, watercolor or acrylic; jewelry; and creations of fabric, wood and metal. As art walkers meet with artists and learn about their work, they can get their schedules stamped. This credential will serve as an entry in a drawing to win a piece of art from participating artists.
Other opportunities for shopping will be at the Rivertown Boutique in the Community Education building on Elm Avenue and the gift shop of Love INC on Railroad Avenue. The Boutique features crafters and home-based businesses, and Love INC has holiday items and decor in the gift and thrift shop. Santa will be at Love INC and available for pictures.
The youngest family members can hear a story and have “tea” at the Teddy Bear Tea at the Community Education building.
Children can follow a map to find costumed holiday characters and discover a treat.
At the Delano Public Library, 160 Railroad Ave. E., Jan Johnson will show visitors how to create a beautiful ornament to decorate a holiday tree. Drop in anytime between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. This activity is for all ages, but children should be accompanied by an adult. Refreshments will be served. As a special feature of this intergenerational holiday celebration, professional musician Andrea Stern will perform seasonal music on the harp. Stern has performed with orchestras around the world, with the Minnesota Opera and with celebrities including The Moody Blues and Olivia Newton-John.
Musical entertainment throughout the day will include a holiday sing-a-long program at the Delano Senior Center, church and students choirs, a church bell choir and student instrumentalists. Characters in Victorian-era costumes will roam throughout downtown to add to the fun.
Old Fashioned Christmas is funded, in part, by an appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature through a grant from the Central Minnesota Arts Board, with money from the state’s general fund.
Contact Susan Van Cleaf at [email protected]