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First Holiday Extravaganza to be held downtown this weekend

By Staff | Dec 12, 2007

SPIRIT LAKE–The Spirit Lake Mainsail Chamber of Commerce already held its annual holiday

business open house weekend in November.

But that doesn’t mean the downtown merchants in the lakeside city aren’t still in the Christmas spirit.

In fact, they’re hoping to put everyone in the mood this weekend.

The city’s downtown retail group and the chamber are hosting the first-ever Holiday Extravaganza on Sunday, Dec. 16.

From 1-4 p.m. businesses in downtown Spirit Lake will host holiday happenings and give customers great deals just in time to find the perfect gift for that hard-to-buy-for person.

Mainsail director Blaine Andera said the chamber has typically promoted holiday shopping in the city by asking people to register at participating businesses for the chance to win $500 in chamber dollars.

That was always held in December, but this year everyone wanted to do something different–but similar.

“This is going to be a fun-filled afternoon that will appeal to a lot of different folks,” Andera said.

This also will be a chance to get to a store or two you haven’t had the chance to yet this shopping season as many of the downtown stores and businesses normally are closed on Sundays.

And the extravaganza is jampacking the three hours it will span with events for people of all ages.

Several businesses are hosting holiday events. Grand Occasions is offering hot chocolate to keep you warm and cozy while wandering around downtown.

Hill Avenue Book Company will have book signings by Mary Goodell and Nathan Jorgensen during the afternoon. The Market is hosting three music groups–Tammy Hamlin, The Kitchen Band and a French horn duet–for participants’ pleasure.

Girl Scouts will help people with a make-and-take craft at The Country Garden and Mrs. Claus will be reading stories from 3-4 p.m. at 1709 Hill Ave.

That same location will offer free gift wrapping and Santa games put on by a Dickinson County 4-H club and a can’t-miss event will be held at Hill Avenue Plaza at 16th and Hill with carolers sharing holiday hymns and roasted chestnuts–out in the open–available.

There even will be free horse-drawn carriage rides through downtown during the event.

And what would Christmas in downtown Spirit Lake be without the Man in Red himself?

Santa Claus won’t be at a specific location Sunday afternoon. Instead, he’ll be roaming downtown, visiting businesses, to make sure he gets the opportunity to talk with everyone.

The downtown merchants also have made Hill Avenue a little more festive for the event by decorating the windows of the Antlers Hotel in a “Twas the Night Before Christmas” motif that everyone is sure to enjoy.

Andera said this event is perfect for people with children who haven’t gotten some of their shopping done yet as there are several activities the kids can do while downtown. He added it also will be great for anyone who likes to shop a lot.

“We’ve got some neat shops,” he said, “with some things you maybe didn’t know you could find in town.”

And while the weather will be seasonably sound, that’s no excuse for people not to come and enjoy.

“Just make sure when you come downtown you spend time in each of the stores because we have some unique items in downtown Spirit Lake,” Andera said.

People might even have a few new experiences.

“I’ve never seen chestnuts roasted over an open fire,” Andera said, adding he’s excited about watching.

Besides, who wouldn’t want to shop and hang out with Santa at the same time. You’ll definitely have a chance to do so in downtown Spirit Lake on Sunday.

Contact Nathan Christophel at (712) 362-2622 or editor@esthervilledailynews.com and visit our photo sharing Web site at cu.esthervilledailynews.com