By Linda Scherer
WINSTED, MN Area residents can catch the spirit of the holidays this weekend at the 22nd annual Winsted Winter Festival Friday and Saturday, Dec. 3 and 4, presented by the Winsted Area Chamber of Commerce.
As part of the festival, there will be a special visit from Santa Claus, a vintage snowmobile show, the lighted Christmas parade, a special free holiday concert presented by Higher Ground, and much, much more, all sponsored by the Blue Note, K-Way Express, and Tim Purcell Plumbing & Heating.
Wednesday, Dec. 1
The traditional holiday outdoor lighting contest will begin the festivities Wednesday, Dec. 1.
All homes in Winsted that have their lights turned on that evening will be included in the judging, which will be done by St. Mary’s seniors and members of the chamber of commerce.
First place is $100, second place is $75, and third place is $50; all awarded in Winsted Bucks.
Friday, Dec. 3
There will an open house at the start of business hours at Flagship Bank Winsted, Winsted Floral & Gifts, and the Road House Coffee Shop Friday, Dec. 3.
St. John’s Lutheran Church in Winsted will host a dinner and concert Friday, Dec. 3, beginning with the social hour at 5 p.m., followed by dinner at 5:30 p.m. The concert at 7 p.m. will feature Pastor Mark Loder, accompanied by Molly Loder on the piano.
The Adult Training & Habilitation Center (ATHC) will provide a Giving Tree at the ATHC thrift store with ornaments labeled with a child’s name and Christmas wish.
ATHC will also hold its annual bake sale and auction Friday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. An auction preview will begin Monday, Nov. 29 during regular store hours, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the ATHC thrift store.
The Winsted Library Commission is sponsoring its 12th annual silent auction Friday, Dec. 3 from 2 to 5 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 4 from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Bids will be accepted Friday beginning at 2 p.m. Proceeds will be divided between Holy Trinity School, Winsted Elementary, and Lester Prairie Schools to benefit their libraries and accelerated reading programs. Matching funds will be provided by Thrivent Financial.
Saturday, Dec. 4, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Stop by the Blue Note Saturday, Dec. 4 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. to visit Santa Claus and see the model trains on display.
Duran Photography will be taking Santa photos. Later, a free model train set will be given away to a child 12 or under. A winter festival button is required to register.
From 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., hay wagon rides sponsored by Fleischacker Landscaping and Carlson Apple Orchards will leave from the Blue Note.
The Winsted Royalty will serve lunch at the Blue Note Ballroom from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Barbecues or hotdogs with chips and pickles will be available for $3. An additional hotdog or barbecue is $1.
Vintage snowmobiles will be on display at the Blue Note from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The snowmobile show, which began two years ago, has had a great showing and many interested people attend.
For more information, contact Rick Menden (320) 485-4269, firstname.lastname@example.org or Greg Davidson (320) 485-2326, email@example.com. The snowmobile show is sponsored by AWI Manufacturing, Rick’s Car Cleaning, and the Blue Note.
Pastor Mark Loder from St. John’s Lutheran Church of Winsted will read some passages from Luke at 1 p.m. at the Blue Note.
The Legion Club dinner of prime rib, jumbo breaded shrimp, BBQ ribs and combo dinners will be served from 4 p.m. until the food is gone at the Winsted Legion Club. Dinners include salad bar, baked potato or French fries, and beverage.
Saturday, Dec. 4, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
The first annual lighting of the Winsted Christmas tree and singing of Christmas carols on the lakefront by Mill Reserve Park will begin at 5:30 p.m.
Those who attend will be able to join the visiting royalty for caroling, with hot coffee and cider available.
The lighted Christmas parade through downtown Winsted will start at 6:30 p.m. with grand marshals, Dr. James and Mary Neff. Royalty and businesses from the surrounding area are encouraged to participate, no pre-registration is required. Participants should line up near the Blue Note.
The Holy Trinity CCW is hosting a dessert social, craft, gift, and bake sale from 6:15 to 8:30 p.m. in the Holy Trinity cafeteria. Eat in or take-out: desserts, coffee, and cider will be available, making this a good place to warm up after the parade.
Higher Ground will host a free holiday concert following the parade at 7:30 p.m., featuring Rebekah Antoine in the Holy Trinity School gym.
Higher Ground is presenting the concert in conjunction with the Winsted Winter Festival, Winsted Chamber of Commerce and the Holy Trinity CCW.