The annual Miracle on Lake Avenue activities and parade has a new theme and new dates for the 2007 Holiday Season. "Home for the Holidays!" is the new theme with events starting on Thursday, Nov. 22, Thanksgiving Day, with Santa's Castle opening from 2-5 p.m..
Friday, Nov. 23 and Saturday, Nov. 24 will be a two-day event tailored to the traditional family gatherings held over this holiday weekend.
Friday night will feature a lighting ceremony set to music at Santa's Castle. The exterior light on Santa's Castle will dance to the beat of outdoor music as well as the music being tuned in on your car radio. A wine and cheese reception will be hosted by MetaBank with holiday music provided by "The Touch of Broadway". The Elk's Lodge will be serving their annual chili supper. There will be a live nativity scene at Heritage Bank by the Lakeside Presbyterian Church. Storytelling will be at the Public Library with Barbara Derksen introducing her new children's book written about Santa Castle and its mascot, "Scuffles" the mouse. There will also be live characters in costume performing the Polar Express.
Saturday morning will be the Miracle on Lake Avenue annual parade down Lake Avenue starting at 10 a.m.. There will be holiday characters greeting the shoppers, warming stations, entertainment in the store windows and free movies at 12- 2 p.m. at the Vista 3 Theatre. "We are creating a weekend full of family fun! All family and friends are invited to join in. Families are encouraged to pull out Dad's golf cars, decorate it with holiday garland and wreaths, load the kids and grandkids and be part of the parade. All entries will be judged and prizes awarded. The memories will be priceless!" stated Marilyn Monson, Managing Director of the Storm Lake Chamber of Commerce.
Many local residents remember shopping for their parents gifts at a special "Santa's Secret Shop" full of inexpensive items. Local retailers and donations from the community will make this possible. Its location will be on the 2nd floor of the Historic Masonic Building in downtown Storm Lake.
The annual Scrooge contest is underway with five new community leaders competing for the honor of being Grand Marshall of the parade. In order to show the charitable, fun-loving spirit of Christmas, five Storm Lake business leaders have volunteered to be "Scrooge-Elects" to help raise money for Santa's Castle handicap accessibility project.
Containers were placed in businesses beginning Oct. 31st. Community members can "vote" for their favorite Scrooge by placing donations to Santa's Castle in the container of the selected participant. Many businesses will have containers for all the candidates. The last day to contribute will be Tuesday, November 20. The containers will be collected and donations counted. The candidate who collects the most money will become our "Scrooge" and be honored as the Grand Marshall of the Miracle on Lake Avenue Parade.
The candidates for the Scrooge Contest are:
Matt Fisher - KAYL/KKIA
Pat Kelly - City of Storm Lake
Israel Luna - Cyclone Car Credit
Mike Rust - Rust's Western Shed
Bruce Kurtz - B&K Mercantile
Remember, you can vote for any candidate at participating businesses! If you choose to vote with a check, please make your checks payable to Santa's Castle, Box 584, Storm Lake, Iowa 50588, as all proceeds go to the making the Castle handicap accessible.
Many participating stores will have a new brochure on hand called "Home for the Holidays" in Storm Lake. Stop in and pick one up featuring a schedule of many holiday evens held in the community. Santa's Castle and Miracle on Lake Avenue's "Home for the Holidays" are projects of the Storm Lake Chamber of Commerce. For more information please call Marilyn Monson at 712-732-3780.
Santa's Castle is offering children a new experience this holiday season by going online to www.santascastleonline.com, write their letter to Santa, email it off and then visit Santa's Castle where they will receive a personalized letter from Santa including their picture sitting on his lap.
The fun first begins by purchasing their Santa's Castle ticket at participating stores selling coded tickets and web site information. Then, from their home computers they may log on, answer a few quick questions and make out their Christmas list wish. This information then awaits Santa at the Castle to read over and make the child's visit with him super special. There are also reindeer games for the children to play on line. For more information visit Santa's Castle on line and check it out.
Storm Lake is very proud of their traditional holiday celebration and invites everyone to enjoy all or a part of these activities. Be sure to plan to be "Home for the Holidays" in Storm Lake this Thanksgiving weekend!