The Miracle on Lake Avenue Holiday Celebration is again focused on a "Home for the Holiday" theme, with events Thanksgiving Day, Friday and Saturday this week.
"Storm Lake is very proud of this traditional holiday celebration and we invite everyone to bring visiting relatives and friends to enjoy the festivities," says Marilyn Monson, Storm Lake Chamber of Commerce Director. Here's a rundown:
To kick-off the three day celebration, Santa's Castle opens Thanksgiving Day from 2-5 p.m. Enjoy this years Castle's theme, "The Nutcracker", with all new displays and finish your visit on the lap of Santa Claus telling him all that you want for Christmas. Don't miss the expanded railroad train lay-out downstairs for young and old alike. Last year, over 7,000 children and their families experienced this unique holiday collection of antique animations, displayed in a true winter wonderland.
Purchase your Santa's Castle ticket ahead of time and with your special elf ticket number kids can go online and write a letter to Santa as well as play reindeer games. Then visit the Castle and Santa will have a few surprises waiting for them. See www.santascastleonline.com.
Friday: Lights On & More
The Friday night, November 28th, the celebration activities will begin at MetaBank with a wine and cheese reception. Everyone is invited to enjoy refreshments and or devours while listening to balcony music by David Klee. Iowa wines will be served from Elements, by K. Sorbe. Everyone is asked to bring a canned food item to be donated to Upper Des Moines.
Live Nativity Scene
Across the street at Citizen First National Bank, at 5:30 Friday, there will be a live nativity scene hosted by the Lakeside Presbyterian Church. Animals share their space in the manager scene as the Christmas story is told.
Also at 5:30, at Witter Gallery, Scruffles, the mouse from Santa's Castle, will host a children's story-telling hour including "The Nutcracker", this year's theme story for Santa's Castle. Santa and Mrs. Claus will also be there and following the story hour, will lead the children singing Christmas carols as they walk over to the Castle for the lighting ceremony.
At 6:30 Friday night, the official holiday lighting ceremony program will begin following all of the other activities, with a countdown to the holiday lights on the courthouse green. Everyone i sinvited to join in. Stores will be open until 8 p.m.
During the lighting ceremony, the winner of the Scrooge contest will be announced and crowned as the Grand Marshal for the Miracle on Lake Avenue Parade. Four well-known Storm Lake medical professionals have volunteered to be "Scrooge-Elects" to help raise money for Santa's Castle.
The community may "vote" for their favorite Scrooge by placing donations to Santa's Castle in the container of their favorite Scrooge, with tomorrow as the last day to vote. 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 Santa's Castle.
The candidates for the Scrooge contest are:
* Dr. Tim Daniels of the Trimark Family Center
* Linda McClintock of the United Community Health Center
* Dr. Troy Ivey of Buena Vista Regional Medical Center Specialty Clinic
* Dr. David Crippin of Trimark BV Clinic
* New this year will be the larger than life Father Christmas who will bring back the nostalgic legend of Christmas past. Jerry Johnson, of Buena Vista University, has graciously volunteered for both Friday night's activities and Saturday morning's parade. Bring your cameras, have your picture taken with Father Christmas and create your own holiday memories.
* There will be an auction for a wooden Nutcracker designed by Jeff Klatt of Run-away Saws who is famous for his wooden cravings throughout the Storm Lake area. Kevin Cone will be the auctioneer as all proceeds go to Santa's Castle.
* Many participating stores will have a new brochure on hand called "Home for the Holidays" in Storm Lake, featuring a schedule of events.
Miracle on Lake Avenue Parade Saturday
Saturday morning will be the Miracle on Lake Avenue annual parade down Storm Lake's main boulevard, starting at 10:30 a.m. This year's parade theme is "The Nutcracker Sweet!" Participating stores will be open at 9 a.m. offering holiday treats, warm beverages and holiday shopping specials both inside and outside of the stores. There will be holiday characters greeting the shoppers, entertainment in the store windows and free movies at noon and 2:30 p.m. at Vista 3 Theatre.
"We are creating a weekend full of family fun! Everyone is invited to join in on the activities!" says Monson.
Santa's Secret Shop
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. Located on the 2nd floor of the Historic Masonic Building in downtown Storm Lake and will be open every Saturday starting on November 29th until Christmas from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Volunteers will assist young shoppers to find those perfect gifts for family members and friends.
Snow Village Debuts
Also, another great reason to come to Storm Lake over the holidays is the "Snow Village display found at the parsonage manse just east of the Lakeside Presbyterian Church at 114 East 3rd Street. Dave and Sheri Kehler has spent many hours creating this wonderful collection of miniature houses and buildings, street lights and roads, villages and mountains as well as minute trains traveling through each region. Tou