Home for the Holidays festivities begin FridayThis year’s Home for the Holidays festivities are on track. Set for this weekend, Dec. 2-4, Cloquet's holiday celebration includes the lighting of the tree and donations of warm winter clothes Friday, hayrides and a parade on Saturday and much, much more.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
Santa Claus – check.
Hayrides – check.
Charitable giving – check.
Lots of family fun – check.
This year’s Home for the Holidays festivities are on track. In fact, according to Reneé Birman of Cloquet Ford Chrysler Center – which cosponsors the event with Members Cooperative Credit Union – with the addition of a new family dance at the Cloquet Armory Saturday night, this weekend’s event (Dec. 2-4) should be bigger and better than last year.
“It’s Cloquet’s way of coming together,” said Birman, explaining that the main reason behind the festivities is to get people interacting with each other at the start of the holiday season. “We have the lighting of the Christmas tree, the parade, the magic show, so many fun things. It’s about the kids and getting excited for Christmas.”
While the Saturday evening parade undoubtedly draws the biggest crowd, there are many more opportunities for folks eager to embrace the holiday spirit.
The weekend’s events begin at 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, at Queen of Peace school, with a chili and soup dinner with Santa ($5 adults, $3 for children and free for kids 3 and younger), free photos with Santa by photographer Alan Johnson, as well as Christmas crafts. From there, at 6:30 p.m. folks can head to Veterans Park, where Santa Claus will light the Christmas tree and then spend the night, collecting coats, hats, mittens and toys (new or only gently used, please). Activities at Veterans Park include caroling, fire pits, fire twirlers and s’mores. Volunteers will also collect non-perishable donations for the local food shelf.
Saturday, Dec. 3, starts early with a pancake breakfast from 7:30-10:30 a.m. at the VFW, 210 Arch St., sponsored by the Skateboard Committee with all proceeds to go toward a new skate park.
From 1- 5 p.m. Saturday, revelers have the option of traveling between three sites via wagon or finding their way via other means of transportation. Information about activities at each of the three sites follows:
+ Curves Parking lot will have a bonfire, food vendors, coffee and hot chocolate, music and trolley rides.
+ Event sponsor Members Cooperative will have Christmas crafts, cookies, stories with Mrs. Claus, face painting by tattoo artist Maura and hayrides.
+ Event sponsor Cloquet Ford Chrysler Center will have magic shows at 1 and 3 p.m. in a heated tent outside the dealership, plus folks can decorate and eat a Christmas cookie washed down with a cold soda from 1-4:30 p.m.
Lineup for the parade starts at 5 p.m. The parade starts at 6 p.m. Saturday and will travel down Cloquet Avenue from 18th Street to Eighth Street. Dress warmly – even with all the heart-warming floats, it gets cold standing around. The new Miss Cloquet will also be introduced at the parade, replacing outgoing Miss Cloquet Laura Bakken. People can register to be in the parade online at santashomefortheholidays.com.
A family dance featuring “Gramps with Amps” will follow the parade from 7-11 p.m. at the armory. Admission is free with a donated toy; otherwise a suggested donation of $5 will get you in the door.
Churchill Elementary will hold its craft fair (admission is free) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The event features more than 50 vendors.
The County Seat Theatre is putting on a double bill, including the one-act play “The Christmas Miser” and the Bill and Kate Isles Holiday Concert starting at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights and 2 p.m. Sunday. (See Page A5 for more.)
There is also a competition among Cloquet businesses for best-decorated window.
For information on sponsoring the event or questions, call Reneé Birman at 218-590-9399.