Home for the Holidays attracts revelers of all agesSanta and Mrs. Claus arrived at Cloquet’s Veterans Park Friday evening to the sound of Christmas carols and sleigh bells.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived at Cloquet’s Veterans Park Friday evening to the sound of Christmas carols and sleigh bells.
Reneé Birman, one of the primary organizers of the Home for the Holidays celebration, said the 75 or so revelers who gathered at the park for the Christmas tree lighting were singing when they heard the sound of sleigh bells ringing.
“Santa pulled up in the most beautiful sleigh pulled by a really animated horse,” Birman said.
Rudolph and his fellow reindeer must have had the evening off, she added.
Santa and Mrs. Claus were honored guests at a number of events Friday and Saturday. There were pictures with Santa at Queen of Peace Friday evening, during a record-breaking chili and soup dinner. Mrs. Claus also helped with crafting projects at Members Cooperative Credit Union – which co-sponsors the annual event with Cloquet Ford Chrysler Center – on Saturday afternoon and rejoined her husband to ride in the parade Saturday evening.
“Mrs. Claus was very popular and so was the face painting,” said MCCU Vice President Ryanne Battaglia, noting there was a constant line Saturday for face painting done by Maura of Shadowmaster. “It seemed like the kids had a lot fun, here and at the parade.”
Santa and Mrs. Claus were grand marshals in the parade, followed by the new Miss Cloquet, who made her debut Saturday. Cloquet High School senior Alexandria Thompson replaced outgoing Miss Cloquet Lindsey Bushnell as local royalty.
Winners from the parade and best storefront were announced Tuesday on WKLK radio. The award for Best Storefront decorations went to Enstrom Studio, 111 Avenue C, which won for the first time.
Parade winners include:
- Best Entertaining Float: Becky’s Dance
- Most Creative Float: Hermantown Equestrian
- Best Musical: Queen of Peace
- Best Fire Truck: Cloquet Area Fire Department
Although they didn’t win any trophies this year, the five men with Nelson’s Traveling Sauna earned the respect of many as they strolled down Cloquet Avenue wearing only swim trunks, Santa hats and summer shoes.
“It was about 180 degrees inside,” said Rob Nelson, who turned the camper into a cedar sauna and dressing room. “If we got cold, we could just run in there and warm up. But it was pretty nice out really.”
Nelson said his group was fine losing its “best fire truck” trophy to the CAFD, which had no trucks in last year’s parade because of two fire calls.
“They’re more important than we are,” Nelson said.