With one major holiday down and another fast approaching, Cloquet is gearing up for one of its signature annual events: the Santa’s Home for the Holidays celebration Dec. 4-7.

The event has been around for more than 10 years, according to organizer Alyson Leno, and it keeps growing.

The event began as a parade down Cloquet Avenue sponsored by Cloquet Chrysler Ford and Members Cooperative Credit Union, but has grown to four days full of events for kids and adults.

Veterans Memorial Park is lit by Christmas lights donated by Nathan Bentley and Bentleyville. Smaller kid-focused events like Elf Bingo, live reindeer and a hockey game pitting Cloquet alumni against Duluth East alumni are sponsored by local businesses and organizations.

Cloquet-Esko-Carlton alum Jeff Leno takes a shot on Duluth East goaltender Dylan Parker during the third period of the 2018 game. The 2019 edition begins at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at Northwoods Credit Union Arena in Cloquet. (Pine Journal file photo)
Cloquet-Esko-Carlton alum Jeff Leno takes a shot on Duluth East goaltender Dylan Parker during the third period of the 2018 game. The 2019 edition begins at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at Northwoods Credit Union Arena in Cloquet. (Pine Journal file photo)

“We’ve had so many amazing businesses step up and offer support in providing a fun community event for families to enjoy,” Leno said. “If it weren’t for these businesses and organizations, the event simply couldn’t be possible.”

The event also features a Christmas-themed play at County Seat Theater and “Storytime with Santa” at Dunlap Park, which includes skating and holiday crafts for kids.

The festival provides four days of mostly free events, Leno said.

“I personally love seeing the live reindeer every year — it’s not often we get to witness something so special,” she said. “I also love to see all the joy the event brings to families. Seeing everyone’s smiles, laughter and excitement. That is the most wonderful thing.”

Cloquet Police Department Officer Rick Benko serves up some chili during the 2018 Santa's Home for the Holidays celebration. The 2019 event takes place Dec. 3-7 with events throughout Cloquet. (Pine Journal file photo)
Cloquet Police Department Officer Rick Benko serves up some chili during the 2018 Santa's Home for the Holidays celebration. The 2019 event takes place Dec. 3-7 with events throughout Cloquet. (Pine Journal file photo)

Wednesday, Dec. 4

  • 4:30-7 p.m. — Elf Bingo for kids and free chili feed, sponsored by Cloquet and Fond du Lac police departments, Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church, 515 Skyline Blvd.

  • 7 p.m. — County Seat Theater performance of “Sorry! Wrong Chimney!," 2035 Highway 33 South. Tickets $20 for adults and $18 for students and seniors.

Thursday, Dec. 5

  • 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. — Winter Fest Gift and Craft Show, Cloquet Armory, 801 Highway 33 South.

  • 10:15-11:15 a.m. — Storytime with Santa: Holiday-themed stories, hot chocolate, cookies, holiday crafts, sponsored by Cloquet Community Education and the Cloquet Public Library, Dunlap Island, 300 Broadway St.

  • 7 p.m. — County Seat Theater performance of “Sorry! Wrong Chimney!," 2035 Highway 33 South. Tickets $20 for adults and $18 for students and seniors.

Friday, Dec. 6

  • 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. — WinterFest Gift and Craft Show at Cloquet Armory, 801 Highway 33, South.

  • 4:30-7 p.m. — Photos with Santa, dinner, holiday shop, baked goods and Christmas gifts, Queen of Peace Catholic Church, 102 Fourth St. Photos with Santa free with purchase of meal; $10 ages 13 and over and $5 ages 3-12.

  • 7 p.m. — County Seat Theater performance of “Sorry! Wrong Chimney!," 2035 Highway 33 South. Tickets $20 for adults and $18 for students and seniors.

The Black Pearl was one of many floats entered in the 2018 Santa's Home for the Holidays parade in Cloquet. The 2019 parade begins at 5 p.m. Saturday, December 7, along Cloquet Avenue. (Pine Journal file photo)
The Black Pearl was one of many floats entered in the 2018 Santa's Home for the Holidays parade in Cloquet. The 2019 parade begins at 5 p.m. Saturday, December 7, along Cloquet Avenue. (Pine Journal file photo)

Saturday, Dec. 7

  • 8:30-10:30 a.m. — Pancake breakfast sponsored by Boy Scout Troop 171, Churchill Elementary School, 515 Granite St. Tickets $5 for ages 13 and over and $3 ages 12 and under.

  • 9-11 a.m. — Cookie walk and country store, Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 515 Skyline Blvd.

  • 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Holiday Expo Craft Fair: Vendors, local entertainment and Scholastic Book Fair, Churchill Elementary School, 515 Granite St.

  • 1-4 p.m. — Cloquet Chrysler Ford Holiday Event: Decorate a Christmas cookie, magic shows (1:15 p.m. and 3 p.m.) and hayrides around Cloquet, 701 Washington Ave.

  • 1-4 p.m. — Live reindeer (2-4 p.m.), visit with Santa, stories with Mrs. Claus, face painting, cookies, hot dogs and chips, Membership Cooperative Credit Union, 1299 Highway 33 South.

  • 2 p.m. — County Seat Theater performance of “Sorry! Wrong Chimney!," 2035 Highway 33 South. Tickets $20 for adults and $18 for students and seniors.

  • 3-6 p.m. — Kids ID Program: Have an ID made for children and enjoy cookies and hot chocolate, Nelson Funeral Care, 1004 Cloquet Ave.

  • 4 p.m. — Fire Rings and s’mores, Cloquet Area Fire District headquarters, 508 Cloquet Ave.

  • 5 p.m. — Santa’s Home for the Holidays Parade along Cloquet Avenue followed by fireworks in Veterans Memorial Park.

  • 7 p.m. — Alumni hockey game: Cloquet alumni face off against Duluth East alumni, Northwoods Credit Union Arena, 1102 Olympic Drive. Tickets $5 for adults and $2 for students.