The Christmas spirit is high around the Whitefish Chain, and this weekend two more events will warm the heart and soul with holiday joy. This Saturday, Dec. 10 in Pequot Lakes, Santa's Bobbin' Into Town takes center stage, while Pine River is hosting its annual Parade of Lights.
Pine River's Parade of Lights is one of the city's biggest events of the year. Families bundled up for the snow line the streets to watch their favorite floats go by, including businesses, horses, horse drawn carriages and more- all decked out with lights. Local businesses will be running specials all week long as part of the festivities.
The day's celebrations in Pine River start early, with an indoor farmer's market at The Warehouse beginning at 10 a.m. After picking up some local goods, head over to the Pine River American Legion to have lunch with Santa beginning at 11 a.m. Outside the Legion will be horse drawn carriage rides until 2 p.m.
This year a new event is being added to the festivities. Heritage Group North, the local historical association, will present "A Marlow Theater Christmas Party Show, Recreating a Pine River Tradition." Years ago the Marlow was Pine River's movie theater. From the 1940s-60s, the Pine River Commercial Club sponsored a "Christmas Party Show" that was a holiday extravaganza for families with a matinee movie projected on the big screen. This year The Polar Express will be shown at the Historic Pine River Depot at 2:30 p.m. The movie is free for children 12 and under accompanied by an adult. After the movie, all children will receive a free bag of goodies.
The main event- the parade- begins at 5 p.m. The twinkling lights that travel down Barclay Avenue (the main road through town) would bring Christmas spirit to the most stubborn Scrooge.
The fun continues after the parade, with a holiday bonfire and free hot chocolate and apple cider at the Pine River Welcome Center just across Hwy. 371. Watch for the grand finale fireworks show after the parade.
Pequot Lakes' Santa's Bobbin Into Town is a relatively new tradition, but it's already beloved by locals and visitors alike. This year the event has many elements, beginning with a story time with Santa and Mrs. Claus at 3:30 p.m. at the Cole Memorial Building. Jingles the elf will be there, as well as animal balloons, a magician, crafts and goodies.
A bonfire with s'mores, cocoa and caroling will take place from 4-6 p.m. at Trailside Park, along with free horse and wagon rides and a kids bobber hunt.
From 4:30-5:30 find $4 kids dinners at the Hungry Loon and photos with Santa at Photojenic Photography Studio, both in the Jack Pine Center. At 5 p.m. will be a Wreaths for the Fallen Veteran's Ceremony at the Trailside Park Band Shelter.
The main event begins at 6 p.m. when the Light Up the Night Parade will come through town, twinkling and glittering in the snow. The parade will follow Government Drive from Pro-Build, then turn left onto Main Street, travelling down Main Street before turning left at the four-way stop.
Whichever event you attend, you're bound to have a day filled with holiday joy. Learn more about Santa's Bobbin Into Town at the Pequot Lakes Community Action site, and learn more about the Pine River Parade of lights at the Pine River Chamber of Commerce website or Facebook page.