Christmas in Hometown Le Mars grows activities, fun
LE MARS — Celebrate the true spirit of Christmas and join in a day full of festive family events and holiday cheer and help support local businesses, too, at Christmas in Hometown Le Mars this Saturday, Nov. 26.
From dashing store displays and festive activities to heartwarming entertainment, explore what makes the Ice Cream Capital of the World® a must-see and shop Christmas destination. Spend the Saturday after Thanksgiving in Le Mars shopping, getting pictures with Santa, listening to live music, enjoying great food and watching a tree lighting ceremony at the Olson Event Center at 6 p.m.
“It’s going to be a day full of events,” said Margaret Catton, who is heading up this year’s celebration.
The idea started in 2020, and featured a Christmas tree lighting and show at the Olson Cultural Event Center in downtown Le Mars.
The 2021 event added more in-person activities and again partnered with the downtown businesses for Small Business Saturday shopping.
Now in 2022, more events have been added.
“We’re hoping to add a little something new each year, grow it just a bit more and get more people to come check out our great community,” Catton said.
“It’s your real life Hallmark holiday get-together,” she explained. “There’s cookie decorating, there’s arts and crafts, there’s hot chocolate, there’s Santa, and it’s everything you need in a nice contained little package. On top of that, you get to do Small Business Saturday shopping at all of our great retail stores and enjoy a grand finale event that evening. It really encompasses all that is a Hallmark movie.”
She noted downtown businesses have been good about participating in the activities.
The Le Mars Arts Center is hosting a craft event, with the library hosting the elf story time this year.
“Last year it was at the Olson Center and it really felt like it needed to be in a more intimate setting so we really appreciate it,” she said.
There will again be cookie decorating at the Uptown Event Center, while the Convention & Visitors Bureau will host a kids ornament decorating activity.
“We’ve added some festivities this year. We have our Christmas Carnival which will be inside the Life Skills Facility at 44 First Avenue N.E. We are taking it over for the day and turn it into a little carnival event, having face painting, balloon making, glitter tattoos, and two different times frames to catch a magic show. So that’s a nice, new indoor event,” she said.
There will still be reindeer, but they are off-limits as far as touching.
“They are limited because they are prepping for work, but we will still have two. And we are adding pony rides and a petting zoo, with pigs, a baby alpaca, bunnies, goats and a donkey,” she said.
Santa Claus’s schedule has been switched up this year as well.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at Habitué Coffeehouse and Bakery from 9 to 11 a.m. They will take a lunch break and then go to the Olson Cultural Event Center from noon to 2 p.m. They will make a final appearance from 5-6 p.m., just before the evening show at the center.
“So there will be three different opportunities to snag those pictures for your Christmas cards that everybody needs,” Catton said.
Jill Miller will perform on the Olson stage from 1-2 p.m., with the CDA dancers at 2 p.m., and The Turn Around Dancers at 3 p.m.
Another new event is s’mores,” Catton said.
Safety with S’mores will feature fire pit stations and s’mores hosted by the Le Mars Fire Department.
“I would be remiss if I didn’t mention we will be doing Bingo with Blu, a new event, at the The Wells Visitor Center & Ice Cream Parlor. I’m sure there will be some sweet prizes,” Catton said.
Over in the Olson Center parking lot there will be some festive food trucks.
“Habitué will have hot chocolate, and fruit smoothes, and the Wells truck will have ice cream of course. There will be Jack’s Kettlecorn, and a new truck with roasted pecans, almonds and popcorn,” Catton explained.
The Knights of Columbus Hall will also be busy all day.
It will host the kickoff of the Santa Fun Run.
“We are already well over our registration in numbers that we had last year so we’re very excited for that,” Catton said. “It’s fun, it’s festive and everyone really gets into it and dresses up in costume, so that will kick us off. When they finish there, we will have more Christmas Crafts for adults, in the KC Hall, and also warm food there, chili, and cinnamon rolls, chicken nuggets, and so hot food on the spot watching activities. A real convenient opportunity.”
Register by going to Christmas in Hometown Le Mars Santa Fun Run.
The evening finale is the Christmas Concert with The Browns and the Christmas Tree lighting, starting at 6 p.m. at the Olson Cultural Event Center.
Don’t forget the drive-in movie viewing at Total Motors on Friday night, Nov. 25 at 7 p.m.
On Saturday, Breakfast with Rudolph is at 8:30 a.m. at The Browns Century Theater. Tickets are needed and must be purchased at Purchase tickets through Tix - Ticket Sales www.christmasinlemars.com under events.
Don’t forget about the Find the Joy in Christmas Scavenger Hunt.
Participating stores will have the “Find the Joy” picture strategically displayed inside their store. Scavenger hunters, upon finding the picture, will have the store staff initial the appropriate box on their tally card. Completed cards, with each store box marked, should be returned to the collection box inside both the Wells Visitor Center & Ice Cream Parlor or the Le Mars Convention and Visitors Bureau to be entered into a prize drawing. Remember to snap a photo in each store when you “find the joy!” Tally cards are available in all participating stores and at both drop off locations.
There will be photo opportunities at the Olson Center as well as around the downtown and at Foster Park, with holiday decorations.
City crews have been busy making sure all the Christmas decorations are up in the town.
“The city crews are phenomenal. We have gotten to know each other very well over the past couple years and I am just forever indebted and grateful for all of their help in getting everything up and going,” Catton said.
“Watch for the Christmas clown who will be wandering around doing bubbles,” Catton added. “And we also have our Christmas carolers, a quartet, to add to the holiday atmosphere. You will see them wandering here and there in the downtown area,” she said.
For a complete listing of all Christmas in Hometown Le Mars activities, go to www.christmasinlemars.com.