WINSTED, MN – Minnesota winters can be frosty, but one warm spot every year is the Winsted Winter Festival.
The 27th annual community event will take place Friday, Dec. 4 and Saturday, Dec. 5, but a few activities will start earlier in the week.
The outdoor lighting contest, for example, will be judged by residents of St. Mary’s Care Center in Winsted Wednesday, Dec. 2. People who would like to have their display considered should have their lights turned on by 5:30 p.m. that day. First place wins $100 in Winsted Bucks, second place receives $75, and third place is $50.
Businesses will also have a chance to light up the town. From Friday, Dec. 4 through Friday, Dec. 18, community members can email their votes for the best business display to firstname.lastname@example.org, vote online at www.winstedchamber.com, or call the Herald Journal at (320) 485-2535.
Artwork from the Winsted Arts Council summer and after-school clubs will be shown at the Winsted Arts Center (141 Main Ave. W.) Thursday, Dec. 3 through Saturday, Dec. 5, with a reception Friday, Dec. 4 from 5 to 7 p.m.
Other events Dec. 4 include open houses at local businesses, a Christmas concert at St. John’s Lutheran Church, a Giving Tree at Flagship Insurance Services, and a silent auction at the Winsted Public Library.
The auction will continue Saturday, Dec. 5, along with an assortment of other activities.
From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Blue Note Ballroom, there will be photos with Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, hayrides, face painting, food, a coloring contest, a dessert social, craft sale, and more.
In the Blue Note parking lot, vintage snowmobile owners will show off their collections from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
In the afternoon, a chili contest will take place at city hall.
Evening attractions include a Winsted Legion Club dinner, lighting of the Winsted Christmas tree, and singing of Christmas carols.
The lighted Christmas parade will take place at 6:30 p.m. through downtown Winsted. No pre-registration is required. Participants should line up near the Blue Note. A few downtown businesses are planning open houses/extended hours for people to step inside and warm up before and after the parade.
In honor of the years of dedication parade grand marshal Marietta Neumann has given to the McLeod Emergency Food Shelf, Lakes and Prairie Girl Scouts will be collecting non-perishable food donations during the parade.