Expanded Christmas on Historic Broadway returns to Spring Valley Saturday

A trail full of Christmas trees, horse-drawn rides, Christmas cards for veterans and gift wrapping are among the many new activities at the 14th annual Christmas on Historic Broadway in Spring Valley Saturday, Dec. 7.

Many favorites, such as the lighted parade and supper with Santa, along with events introduced last year, such as a sledding hill, a Christmas market and pet activities, are still on the schedule of the annual event put on by the Spring Valley Chamber of Commerce and Brave Community Theatre throughout downtown Spring Valley.

Trail of Trees set for entire day

The first items to go up on the big day are the Christmas trees that will line the trail through Spring Creek Park southwest of downtown. The featured trees will be contributions of local businesses, organizations and individuals who have chosen to string up some lights and add their own flair to the boughs.

People will be able to vote for their favorite tree by placing a ballot in a voting box available in the pavilion in the park. The Trail of Trees will be in place all day.

Sledding hill returns

Another all-day event is the sledding hill set up by O’Connell Excavating, weather permitting. Helmets are required to sled down the hill on Broadway Avenue just south of downtown. The O’Connells will also have free hot dogs to enjoy between trips up and down the hill.

The event was set up for the first time last year with snow falling just in time to allow O’Connells to move loads to the street. Many sleds, tubes and other craft slid down the temporary sledding hill.

Luncheon offered

The first scheduled event at 12:30 p.m. is a Christmas luncheon at Some Like it Hot. Reservations are required by calling 507-273-9460.

Baked goods on sale

The ALS bake sale will set up at 1 p.m. in the Spring Valley Community Center. Proceeds from the bake sale will again go to helping people living with ALS through a snowmobile event called the Black Woods Blizzard Tour. However, a new charitable organization, Never Surrender, Inc., will be heading up the fundraiser.

The bake sale is hosted by Gloria Blakeslee, whose son, Wes, who was diagnosed with ALS in 1998 and died in 2003, had a motto of “never surrender.” He was very active in ALS fundraising when he lived in Roseau in northern Minnesota.

Activities set for pets

Pets will be able to take in the festivities at the Shiny Hiney in downtown Spring Valley from 1 to 4 p.m. The business will have free pet pictures along with an All Things Animal Market that will feature numerous animal-related items for sale.

Carla Ladd will be showing her dog training finesse and Camp Companion will be on hand with adoptable dogs and cats as well as offering a hot dog, chips and pop for $5 as a fundraiser for the organization. Next Step will be selling homemade dog treats, which were a hit last year.

Enjoy s’mores after walk

The s’mores walk will start at 1 p.m. in the Community Center. Participants in this free event will receive their first item and a clue where to find the next item. After four stops, they will have all the ingredients to make s’mores at one of the fire pits available on Broadway Avenue.

Get your gifts wrapped

Wrapping for a Cure also begins at 1 p.m. in the former Buy it Now building across from the VFW Hall. Volunteers will be wrapping gifts for people until 4 p.m. for a free-will donation, with the proceeds to go toward cancer research.

Museum open for self-guided tours

The Spring Valley Historical Society will have an open house at the Washburn-Zittleman House Museum from 1 to 4 p.m. The Christmas tour of the house will be a self-guided walk through the building with some tour guides available to answer questions about the history of the building or artifacts on display. Admission is by donation.

A variety of Christmas cookies will be offered as well as coffee and hot water for tea and cocoa.  There will also be a small table with two very easy Christmas crafts for kids.

Wreaths on display

One other event starting at 1 p.m. and running until 5 p.m. is the Christmas wreath silent auction in the Community Center.

The Spring Valley Chamber of Commerce is still looking for decorated wreath donations with all money raised to be donated to playground equipment for the Kingsland courtyard project. This is open to all businesses, groups or individuals. Wreaths can be dropped off at the center on Saturday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. or at Kuehn Motors or Valley Home Improvement prior to that.

Run for football

The Frozen Feet 4k will take off from the Community Center at 2 p.m. The fun run will go south to Sample Road and then back into town on Territorial Road with the exact route dependent on conditions. At the finish line will be Christmas refreshments.

Registration is still open online at springvalleychamberofcommerce.com or by paper at the Spring Valley Tribune. There is a discount for pre-registration. All proceeds go to support Kingsland youth football.

Market showcases local goods

The Christmas Market on Broadway also begins at 2 p.m. in the VFW Hall where vendors will offer goods for sale until 7 p.m. Because the market has expanded in its second year, another location has been set up in the former Buy it Now building across the street.

The market is also the collection location for warm apparel, food and small gifts for Christmas in Fillmore County and the Spring Valley Area Food Shelf.

Market organizer Heather Hill of Doubletree Leatherworks in Cherry Grove said the reason she wanted to host a Christmas Market during Spring Valley's celebration “was simple: to give makers, artists and growers another chance to bring their products ‘to town’ and give shoppers easier access to quality goods.”

But, she also had some deeper reasons. She noted in a blog about shopping locally that when “you support local businesses, you make a positive impact on the world around you, your community.”

Shopping locally allows people to get to know the people who make their products, she added. It also bolsters the local economy, helping local businesses that are the ones who donate to local fundraisers and support local youth programs.

Shopping locally also supports families, especially important now as many small businesses struggle to make ends meet each month. And those people often make better quality products because artists makers, growers and creators make their goods with love, often creating heirlooms, she explained.

This also builds community: “Yes, when you shop local, you create worthwhile friendships,” she wrote in her blog. “Neighbors taking care of neighbors creates strong communities. Successful local businesses offer a unique community and invites tourists to explore your community. Thriving local businesses are supported by their local community.”

Make a card for a veteran

A new event this year is Christmas Cards for Veterans from 3 to 4 p.m. at the Christmas market. This activity provides an opportunity for people to make cards for local veterans to help spread holiday cheer to those who have fought for our freedom.

All materials will be provided for this free event open to everyone. Spring Valley Post 4114 Auxiliary is sponsoring this event.

Cinderella on stage

Also at 3 p.m., and again at 6:30 p.m. after the parade will be a 30-minute one-act play called “Simply Cinderella.” The play by Jacob Dorn is being produced by special arrangement with Pioneer Drama Services, Inc., of Denver and brought to Spring Valley by Brave Community Theatre.

The play follows the time-honored story of Cinderella and her very prince charming. Cast members include: Emily Biermann; Josie Sanford; Paul, Susie, Claire and Jim Mettler; Katlyn and Mason Mlinar; Greta Kunene; and Marcie Capelle as the wicked stepmother.

Watch live nativity

Another new event is a live nativity from 4 to 5 p.m. in the empty lot where Johnny Ringo’s once stood. The scene will be conducted by local 4-H youth.

Make your own cookie

Cut-out sugar cookie decorating will take place in the Community Center from 4 to 6 p.m. People will be able to decorate their own sugar cookies to take with them in this free event sponsored by the Spring Valley Area Community Foundation. All materials will be provided.

Enjoy Supper with Santa

The traditional Supper with Santa Claus, which started the whole event, will once again be held in the Community Center from 4 to 6 p.m. The meal has traditionally included chili, chicken and wild rice soup, macaroni and cheese, breadsticks and drinks. Entrance is by a free-will donation with proceeds after expenses to go to playground equipment for the Kingsland courtyard project.

At 5 p.m. holiday music by vocalist and pianist Maria Klingsheim will fill the Community Center that is typically already full of people drawn to the supper.

Horse-drawn rides offered

For those who want to venture outside before the parade, horse-drawn rides will be offered from 5 p.m. until the parade and then again one hour after the parade. The rides are courtesy of Denny Grell of Denny’s Trailer Sales, sponsored by Rack’s Bar and Grill.

Lighting up Broadway

At 6 p.m., people will go outside to watch the Christmas light parade travel south on Broadway Avenue from the intersection with the highway past the Community Center on Main Street. Various units take part in this annual favorite.