Expanded Christmas on Historic Broadway set for Saturday

Workers clear downtown of snow Sunday morning after last weekend’s storm. The truck loads of snow will be going the other direction next weekend as the hill in the background on South Broadway Avenue will be set up for sledding during Christmas on Historic Broadway Saturday afternoon. DAVID PHILLIPS/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE
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The 13th annual Christmas on Historic Broadway in Spring Valley will have several new events this year, including activities for dogs, downhill sledding fans, people craving a noon meal and shoppers interested in unique items at an indoor market.

Don’t worry, though, the old favorites, such as the lighted parade and supper with Santa, are still on the schedule of the annual event put on by the Spring Valley Chamber of Commerce and Brave Community Theatre Saturday, Dec. 8.

Shelly Skindelien, of the Shiny Hiney dog grooming salon, said that when she had conversations with fellow business owners, Chamber of Commerce members and community members, she found great enthusiasm for expanding the annual celebration to encompass more activities that include the whole downtown business community, from the little dog shop she and her husband, Bruce, own on the corner of Broadway and Jefferson all the way down to the Community Center, where the fun has traditionally taken place. 

She and Greg Melartin, who does Fins and Films during the summer, talked about getting something into the windows of the empty storefronts, a thought that also came up in a couple of messages with Chamber Secretary Ann Keim. They got together with Chamber President Julie Mlinar and Vice President Bridget Meyers at MinnWest bank along with other downtown businesses to cover all the windows so there are no dark spots, said Skindelien. 

“I’m doing the window next door, Cheryl Van Tries at Big Bob’s is doing the law office window, and Kari McGill is doing the big, long window next to her studio,” she said. “What I didn’t know when we came up with the window decorating is that there’s a window contest for the best business window decorations — the winner gets a free year of membership in the Chamber.”

Brave Community Theatre member Rita Hartert added that she appreciates that the event is made possible through the generosity of volunteers. 

“This event takes dozens of volunteers who want to showcase and promote our city while making it memorable for our children,” she said. “Our families don’t have to drive many miles and stand in long lines so their children can visit with Santa.” 

Dogs take over building

Skindelien is using the building next door to the Shiny Hiney to do some dog-related activities. Spring Valley veterinarians were contacted to bring some educational materials, and Carla Ladd of Ladd K-9 is coming with some of her training. The students at the school center downtown are making dog treats to sell for their program, too, she added.

People are also able to come in for free pet photos of their dogs at the Shiny Hiney from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. while the dog activities are being held next door.

Market on Broadway

Heather Hill, of Cherry Grove, who has Doubletree Leatherworks, is renting the VFW from 1 to 6 p.m. for a Christmas Market on Broadway with at least nine vendors in the newly-remodeled Spring Valley VFW.

The market will provide an opportunity to shop local and handmade goods from a variety of artisans and crafters. Gifts that will be available include homegrown popcorn, local honey, handmade goat milk soaps, handmade blankets, homegrown produce, jams, leather creations, wooden signs and more.

Shoppers are asked to bring warm apparel, food and small gifts as donations to Christmas in Fillmore County and the Spring Valley Food Shelf.

Lunch, s’mores and more

Some Like It Hot will be hosting a Christmas lunch at 12:30 p.m. as part of the festivities. The lunch is a catered event by reservation only.  Call Suzanne Gardner at 507-273-9460 to reserve a place or get more details. There will be live music and a Christmas sing-along after the meal.

Skindelien also noted that a s’mores walk will take place. People will start at one business where they will get a marshmallow, “they’ll go down to the next business and maybe get the chocolate, and maybe they’ll get skewers at the end because there’s a fire pit down by the Community Center,” she explained.

The Santa supper is again from 4 to 6 p.m. with a menu that includes chili, chicken and wild rice soups macaroni and cheese, breadsticks and drinks. Entrance is by a free will donation with proceeds after expenses going to the School Meals for Kids Fund at the Kingsland school to help children with past due lunch accounts.

“This will help pay for some meals for kids that have run out of school lunch money so that they can still have a good meal during their school day,” said Mlinar.  

Sledding hill

Another new event this year is the sledding hill on South Broadway Avenue south of the Community Center. The hill will be similar to the one during Sleds at the Cinema in January. Joe O’Connell trucks in snow for the roadway for children to sled down all afternoon.

Participants are asked to bring a helmet to the event, which looked unlikely to go due to lack of snow just a week ago.

Annual favorites

Many events during the day are repeat from past years. They include the ALS bake sale held by the Gloria Blakeslee family and Cherry Grove United Methodist Church from 1 to 5 p.m., the Frozen Feet Fun Run at 2 p.m., the Brave Community Theatre children’s play at 3 and 6:30 p.m., Bluff Country Singers and Friends at 5 p.m., cookie decorating with the Spring Valley Area Community Foundation from 4 to 6 p.m., an appearance by Santa Claus from 4 to 6 p.m. and the light parade at 6 p.m.

Also, Spring Valley Girl Scouts will be at the Community Center throughout the late afternoon, beginning at 4 p.m., doing face-painting and selling hot chocolate.

The Community Center will have decorated business Christmas wreaths. Any businesses that would like to bring a decorated wreath to advertise their business, or just add to the holiday spirit, can set them up at the Community Center Friday from 3 to 5 p.m. or Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Individuals are also welcome to participate and Kuehn Motors will be a drop-off point for any type of wreath through Friday.

The wreaths will be put on a silent auction for people at the Santa supper to bid on them. Proceeds will help Kingsland students with past due lunch accounts.

Hartert related that she has always liked attending the festivities at the Community Center. 

 “Personally, I truly enjoy standing back during the event inside, watching hundreds of community members young and old just enjoying themselves and visiting while having supper and taking in all the events,” she said. “I’m grateful the entire event is very inexpensive, so families can enjoy the Christmas season in Spring Valley without hurting the billfold.”

Skindelien noted that organizers are always looking for suggestions from celebrants about what they’d like to have in coming years. People who have ideas are asked to contact any member of the Chamber of Commerce or BCT.