PEQUOT LAKES - Santa's Bobbin' Into Town will kick off the beginning of the holiday season in Pequot Lakes.
The festivities will begin Nov. 29 with extended shopping hours and store discounts, a coloring contest with sheets available at downtown stores, children's photos with Santa for $5 and storytelling at Silver Creek Traders, horse-drawn wagon rides by the Benvelle Equestrian Center and a bonfire, carolers and hot chocolate at Trailside Park.
Santa will be bobbin' into town on Thursday and Saturday evenings in December as well.
Sponsors include TDS Telecom, Prudential Insurance/Roger LaPointe and Lonesome Cottage.
'Parade of Lights' slated Dec. 13 in Pine River
PINE RIVER - The Pine River Chamber of Commerce announced that a fun day of holiday activities are set for Dec. 13 in Pine River.
A Christmas program for kids 12 and younger is scheduled from noon to 3 p.m. at The Warehouse community center. Santa Claus will make his annual appearance at 1 p.m. with a treat for the kids. The Interact Group from Pine River-Backus High School will conduct a Christmas cookie decorating exercise for the kids and a free holiday movie will be shown during the afternoon. There is no cost for kids to attend.
The annual Pine River Parade of Lights will begin at 5:30 p.m. Lineup for the parade begins at 4:30 p.m. adjacent to First Lutheran Church. The theme for this year's parade is "Olympic Holiday," playing off the recent summer Olympic games in China. Two $100 chamber gift certificates will be awarded - one for the best use of lights and one for best use of lights in theme, respectfully. Any individual, group or organization is invited to enter the parade. Pre-registration is not required and there is no cost to enter.
After the parade, the chamber will host its annual holiday open house at the Information Center, with free Christmas cookies, hot cider and hot chocolate served to the public. The First Lutheran Church youth group will sell hot dogs and chips at the Information Center.
The evening will culminate with a holiday fireworks display, which will begin at approximately 6:30 p.m. Dec. 13 in the area behind Pine River State Bank.
Jolly Jingle Jam set at Weyerhaeuser Museum
The Morrison County Historical Society will host Jolly Jingle Jam from 2 to 5 p.m. Dec. 6, at the Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Memorial Museum in Little Falls. A program will be presented on the theme of music and the technology of sound.
All ages are welcome, refreshments will be served and the program is free.
For more information, call (320) 632-4007.
Barthel named Mrs. Todd County
Johnnie Barthel, Staples, has been named Mrs. Todd County. She will represent the county in the Mrs. Minnesota International Pageant March 14-15 in St. Cloud March.
The Mrs. Minnesota International Pageant system recognizes women for their commitment to family, profession and community stewardship.
Barthel volunteers for the Women's Center in Brainerd. She was chair for the first annual "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes," a walk that brings awareness to gender violence and sexual assault.
Barthel, wife of Gerald, mother of two and grandmother of five, is a full-time accounting student at Central Lakes College, Brainerd, where she is the Student Senate treasurer and on several committees.
Backus American Legion Post makes donation
BACKUS - Backus American Legion Post No. 368 has donated $2,600 from charitable gaming proceeds to the Backus Emergency Medical Team to help finance equipment and medical supplies, maintenance and operations.
The Backus First Response Rescue Unit serves the city and several townships in a vast rural area stretching more than 20 miles east and west and including locations between Backus and Pine River to the south and Hackensack to the north.
The Backus American Legion's charitable gaming operations support a broad range of community, educational, youth, veterans and active duty troop programs and includes the Post and Willard's Saloon and Eatery in Backus. The Post and its gaming partners have donated more than $600,000 to charitable activities since 1991.
Central Lakes College Ag Center gets $100,000 grant
STAPLES - The Central Lakes College Ag Center at Staples is the recipient of one of eight renewable energy grants funded by $3 million from the state of Minnesota.
The center will receive $100,000 over two years to be used in partnership with seven area land owners and the University of Minnesota to determine the energy content of five perennial native crops.
The grant, and the seven others funded by the Next Generation Energy Board, will accelerate the development of biofuels in Minnesota. The projects include cellulosic ethanol production, an anaerobic digester technology for hog manure, and using turfgrass to produce electricity.
The Central Lakes College study includes four native prairie plants. The project will include university faculty to evaluate switchgrass, intermediate wheatgrass, survivor false indigo, prairie cordgrass and miscanthus.
The project will demonstrate best-management practices for growing and harvesting the grasses for use as cellulosic energy crops.
GCOLA awards shoreline restoration grant
The Gull Chain of Lakes Association was recently awarded a $5,000 matching grant for shoreline restoration projects. The projects are funded in part by the Initiative Foundation, a regional foundation.
Under the grant, four parcels of land on the Gull Chain of Lakes are being restored with native plants and seed mixes. The four parcels will be used as demonstration projects to show property owners on the Gull Chain of Lakes the beauty of a natural shoreline.
It is believed that preserving or restoring shorelines with a natural vegetation buffer is the best way to reduce shoreland erosion, protect water quality and improve the health and diversity of shoreland and upland birds, wildlife and aquatic plants.
For more information, call Rosemary at 963-3542.
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