Winsted Winter Festival
Fri.-Sat., Dec. 4-5, 2015

The first weekend of December is a chilly time of year, but in Winsted, there’s plenty of warmth and light to go around.

In 2014, Winsted celebrated its 26th annual Winsted Winter Festival (sponsored by the Winsted Area Chamber of Commerce), which featured a lighted Christmas parade, snowmobile show, model train display, coloring contest, visits from Santa Claus, and more.

Each year, the festivities begin with a holiday outdoor lighting contest judged by residents of St. Mary’s Care Center and members of the chamber of commerce.

The 2014 winners were Brad and Leah Mallak ($100), Dave and Rose Lachermeier ($75), and Anthony and Laura Laxen ($50).

A business lighting contest was added in 2014, and the Winsted Public Library was awarded a free 2015 Winsted Area Chamber of Commerce membership for its holiday display.

The Friday of the festival, a Christmas concert takes place at St. John’s Lutheran Church. Other activities that day typically include business open houses, a silent auction at the library, and bake sales.

More events are planned for the first Saturday in December, such as the vintage snowmobile show in the Blue Note parking lot. Inside the Blue Note, visitors can have photos taken with Santa Claus, check out the St. Paul Railroad Club model train display, and enjoy lunch served by the Winsted royalty.

Each year, the festival ends Saturday evening with a lighted Christmas parade. The fire department was honored as grand marshal in the 2014 parade.

Plans are already in the making for the 2015 festival, set for Friday and Saturday, Dec. 4 and 5.