Celebrated the first weekend in December for the past quarter century, the Winsted Winter Festival is a taste of all that’s in store for the coming Christmas s
The event’s 25-year anniversary will take place in 2013.
Sponsored by the Winsted Area Chamber of Commerce, the festival features a lighted Christmas parade, snowmobile show, train display, hayrides, concert, contests, a visit from Santa Claus, and more.
The holiday outdoor lighting contest, judged by residents of St. Mary’s Care Center and members of the Winsted Area Chamber of Commerce, is the first sign the festival is near. The 2012 winners were Collin and Amy Botner of 141 Fairlawn Ave. in first place ($100), Brad and Leah Mallak of 616 Hunter Circle in second place ($75), and Mike and Marietta Specken of 117 Linden Ave. E. in third place ($50).
A Christmas concert at St. John’s Lutheran Church takes place each year, the Friday of the festival. Other activities also take place that day, such as business open houses, a silent auction at the library, and bake sales.
More events are planned throughout Saturday, as well, including the vintage snowmobile show in the Blue Note parking lot. Free hayrides around town, leaving from the Blue Note, are offered by Carlson’s Orchard and Fleischacker Landscaping. Inside the Blue Note, children can visit Santa Claus and check out the St. Paul Railroad Club model train display.
Because of extra sponsors in 2012, the Winsted Area Chamber of Commerce was able to purchase a real tree for the Winsted Christmas tree lighting at the lake promenade.
Each year, the festival ends Saturday evening with a lighted Christmas parade and a dessert social at Holy Trinity Church’s social hall.
Winsted Winter Festival button drawings take place right after the festival. The 2012 winners were Cathy Telecky ($100 in Winsted Bucks), Angie Hertel of Lester Prairie ($75), and Peyton Helmbrecht ($50).
Plans are already in the making for the 2013 festival, set for Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6 and 7.