Community Christmas trees

The community Christmas trees shine bright with color in 2018 during the KABA tree lighting at Kenyon Veterans Memorial Park during Christmas in Kenyon. (Mary Phipps/Kenyon Leader)

While the cities of Kenyon and Wanamingo prepare for their Christmas celebrations, it seems as if Mother Nature is also preparing in a unique way. The first winter storm of the season covered parts of Minnesota with five to 10 inches of snowfall, making conditions picture perfect for the celebrations.

Christmas in Wanamingo

The Wanamingo Commercial Club holds its annual Christmas in Wanamingo on Thursday with treats at industrial park from 4 to 5 p.m. and on Main Street from 5 to 7 p.m.

Stop by to say “Hi” to Santa from 5 to 7 p.m. at JB’s Tavern, but don’t forget to bring your camera for photo ops.

For those looking to donate gifts, clothing or money for local families in need, items should be brought to North Main Street from 5 to 7 p.m. Held Bus Company is sponsoring this event known as Pack a Bus. Another opportunity to help those in need to is donate to the Salvation Army, sponsored by the Lions Club.

Punch cards, accepted at participating Wanamingo businesses, give the bearer the chance to win ‘Mingo Bucks. The bucks which can only be used in the city. To qualify for the drawing, participants must have 10 different participating business stamp their cards. Completed cards must be placed into the drawing box at Security State Bank of Wanamingo to be eligible for four cash prize drawings, which will be announced Friday. First prize is $100, while each of the next three winners will receive $25.

Christmas in Kenyon

Events in Kenyon are scheduled all day long from 9 a.m. to midnight on Saturday, including fun events for all ages to enjoy whether looking to shop, eat, listen to entertainment or engage in activities. These events are organized by the Kenyon Area Business Association with participation from Kenyon-Wanamingo Schools and many other local organizations.


Festivities kick off in the morning at Security State Bank of Kenyon from 9 a.m. to noon with visits with Santa and an opportunity to enjoy some light refreshments. For those interested in taking photos, be sure to bring a camera. There will also be an area where kids can write a letter to Santa and drop it in the mailbox, after all it doesn’t hurt to tell him twice.

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Kenyon Public Library, guest readers will share their favorite stories. The Kenyon-Wanamingo girls basketball team will paint faces and holiday-themed coloring pages will be available for kid’s to exercise their creativity.

All cats, dogs, guinea pigs, rabbits and lizards (and their owners) are invited to attend this unique event. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Generations Ranch and Rescue and Sanctuary will be taking photos of beloved pets with the well-known character, The Grinch at the Kenyon Ambulance Garage. A $5 donation for each photo is preferred as proceeds will go directly to care for the animals.

The annual tree lighting takes place at 4:15 p.m. at Veterans Park. Treats will be available from FCCLA. At First Lutheran Church, a variety show takes place at 5:45 p.m. Police Chief Lee Sjolander will be the emcee for the evening. Live music, featuring Bryan Anderson, will be open to the public from 9 p.m. to midnight at the Kenyon Muni.


Shops along Second Street, and SIFT Thrift Store are taking part in the ‘shop Kenyon’ event from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring Christmas caroling provided by members of the Kenyon-Wanamingo Band and Choir. The All Seasons Activity Center will serve as a Marketplace for local home-based businesses, such as Scentsy, Norwex, Usborne Books and Wheat Pacs by Bonnie, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Those who aren’t keen on wrapping presents are in luck. SIFT Thrift Store offers gift wrapping from 2 to 4 p.m. The All Seasons Thrift store has 25-cent grab bags available for purchase from 10 a.m. to 3 pm.

Through Sunday, Kenyon Senior Living and D&S Banner Sign and Print will accept donations of mittens, gloves, scarves and headwear of any kind for their Mitten Trees. These winter wear items will be included in the Christmas from Kenyon drive helping neighbors in need in the Kenyon community through December. Donations can be dropped off during regular business hours at both locations.

There will also be red donation barrels around town to collect cold weather clothes, non-perishable foods and gift cards during the Christmas in Kenyon celebration. Gift cards may be dropped off at the Police Station and Held Bus Service. Both will accept donations before and after Christmas in Kenyon. They will also work with the greater Kenyon community to ensure neighbors in need receive those donations.


A cookie walk from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and an open house at 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. will be featured at the Gunderson House. For $10 per pound, customers can pick from dozens of homemade cookies, such as lefsa, krumkaka and rosettes with the proceeds going toward the upkeep of the historic landmark in Kenyon. During the open house, visitors will have the opportunity to see the beautiful decorations displayed throughout the entire house, have a treat and a cup of coffee.

Be sure to come with an empty stomach to enjoy chili and hotdogs at the VFW from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and for dessert, treats made by the Kenyon-Wanamingo Girl Scouts. For those looking for somewhere to stop and eat between the Tree Lighting and the Variety Show, join the Kenyon VFW in honoring Pearl Harbor Day from 5 to 7 p.m. They will be serving S.O.S. cream chipped beef on toast with meat from Nerstrand Meats along with biscuits and gravy on toast. Free-will donations will be accepted.

Reach reporter Michelle Vlasak at 507-333-3128 or follow her on Twitter @apgmichelle. ©Copyright 2019 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

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