Celebrating Christmas in a big way, the Cuyuna Lakes Area is hosting a holiday festival filled with signature events, glowing lights, and jolly décor the first weekend of December. Festival-goers can enjoy a slew of enjoyable activities for all ages, so bring out the whole family for a weekend of fun.
Most of the events will take place on Saturday, Dec. 3, at Snow Many Smiles in Crosby’s Memorial Park which will be transformed into a dazzling holiday wonderland that looks straight out of a storybook. The aroma of campfires will fill the air and mingle with the sound of carolers singing classic Christmas tunes and spreading good old-fashioned holiday cheer.
The highlight of the “Hallmark movie-esque” event will be a free concert by PopROCKS which will perform in a heated tent at 4 p.m. From 2-6:30 p.m. there will be a variety of activities and entertainment for the entire family including games with prizes, face painting, fire dancers, a youth art contest, cookie bake-off, hayrides, and the Tree of Love ceremony. Santa and Mrs. Claus will also be on hand to spread Christmas cheer and free yuletide snacks will be served. The grand finale of fireworks will be at 6 p.m. over Serpent Lake.
Guests can also walk the streets of Crosby's enchanting Main Street and soak up the sights and sounds of the holiday season. Numerous businesses will have specially decorated storefronts and offer special sales throughout the weekend.
Earlier on Saturday, there’ll be a group bicycle ride in Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area for Global Fat Bike Day. Riders will meet at the Sagamore Unit Trailhead parking area off Highway 59 and begin either a short or long ride at 10:30 a.m. Also planned is a Sunset Ride at 3:30 p.m. from the Hudson in Ironton to Snow Many Smiles. Bike lights and holiday decorations are encouraged.
Lunch with Santa will take place at the Deerwood Auditorium from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Garrison Bay Lake Area Lions and The Deerstand are sponsoring the event. Children 12 years and younger and special needs youth are asked to register online at cuyunachristmas.com by Friday, Nov. 18. Each child will receive lunch donated by the Deerstand, visit Santa, and receive a treat bag and gift appropriate to their age, enjoy entertainment, and go home with a bag full of all the ingredients for a holiday ham dinner.
The weekend’s other events will begin with Girls Night Out. Participants will have three days to shop at various businesses where they will receive stamps. Stamped entry forms delivered to the Deerwood American Legion by 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, will be eligible to win $500 in Cuyuna Cash and over 75 door prizes. Must be 18 and older to participate and be present to win. A designer handbag raffle is also planned that evening as well as food and drink specials.
Fun will continue in the area’s beautiful outdoors on Friday, Dec. 2, with a snowshoe and hiking event along the Cuyuna State Recreation Area State Trails. Later Friday, a Jingle Bell Jam with live music and a holiday attire contest will take place at 7 p.m. at the Ironton American Legion. The Legion will also hold a Reindeer Rump Meat Raffle beginning at 6:30 p.m.
A Cuyuna Christmas Medallion Hunt is also scheduled. Clues will be posted on the Crosby-Ironton Courier’s Web site, www.c-icourier.com, its Facebook® page and on its front window at 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. starting Tuesday, Nov. 29 (until the medallion is found).
As part of Cuyuna Christmas there will be a cash raffle to support Smiles for Jake, a local suicide prevention movement that spreads positivity through the message that everyone should have hope. First prize is $1,500; second $1,000; third $750; fourth $500; fifth $250; and sixth through ninth prizes are $50 Ironton Legion gift certificates. Tickets are $5 each and available at CRMC’s Cuyuna Lakes Pharmacy, the Ironton American Legion, Town Tavern in Ironton, and Cub Foods in Brainerd and Baxter.
A Cuyuna Christmas is a yearly yuletide affair brought to the community by Cuyuna Regional Medical Center, Smiles for Jake, and the support of numerous area businesses, organizations, and volunteers. Event sponsors to date include American Peat Technology, AutoSmith Service Group, BLADEC/CREDI, Crosby Fire Relief Association, Crosby-Ironton Courier, CTC, Cuyuna Chamber, Cuyuna Fire Relief Association, Deerwood Bank, Deerwood Firemen’s Relief Association, GLS Promotions Plus LLC, Graphic Packaging, Holmvig Excavating, Ironton American Legion, Koop Funeral Home, Tito’s, Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union, Mixed Company A Kava House, Nelson Trucking, Oberg Fence, Range Disposal Services, and Spalding House. In-kind donors include Anderson Brothers Construction, Hubbard Radio, Peace Trees, Red Rider Resort, and Super One Foods of Crosby.
For a full schedule, details, list of sponsors, and current information about all the activities visit cuyunachristmas.com.