By Tara Bitzan, Executive Director, Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce
Christmas in the Fort and the Broadway Lighting Ceremony have been the traditional way to kick off the holiday season in our community for decades.
Thousands attend the event that includes visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, holiday treats, live reindeer, choral entertainment, a Parade of Trees, and simple gathering of friends.
This year’s event is scheduled for Friday, November 25 from 3 to 6 pm. At 5:15 pm, a lighting ceremony will be held to turn on the Christmas lights down Broadway.
Alexandria is a lovely, historic community that seems like the perfect setting for a “Hallmark-style” Christmas. That’s why a small group of volunteers who call themselves the Friends of Christmas came together to talk about creating some additional holiday traditions for the community.
New this year is the Lights on Broadway holiday light parade that will be held from 4th to 8th Avenue on Broadway Street at 6 pm immediately following the Christmas in the Fort event. Anyone can enter a float – businesses, organizations, families, neighborhoods, individuals. There is no entry free, and prizes will be awarded for Most Christmas Spirit and Brightest Lights. Simply send an email with your intent to have an entry to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also new this year is a skating rink at Big Ole Park along 2nd Avenue. This rink will be open to all for use at no charge. Organizers are currently working on gathering donations of used skates to be stored on site for people who may not have skates. Donations can be dropped off at the Chamber of Commerce, 206 Broadway, from 8:30 to 4:30 Monday through Friday.
The Friends of Christmas hope to add additional events in 2023, including a Saturday Christmas Market at Big Ole Park and a walk-through Christmas light display.
If you are interested in helping with these efforts through volunteerism or financial support, please contact me (Tara Bitzan) at the Chamber of Commerce, 320-763-3161 or email@example.com.