December 1, 2011 at 8:18 a.m.

Small Town Christmas is now underway, if you want to see Santa, come to town this weekend


Small Town Christmas officially has begun in the Chisago Lakes area. Taylors Falls annual tree lighting and parade on Friday. There was a huge group of people that attended the parade.

If you missed the event, don't worry. This weekend will be filled with tree lighting ceremonies.

Center City will be hosting its annual Small Town Christmas celebration on Friday. You are invited to dress in fun holiday garb and bring your jingle bells. Everyone will meet in front of Printing Express at 6:30 p.m.. From there, you will walk up Summit Avenue and back to the fire house for a Christmas movie. Please bring a food shelf donation.

Saturday is Lindstrom's turn. Beginning at 4:30 p.m., the lighting festival will take place in Memorial Park. There will be free hot dogs and brats, carnival games, face painting, wagon rides, a bonfire and a station to make your own ornaments. There will be a band playing until Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive at 5:30 p.m. Make sure to bring your camera to get a photo with Santa. You are also asked to bring a food shelf donation.

Chisago City wraps up the weekend on Sunday with its lighting ceremony, in Moberg Park. There will be a Northern Lights Parade at 4:30 and you will be treated to hot cocoa, cookies and s'mores. There will be caroling by members of the High School Choir. At 5 p.m., Grand Marshal Chuck Gramling will flip the switch turning on thousands of lights in the park. Santa will make his arrival at 5 p.m. accompanied by his elves. Santa will accept children's Christmas wishes and Christmas letters. Please be sure to include your name and a return address. There will be a collection for Anonymous Santa as well as food donations for the food shelf.

Speaking of donations, the Chisago Lakes Library is doing something really great this holiday season. You are invited to participate in the Giving Tree. What is the Giving Tree? You go to the library (now or soon) and select a tag from the tree. The tags will have a child's identification on them such as age and gender. You then purchase a new book or two for the child identified on the tag. The books must be dropped off at the Library by December 14. All books collected will be given to the Chisago county Health and Human Services for distribution to Chisago county residents. You can also donate money if you like.

On Sunday, you are invited to the grand opening of McDonalds in Chisago City. There will be a show featuring Ronald McDonald, drawings for an e-tablet, a bike giveaway and gift cards. You are asked to bring a food donation for the local food shelf as well. McDonalds is located in the new strip mall across from Central Bank in Chisago City.

I will once again urge you to shop locally this year. I hate to sound like a broken record, but I swear to you, we have some amazing businesses in our area. If you take a little time to visit them, I promise you will be impressed. You can definitely find something for everyone on your list in our area. Please give it a try, you won't be disappointed.

If you were one of the lucky ones that attended the Chisago City play "The Ghost of Camp Ojiketa over the summer, you know what a great time it was. The play was hysterical and the setting was magical. If you missed it and wished you attended, I have your solution. You can now purchase a DVD of "The Ghost of Ojiketa". The dvd's are currently being sold at Chisago Drug in downtown Chisago City. Community acting is so special, to see people you know performing on stage is really, really neat.

If you have a child that has a cold, I need to relay something we found out. Our daughter had a minor cold for a week or so that ended with a cough as they sometimes do. That cough got progressively worse to the point where she was coughing every thirty seconds or so. We brought her into the clinic and had some tests run. The nurse told us she had a virus, so we went home.

Four days later and no relief from the coughing, we decided to take her in again. This time the tests came back and we were told she had pneumonia. Apparently there is a ton of kids that have pneumonia right now.

If your child has been coughing non stop and you have been told they have a virus, you might want to take them back and get them checked again. Pneumonia can be very serious if untreated.

Chisago County lost an absolute icon last week. Clayton Anderson passed away at the age of 101. Clayton was involved in many many businesses in the area including a general store in Sunrise, and the Ford dealership in North Branch. Up until a few years ago, Clayton could be seen at community events and on the golf course with his trusted dog. Clayton will be missed by all.

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