November 23, 2022 at 9:57 a.m.
DeeAnn or ‘DeeDee’ Fredlund attended all of school in the Tayors Falls building on the hill, where she graduated with a class of 26 seniors. She often misses the school as a hub of social life for Taylors Falls, especially the sports teams. “School was a big deal” in her formative days, she stated. The experience attending a K-12 school with a relatively small student population, was priceless. It left you feeling like you knew everybody, even school staff, at some level.
Her first job as a teen was waitressing at Jahns Cafe in St Croix Falls and she also could be found in her mom’s Taylors Falls stores; a store for western-equestrian goods and later, the “Silverstone” jewelry shop. And, of course, like thousands of youth over the decades, she worked at Wild Mountain for a time. Dee was involved in horse happenings and loved barrell-racing. Her family, the Grahams, even lived in what is now Romayne’s, so they were immersed in town life.
She married Jason, who is active in the area too, currently the chief at Almelund Fire Department, and together they provide a foster home for a Great Dane rescue organization. You may encounter them volunteering at Apple Fest in Almelund come autumn, or pitching in at Immanuel Church. Dee manages Rod’s Country Corner currently. They have a grown son Devon and daughter Becca.
Taylors Falls Lighting Festival has celebrated a Royal Lady of the Village since 1985. Some honorees have been born-and bred in the Christmas card village— while others have wafted into town, maybe following a spouse, and moved on. The Royal Lady serves as an ambassador for the festival, she leads the Friday night parade and while not exactly waited on hand-and-foot, she does get special, royal attention.
Royal Lady program organizer Carol Schumann said the longevity aspect in choosing a Royal Lady can be an important factor; but more so is how the female individual has contributed to creating a sense of community. She needs to be reliable, an active part of making things happen and exude goodwill.
Fredlund’s folks set the bar pretty high for all this and more, she recalls.
The lighted parade is tomorrow, Friday Nov 25 at dusk or approximately 6 p.m.. It goes on bench Street, mainstreet in Taylors Falls. And, see sidebar story for additional details of other Lighting Festival events. The setting this year with fresh snow all around and good weather forecast should make this celebration a winner.