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Getting into the holiday spirit (w/video)

The Zion Lutheran Church Children’s Choir performed a variety of Christmas songs at Friday’s celebration. (Al Edenloff/Echo Press)2 / 7
The Jefferson High School Carolers, under the direction of Steve Dietz, entertained the Christmas in the Fort crowd on Friday night with holiday harmonizing.3 / 7
Quinn Schrantz of St. Cloud told Santa her Christmas wishes at Fort Alexandria Friday. She was in Alexandria to visit her grandparents. (Al Edenloff | Echo Press)4 / 7
Emma Thompson of Alexandria petted a reindeer, either Comet or Cupid, at Fort Alexandria Friday. Right, The Nordic Bees performed in the old school house during Christmas in the Fort.5 / 7
The Christmas in the Fort crowd munched on snacks while huddling around a fire.6 / 7
The Nordic Bees performed in the church during Christmas in the Fort.7 / 7

Let the countdown to Christmas begin.

The Christmas season officially kicked off in Alexandria Friday.

Hundreds of people braced temperatures in the teens along with icy winds to attend the Runestone Museum’s “Christmas in the Fort” on North Broadway.

There were plenty of ways for people to stave off the chill – sipping hot apple cider, warming their hands over an open fire, munching on a steamy pretzel or going inside to see Santa and Mrs. Claus.

A steady stream of fort-goers also warmed up by going to the church where they were treated to Scandinavian music from the Nordic Bees.

The Zion Children’s Choir helped set the mood by singing a variety of Christmas carols. After each selection, the crowd gave the singers a burst of applause, although it was muffled because practically everyone was wearing gloves.

The Jefferson High School Carolers also performed a festive collection of songs.

The celebration was capped by a ceremony to officially turn on the Christmas lights that brighten up Broadway.

See more photos and a video of the Christmas in the Fort activities at www.echopress.com.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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