Spirit of the season starts with Christmas in the FortThe crisp, wintry weather may have some believing the holiday season is here, but this Friday, November 28, residents are invited to officially let the spirit of the season begin with the annual Christmas in the Fort event. Christmas in the Fort, which includes the annual lighting ceremony of downtown Alexandria, will take place in Fort Alexandria at the Runestone Museum.
By: Celeste Beam, Alexandria Echo Press
The crisp, wintry weather may have some believing the holiday season is here, but this Friday, November 28, residents are invited to officially let the spirit of the season begin with the annual Christmas in the Fort event.
Christmas in the Fort, which includes the annual lighting ceremony of downtown Alexandria, will take place in Fort Alexandria at the Runestone Museum.
The gates of the Fort will open at 3:30 p.m. and Santa and Mrs. Claus are set to arrive by horse and carriage at 3:45 p.m. They will be coming down Broadway beginning at 7th Avenue.
The Zion Children’s Choir is set to perform at 4 p.m. and the Jefferson Carolers will perform at 4:15 p.m.
From 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., carriage rides will be available for a small fee. At 5:15 p.m. the annual lighting ceremony will take place and the streets of Alexandria will flicker with festive lights.
The museum itself will be open during the Christmas in the Fort event with a paid admission.
Julie Blank, Runestone Museum manager, noted that to add to the festive atmosphere, there will be a “crackling fire burning” to add some warmth if the weather is on the chilly side. But she also stressed that people should dress warm and remember to wear their hats and mittens.
After Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive, they will be stationed in Santa’s Workshop on the stage in Fort Alexandria, and they will be collecting toys, mittens and hats for the Jaycee’s Jingle Bells telethon fundraiser.
Also scheduled to make a special appearance are a couple of Santa’s reindeer. Parents are encouraged to bring a camera to take pictures of their children with Santa and Mrs. Claus – and maybe the reindeer, too.
There will be several of Santa’s elves, who are better known as the Junior Friends of the Museum, mingling among guests, helping with the collection of items for Jingle Bells.
Tom E. Lee from Z99-Radio will be the emcee.
Blank noted that the lighting ceremony wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for all the hard work done by members of Alexandria Light and Power.
“This is really a fun time for families and it’s free,” said Blank. “They can take in the sounds of the season and take pictures of their children with Santa.”
She also noted that there would be free popcorn, pretzels and apple cider for guests to enjoy.
The gates of the museum are set to close at 5:30 p.m.
This event is sponsored by 20 different businesses and individuals who contributed through the Runestone Musuem’s four different giving levels – platinum, gold, silver and bronze.
For more information, call the museum at (320) 763-3160.