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Let the holidays begin 'Christmas in the Fort'

The Runestone Museum has been busy preparing for the annual Christmas in the Fort event. Ryan Meissner (left) and Dan Evavold (right) of Master Builders in Evansville reshingled the fort's general store this week. Lowell Anderson - Echo Press1 / 2
A new sign has been erected in the fort, explaining its history.2 / 2

Let the holiday begin - Museum to unveil upgrades to Fort Alexandria Nov. 25 at 'Christmas in the Fort'

When does the Christmas season officially begin in Alexandria? When Santa Claus turns the holiday lights on along Broadway, of course!

Santa and Mrs. Claus will visit Alexandria on Friday, November 25 to share in the fun at the annual Christmas in the Fort event at the Runestone Museum's Fort Alexandria.

The gates will open for the free event at 3 p.m. Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive by horse and carriage at 3:15 p.m. They will travel down Broadway from 7th Avenue.

They will then spend time visiting local children in "Santa's Workshop" inside the fort. Parents are encouraged to bring cameras to take photos.

The Zion Lutheran School Children's Choir will perform in the Fort Alexandria church at 4 p.m. and the Jefferson High School Carolers will perform on the Stage Coach Stop porch at 4:15 p.m. Carriage rides will be available to the public from 4 to 6 p.m.

At 5:15 p.m., Santa will pull the switch to light up Broadway, and the holiday season will officially be under way.

A crackling fire will add some warmth to the chilly weather, but people are advised to dress warm for the outdoor event.

There will also be free popcorn, warm pretzels and hot apple cider for guests to enjoy.

According to Julie Blank, Runestone Museum director, there are always new features added to the annual event.

Santa's Workshop features a new slip-resistant floor. The general store has been reshingled. A new sign tells the story of Fort Alexandria. And the Jefferson Carolers not have a safer place to perform.

"There is always something just a little different than the year before," Blank said. "We are really happy to have a better place for the carolers to sing this year."

Blank noted that the size of the crowd depends on the weather, but last year approximately 400 people attended the festival holiday kick-off event.

The museum will be open during the event, with paid admission. Fort Alexandria will close at 5:30 p.m. For more information, call (320) 763-3160.

Follow #AlexMN @EchoPress Life Editor Tara Bitzan on Twitter at @TBitzan.

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Tara Bitzan

Tara Bitzan is editor of the Echo Press. She joined the company in 1991 as a news reporter. A lifelong resident of Douglas County, Tara graduated from Brandon High School and earned a bachelor of arts degree in mass communications and English with a minor in Scandinavian Studies from Moorhead State University. She and her husband, Dennis, and their children live near Alexandria.

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