Festival with lights

The third annual Over the River Holiday Festival takes center stage in Fergus Falls Saturday. Several activities and events are planned all day in the city.

The third annual Over the River Holiday Festival is coming to Fergus Falls  Saturday, Dec. 7 beginning at 10:30 a.m. with Santa’s arrival at the Fergus Falls Municipal Airport. The community is invited to welcome him to town and get a few pictures before he heads downtown to pick up his reindeer.

Over the River is organized by the Fergus Falls Downtown Riverfront Council (FFDRC) alongside other local organizations like Kaddatz Galleries, Springboard for the Arts, city of Fergus Falls and more. “This is one of my favorite nights of the year, when our community comes together to sing and share fellowship with their neighbors as we celebrate the season together,” says Mayor Ben Schierer, who will be hosting the tree lighting at Wright Park at 6:30 p.m.

Shops downtown and the Art & Artisan market will be opening at 10 a.m. with Victor Lundeen Company hosting Santa Story Hour and a book signing by Tom Hintgen, specials and drawings at Cora’s Closet, cookies with Santa at The Market, salt cave therapy at Holistic Healing & Relaxation Center, yoga studio tours with hot chocolate and coffee bar at Namaste Hot and children’s events at Otter Cove, featuring real reindeer from 3 to 5 p.m. If you go shopping, make sure to save your receipts from any Fergus Falls Chamber of Commerce member stores for their Shop, Drop ‘n Win event this month. There will also be a variety of musical events throughout the day at Lincoln Center from 12-2 p.m., the council chamber in City Hall from 3-5 p.m. and caroling in Wright Park at 5 p.m.

Visitors to downtown will also be able to take horse-drawn carriage rides or trishaw rides and watch or participate in the “Deck the Paws Dog Pawrade/Costume Contest” on Court Street at 2:30 p.m. Fergus Brewing Co. will be hosting an outdoor beer garden from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. featuring food and games on Court Street.

Kaddatz Galleries and Springboard for the Arts will be hosting an art crawl from 12 to 5 p.m. featuring lots of local artists and a reception for “Charles Beck Paintings and Other Works” from 3-5 p.m. Jeff and Carl Zachmann and will have an open studio (1683 Otter Tail Dr.) with special guest Jenny Field from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. featuring kinetic sculptures, machine art and paintings. Across the river, McDougall Studios will be open as well (777 Wildwood Trail) featuring contemporary wood sculptor Jay McDougall and jeweler and painter Cindy McDougall.

You can find a full schedule of events and locations at the event website (ffriver.org/overtheriver/). Following the tree lighting in Wright Park at 6:30 p.m. there will be a holiday fireworks display accompanied by “The Star Spangled Banner” from the 204th Army Brass Band.

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