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Luverne to celebrate 26th Winterfest this weekend

Saturday Flannel Fest features chili cook-off, bean bags, beer pong, 'Pizza, Pitchers and Puzzles' and flannel fashion
Lori Sorenson

Winterfest 2021 represented a return to normal after the pandemic had stymied community celebrations. The 2022 version of the celebration this weekend will feature all the classic Winterfest activities, plus several new events.
“We are looking forward to a more normal Winterfest this year,” said Luverne Chamber Director Jane Wildung Lanphere. 
“There are so many community partners who again have stepped up to the plate to make the weekend special for people of all ages.”
For one thing, the Friday morning Puppet Show Story Hour at the Rock County Library is back, live and in person, with original storytelling and local puppeteers.
The Historic Hinkly House expanded its Winterfest open house to Friday and Saturday, and the congregation of St. John Lutheran Church will feature more than 250 nativity sets in the second year of its Festival of the Nativities.
“This is a wonderful event that focuses on the ‘reason for the season’,” Lanphere said.
She said the craft show, a primary highlight of Winterfest weekend, will again be a draw for holiday shopping.
“The craft show is always a wonderful event and this year,” Lanphere said, “we have quite a few new vendors who are breaking into the craft show business.”
Myhre Studio will again photograph children with Santa, with proceeds this year benefiting Generations, which will design the backdrop display for the photo shoot.
Lanphere said the Winterfest event to watch this year will be Flannel Fest at Big Top Tents and Events where a chili cook-off supports youth hockey, and friendly competitions feature bean bags, beer pong and “Pizza, Pitchers & Puzzles.”
Vocalist Madi Oye will lead karaoke, and a flannel fest contest will honor the best-dressed attendees.
“It is a great event that offers a different kind of thing to do. It should be such a fun time for everyone,” Lanphere said.
“We are so honored this year to partner with Big Top Tents & Events as they have put together a wonderful new day-long event. The Chamber’s part is simply helping to promote it, and the team at Big Top is putting all the work into the planning and execution.”
She said Take 16’s introduction of a new Christmas beer profile and “Name that Tune” on Friday night offers another social outlet, and the History Center’s nutcracker open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday will boast 5,000 (the latest count) nutcrackers on display.
The Carnegie Minstrels will highlight the Community Christmas Cantata, “Let There Be Christmas” at 7 p.m. in the school performing arts center to benefit the Rock County Food Shelf.
The Chamber’s Destination Branding Committee is sponsoring a free screening of the classic “Nutcracker Ballet” at the Palace Theatre at 2 p.m. Sunday with free activity books for children and a drawing for a free book sponsored by Friends of the Library.
There will be wine and beer tasting Friday and Saturday evenings at Blue Mound Liquor, two special meals at the Luverne Eagles Club Friday and Saturday evenings, the Rock County Sno-Masters swap meet Saturday morning, and a Sunday waffle feed by the Masons.
Lanphere said she’s looking forward to this year’s Winterfest weekend.
“Having great community partners — all putting work, planning and resources into an event weekend – is why Winterfest has continued for 26 years,” she said. “Luverne truly offers activities and events for every age bracket and every taste.”
See page 14 for information and visit or call 507-283-4061.

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