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Thursday, December 8th, 2016
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Christmas comes to Peterson

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Nov 29th, 2013
Posted in Peterson Features

Peterson is all about tradition, but the creative town also thrives on new opportunities and a chance to blend the two during the holidays was just the thing they were looking for. Looking to draw visitors out of their winter shells, the city is gearing up for a thrilling “Christmas in Peterson” celebration. The day-long, December 14 event has been diligently planned, offering something for everyone, and incorporating both the residential and business community.

Beginning at 10 a.m., visitors can tour the city via a tractor-pulled hayride. The ride is scheduled to run from Geneva’s Hideaway to Burdey’s Café, then to the Historic Wenneson Inn, The Crossing B&B, and back again. City Clerk Megan Grebe will be hosting and entertaining riders along the way, while Maynard Thompson drives the tractor. Fleece blankets will be available to wrap up in, should the day prove chilly.

A dizzying array of artisans and vendors will be setup throughout the community offering handmade and homemade gift items, collectibles, and scrumptious treats. Available at eight distinctive locations, there is undoubtedly more than a little something to catch the eye.

The historic Peterson Station Museum, Peterson’s crown jewel, will offer a glimpse of time gone by as visitors take in the history of the quaint town. Inside, several artists and woodworkers will display exclusive pieces, including Ray Kjos, crafter of Norwegian-themed, hand-painted and hand-carved items including Kabbestol, Bob Pederson and his hand-carved loons, bowls, and vases, and Shari Boyum will have hand-crafted Christmas ornaments. A Peterson carpenter and furniture maker will also be on hand.

At Geneva’s Hideaway, just down Mill Street on Centennial, rooms will be enchantingly decorated for the season and eight local artists will be scattered throughout, showcasing their creations. They include textile basket artist Lori Hungerholt, of Root River Baskets, and long-time, stained glass artisan Darrell Himlie, along with his wife, May, who will have various fabrics and foods. Also nestled into Geneva’s will be Norma Elliot’s one-of-a-kind glass block creations and Root River Floral owner and floral designer Cindy Thesing. Rounding out the cozy rooms are sisters Lori Peterson, home décor creator, and jewelry crafter Stacey Kingsley, as well as Tonja Rye and husband with niche purses and distinctive furniture. United With Hope, a local non-profit group will be on hand with tasty Christmas cookies.

Just up the street, at Turned Write Handcrafted Art, visitors eye up artist Colin Schroeder’s hand-turned wooden and acrylic pieces. Within the shop, handmade items from Root River Lures, Simple Soaps for Simple Folks, Metz’s Hart-land Dairy and Honey, and hand-painted art from local Micah Hanson will be available.

Traveling down Fillmore Street a block south to Prospect Street, visitors can visit the restored Historic Wenneson Inn. Here you’ll find fine, handcrafted jewelry from Jolienne Kues, renowned silk scarves by Jean Collett, and ‘upcycled’ wool mittens and more, as well as other textile creations from Kathy Dahl.

Then, walk next door to The Crossing B&B, located at the original site of the 1877 Peterson Train Depot along the Root River Trail. Here you’ll discover fine collectibles, Money Creek artist Mary Burke, with dolls, jewelry, and more, and Lorraine Flicek’s handmade variety of embroidery, blankets, and dish towels.

Back up Fillmore Street, at the wildly popular Burdey’s Café, event-goers will be able visit with Mayor Jennifer Wood, who will be offering coffee creamers, mulling spices, and cookbooks. Burdey’s will be serving their favorite holiday fare from 7 a.m. until closing. From 2-3 p.m. at the cafe, children will join the baking fun and decorate a cookie to their own personal stylings and from 3-4 p.m., the big man himself, Santa, will be making a special Peterson appearance, taking some time off during his busy holiday season.

Meanwhile Early Childhood Family Education will also be joining the day’s fun. At the Rushford-Peterson Middle School, just off Park and Victory Streets, from 2-4 p.m., ECFE will be hosting a craft time for children in early childhood through grade 5.

Chiggy’s Liquor will be offering gifts of wine and spirits and visitors will get to mix their own holiday cocktails. Likewise, the Peterson Legion will open at 9:30 that day and will be offering its own delicious holiday beverages.

Visitors may also register for eight separate drawings at the designated locations: Peterson Station Museum, Geneva’s Hideaway, Turned Write Handcrafted Art, Burdey’s Café, the Historic Wenneson Inn, The Crossing B&B, Chiggy’s Liquor, and the Peterson Legion. The individual drawings will be held at each location at 4 p.m.. Clerk Megan Grebe will serve as the event official drawing the names. Only one basket may be won per person.

Peterson residents and businesses are encouraged to decorate their properties for the season and event. Decorated properties will be recorded and for each display, $5 will be donated by the city to the local food shelf. In 2012, 36 properties went all out for the season’s displays. This year, organizers are hoping the charitable giving aspect will draw even more participants. Following the conclusion of the Christmas in Peterson events, the city invites you to take a self-guided walking or driving tour of the displays.

For more information about Christmas in Peterson, visit or call 507-875-2658.

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