BY: RACHEL WUMKES
It’s no secret Hallmark movies make a big run during the Christmas season. Women around the globe cuddle up to watch as the city girl with the high power job and cold heart gets stranded in a small town. The locals think she’s hilarious, and the town handyman is often annoyed with her antics. That is, until they fall in love and live happily ever after.
Clear Lake is often referred to as a ‘Hallmark’ town. And while maybe not every day is a movie-themed love story happening on Main Street, it certainly does look the part. In the winter, as the sun descends behind our frozen oasis of beauty, colors swirl through the air. Pinks and golds melt together behind the wisp of the clouds until darkness is upon us. Street lights glow against the store fronts. The crisp frost in the air tingles your nose as you stroll along, bouncing between the quaint shops. Slipping inside to do a bit of shopping, and to warm up from the bitter winter cold.
As the weekend approaches, we turn our focus to the 25th Annual Christmas by the Lake. A celebration which has won various awards for being a top tourism event in Iowa. It’s a day where our quiet, charming little town bustles with holiday cheer as people stroll amongst downtown. Shoppers can get their fix, crossing names off their list at the European inspired Outdoor Christmas Market. Located along the east side of City Park, the Market will be open from 11AM to 3PM. You won’t want to miss these local artisans, bakers, producers and creators!
The day is packed with activities – which you can find a complete list of HERE - but don’t forget to stop and see Santa Claus from 1PM – 4PM and then again from 6PM – 7PM. The big guy will be available to listen to all your Christmas wishes… that is, as long as you’re on the Nice list!
To commemorate the 25th celebration, there will be something new in City Park this year. If you hear the growl of a chainsaw, don’t panic. I promise no one will be cutting down trees in City Park. There will, however, be a demonstration as Patrick Doyle creates a masterpiece inside the gazebo. He will be carving an Eagle, Snowman and Christmas tree out of wood. This is an incredible sight to see, folks. Something very few people are capable of doing. Be sure to stop by and check it out.
And as always, the evening wraps up with the magnificent lighted parade down Main Street. Nothing depicts the magic of Christmas more than this. Find a spot along the curb and cuddle up with your family to watch the decorated floats and cars. Be sure to look for the 16-foot Reindeer and Snoopy this year!
The event concludes with fireworks over the lake. Watch as the bursts of color explode in the night, lighting up the sky above our beautiful frozen lake. It’s the perfect ending to a magical day of Christmas fun.