Christmas by the Lake

small spacer

An Amazing Holiday Festival

Dates: December 2, 2023
Event Description: Saturday’s events include horse drawn carriage rides, a craft show, the crowning of prince and princess, a petting zoo, s’mores for kids, Christmas Karaoke, a visit with Santa, family matinees at the Lake Theatre, special entertainment at the Clear Lake Arts Center, strolling Dickens characters, a lighted parade, and fireworks over the frozen lake.  Kick off the weekend with a holiday concert at the Surf Ballroom and the Lights on 5K, and be sure to stick around for the Polar Bear Plunge on Sunday morning!

Clear Lake’s Christmas by the Lake has won several tourism awards for best holiday festival!

Christmas by the Lake Logo

Thursday, November 30th:

Lights on 5K, 5:30pm
One Vision’s Kinney-Lindstrom Center
Clear Lake area runners and walkers are invited to join One Vision’s 11th Annual Lights On 5K Run/Walk! Costumes and lights are encouraged! All proceeds from registration, donations, and funds raised are used to buy holiday gifts for individuals with disabilities supported by One Vision.
Register at

Friday, December 1st:

Christmas with The Nelsons
Surf Ballroom, doors open at 7pm
Catch the holiday spirit at the Surf!  Christmas with the Nelsons tells the story of three family Christmases in the lives of America’s First Family of Entertainment, the Nelsons! Fresh off securing two Top 10 Billboard Christmas singles in the last two years, Matthew and Gunnar bring their award winning talent to the stage. This heart-warming multi-media live concert stars the third generation of No. 1 Nelson family hitmakers, Matthew and Gunnar Nelson. A genuine blend of Everly Brothers-style harmonies and Smothers Brothers-style comedy, multi-platinum recording artists Matthew and Gunnar have been thrilling sellout audiences worldwide for the past decade with their Ricky Nelson Remembered show…and they’ve got a new gift for you to open.

Tickets are $30 advance, $35 at the door and can be purchased at


Breakfast with Santa 7-11am
St. Patrick’s Catholic Church (1101 9th Ave S)
Presented by the Knights of Columbus with the Boy Scouts, enjoy
pancakes, sausage, milk, juice, and coffee provided by Cabin Coffee!
$6 per person, no advance ticket sales, pay at the door.

Holiday Bake Sale & Crafts 8:30am-12:30pm
United Methodist Church (508 2nd Ave N)
Cookies, candies, breads & more treats, plus crafts, books and holiday decorations.
Holiday Bazaar & Vendor Market 9am-3pm
Clear Lake Middle School (1601 3rd Ave N)
There will be donuts and coffee in the morning and a sloppy joe meal deal for $5 in the afternoon.
There will also be a bake sale and door prizes.
“The Christmas Story” Indoor Nativity Scene Displays 9am-4pm
Clear Lake Regular Baptist Church
Enjoy free cookies, cocoa, & coffee
Clear Lake Candy Land Contest Voting 10am-5pm
Clear Lake Arts Center
Story Time
Clear Lake Public Library
2 sessions, 10:30am & 11:30am, ages 3-6
Pizza & Photos with the Grinch & Cindy Lou Who 10am-3pm
Lakeview Room
Clear Lake Dance Team Fundraiser
BINGO 11am-3pm
C.A.R.E.S. Fundraiser

Crowning of Prince & Princess 10:15am
Clear Lake Bank & Trust
Click here to register for the Prince & Princess Contest

Family Matinee, TBD 11am
Lake Theatre
Free admission with a donation to the food bank (cash or non-perishable items).

Petting Zoo 11:30am-3:30pm
City Park

Cheremosh Ukrainian Dance Ensemble
Performance times, 12:30pm, 2:30pm & 4:00pm
Clear Lake Arts Center

Live Cello and Piano Performance 12:30-3pm
Holistic Harmony

Christmas Karaoke & S’mores 1-4pm
400 Block of Main Avenue

Professor Von Air Balloon Artist 1-4pm
Zion on Main (corner of 5th & Main)

Zion Dock Activities 1-4pm
400 Block of Main Avenue
Cookie decorating, inflatables, kid’s activities, a Winter Princess photo opportunity, snacks, hot drinks & entertainment.

Visit with Santa & Mrs. Claus 1-4pm & 6-7pm
Santa’s House in City Park

FSB Warming House 1-4pm
Farmers State Bank
Enjoy warm drinks & popcorn inside FSB (210 1st Ave N)

Horse Drawn Sleigh & Carriage Rides 2-4:30pm
Boarding locations: Wilcox Furniture and Ge-Jo’s

Strolling Dickens Characters 2-5pm
Main Avenue & Downtown
Victorian characters sing and mingle with the crowd.

Lighted Parade and Spectacular Fireworks Finale over the lake begin at 5:07pm
Parade begins at 8th & Main and will travel down Main Avenue and N Lakeview Drive.
Fireworks display will begin after the parade.
Click here for the Parade Application.

Sunday, December 4th:

Family Matinee, Polar Express (G) 11am
Lake Theatre
Free admission with a donation to the food bank (cash or non-perishable items).

Polar Bear Plunge presented by Clear Lake Jaycees 12:30pm
City Beach
10:30 AM: Check-in/Registration and pre-party for Plungers at the VFW in Clear Lake. All participants will receive a BOGO token to enjoy a cocktail or beer.
12:00 PM: Check-in/Registration moves to the Yacht Club
12:30 PM: Plungers take the plunge!
1:00 PM: Warming Party at Tap’d (Tap’d will have a band and all participants will receive a BOGO token to enjoy a cocktail or beer at the party.)
Warming tents will be onsite to change afterwards. When you check-in, you can provide your team name in order to be announced to plunge together. Fun costumes or outfits encouraged but not required.

Registration is a donation to the local Toys for Tots + Clear Lake Kids & Families In Need Fund. A minimum donation of $50 will get you 2022 Polar Bear Plunge Long Sleeved Shirt. SHIRTS AND SIZES WILL BE FIRST COME FIRST SERVE UNLESS YOU MESSAGE THE CLEAR LAKE JAYCEES FACEBOOK PAGE BY NOVEMBER 4TH WITH YOUR SIZE.
Want the sweet shirt but not wanting to fully commit to jumping in the lake? Join our Toe Dippers Club. You still get the swag, still get to attend the pre-party/post-party , still get the cold sensation with a tip of your foot, and our charities still get your support, its win-win-win.
If you would like to donate and not dip, feel free to venmo us at @ClearLake-Jaycees.

Visit with Santa & Mrs. Claus 1-4pm
Santa’s House in City Park


Festival of Trees ends after 26 years, read more here.

Presenting Sponsors

Clear Lake Bank & Trust
Pritchard Family Auto Store Logo
small spacer
Christmas Parade Aerial Photo by Chris Barragy
Christmas Parade Float Photo by Whitney Hill
small spacer

Event Blog Posts

Check out our recent entries for all of the latest and greatest news about your favorite event!

The Time Has Come… to Start Planning for Harvest Festival!

The Time Has Come… to Start Planning for Harvest Festival!

Best. Day. Ever. BY: RACHEL WUMKES It seems like a bit of a difficult concept to grasp, given that I seemed to blink and summer disappeared.  Still, the fact remains... our beloved Harvest Festival is just around the corner! It’s time to start planning, friends.  Have...

Antiques in the Square  

Antiques in the Square  

A look into our Past BY: RACHEL WUMKES Antique enthusiasts will gather for the 31st annual Antiques in the Square show in Clear Lake, Iowa this weekend.  On Sunday, September 3rd, our beautiful city park will be turned into a plethora of treasures.  The event runs...

Back to School

Back to School

To Prove to Dad I’m Not a Fool BY: RACHEL WUMKES It’s almost impossible for me to think about going back to school without the song popping into my head from the Adam Sandler movie, Billy Madison.  “Back to school, back to school, to prove to Dad I’m not a fool.” You...

Harvest Festival 2023

Harvest Festival 2023

Pre-Sale Bags Available NOW BY: RACHEL WUMKES Harvest Festival is one of the most anticipated events of the year in Clear Lake.  Some might even say it has become the official kick-off to the fall season.  Women come from miles around to enjoy live music, shopping,...

On the Road Again

On the Road Again

It’s Car Show Weekend in Clear Lake! BY: RACHEL WUMKES We are ‘gearing’ up for an incredible weekend in Clear Lake.  Literally.  Gearheads from across the Midwest will flock to our beautiful lake community for the annual CLASS Car Cruise and Show.  It’s going to be a...

Pin It on Pinterest