I think there’s a little extra skip in everyone’s step these days, thanks to the unusually warm temperatures. I mean, who doesn’t love a December with a tiny bit of chill in the air, but not the harshness of “the air hurts my face” ramifications?

I’ll take it in spades!

In case you missed it, the happy Chamber elves were out and about again this week, hitting the many retail hot spots in Clear Lake and Mason City to showcase holiday gift ideas. Today, we’ll finish up the series at noon with a highlight of the best options for gift cards and unconventional gift ideas.

AND… there’s a special guest!

To see the full listing of videos, you can either pop on over to the Clear Lake Chamber Facebook Page, or check out the grouping of videos on the Shop Hop Holiday Playlist.

We have had a blast these past few weeks popping into various stores, and I’ve loved the feedback from people. Some who have never been in these places and didn’t realize all they had to offer. It really is the perfect highlight reel of all the incredible shopping opportunities we have in our community.

If ever there was a time to shop local and support your hometown stores… this is that time! Remember folks, these are your neighbors, your fellow community members, or your friends. Shopping local creates a ripple of good so vast, it can’t help but spill over into other aspects of community betterment.

And friends, there’s no such thing as “too much good.”

Now, I know everyone loves a Friday. Because… it’s Friday.

This week, however, packs an extra special punch of excitement thanks to the annual Christmas by the Lake event!  Festivities started yesterday evening with the Lights on 5K fun run/walk event. By the looks of the photos posted on social media, it was a great turnout and there were lots of awesome attendees dressed rather festively!

The rest of the events of the weekend can be found below. There is A LOT of stuff going on. You do not want to miss out on any of the fun and, as an added bonus, the weather looks like it will continue to be fairly mild for the weekend, creating an even better scenario to stroll the streets of Clear Lake as you celebrate the magic of the season.

Friday event schedule:

  • One Vision Festival of Trees 5pm-8pm
    Opening Night Merry & Bright Gala, an evening filled with beautifully decorated trees to purchase, live music, appetizers, dessert & cash bar.


Saturday event schedule:

  • 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. Proceeds go to the 2022 Washington D.C. school trip.
    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
  • One Vision’s Festival of Trees 9am-1pm
    Visit with Santa with a photo opportunity and drop your letter in a North Pole mailbox and receive a special gift.
    Visit our tree room and take home some beautifully decorated trees, wreaths, baskets, and more.
  • Storywalk® Around the Block & Take-Home Craft
    Clear Lake Public Library
    The Storywalk® will be posted December 3rd-5th, check back for details!
  • Pizza & Photos with the Grinch & Cindy Lou Who 10am-3pm
    Lakeview Room
    Clear Lake Dance Team Fundraiser
  • BINGO 11am-3pm
    A.R.E.S. Fundraiser
  • Crowning of Prince & Princess 11am
    Clear Lake Bank & Trust
    Registration for the Prince & Princess Contest coming soon
  • Family Matinee 11am
    Lake Theatre
    “The Grinch” (2018 animated version).
    Free admission with a donation to the food bank (cash or non-perishable items).
  • Simply Nourished Outdoor Christmas Market 11am-3pm
    N 3rd St (along City Park)
  • Pony Rides & Petting Zoo 11:30am-3:30pm
    City Park
  • Christmas Karaoke 1-4pm
    400 Block of Main Avenue
  • Zion Dock Activities 1-4pm
    400 Block of Main Avenue
    Outdoors (on Main Avenue): Free S’mores, mini donuts (proceeds going to local missions)
    Dock (access from Main Avenue): inflatables, photo booth, warming house with hot cocoa & coffee, reading of a Christmas story (every 30 minutes)
    Blackbox (enter on N 5th St): Christmas carnival games, A Charlie Brown Christmas (every 30 minutes)
    Gym (Blackbox entrance, N 5th St): Kid’s escape room
    Hub (Blackbox entrance, N 5th St): Cookie decorating
  • 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.
  • Zion Dock Refreshments 5-5:30pm
    Outdoors (access from Main Avenue) hot cocoa & popcorn
  • 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.
    Visit our website for the Parade Application.
  • Christmas with the Rollaz: Doors open at 7pm
    Surf Ballroom
    Tickets are $17 advance, $22 at the door and can be purchased at com

Sunday event schedule:

  • Family Matinee 11am
    Lake Theatre
    “The Grinch” (2018 animated version).
    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
    Registration link:…/clear-lake-polar-bear…
    12pm: Arrival/Check-in/Registration
    12:30pm: Plungers take the plunge!
    1pm: Warming Party at Tap’d with live music
    Funds raised will go to Toys for Tots and the Clear Lake Children & Families in Need Fund
  • Visit with Santa & Mrs. Claus 1-4pm
    Santa’s House in City Park