Monday, August 3, 2020
Tom and Nancy Peterson of Blooming Prairie visited a beautifully decorated upstairs room in the Dunnell House of the Village of Yesteryear in Owatonna. The room was decorated by Donna Maixner, Joanne Sorenson and Kaye Toquam.

Blooming Prairie artisans help with Christmas village

The Blooming Prairie stamp of approval was placed on Christmas decorations for the Village of Yesteryear in Owatonna.

Christmas in the Village was celebrated last Friday and Saturday at the Steele County History Center. 

Decorations had a special Blooming Prairie touch with women of First Lutheran Church decorating a room in the Dunnell House and a new business woman decorating the men's parlor. Santa Claus held office hours in the parlor.

Friday night was a perfect night for Christmas in the Village and a steady snowfall intervened Saturday morning.

Free activities were offered for the entire family including crafts, lefse making and tasting, visits with Santa, horse and wagon rides and cookie decorating.

Traveling carolers also made their rounds at the History Center, Dunnell House, General Store and the 1891 St. Wenceslaus Mission in Moravia Church.

Kids and adults decorated cookies in the General Store. Chicken wild rice soup and chili, with crackers and bread and a dessert were served to some hungry village visitors.

First Lutheran of Blooming Prairie was asked to help decorate a room at the Dunnell House. Three church women, Donna Maixner, Joanne Sorenson and Kaye Toquam, responded and each spent two hours decorating an upstairs room.

Maixner took the lead in decorating the Hat Room. She said she loves to decorate for Christmas and has acquired a significant collection of decorations over the years.

With a bed and dressers as a focal point in the room, Maixner chose a 1930s theme and quilted a colorful bed runner and added pillows with Santa Claus images.

One of the dressers holds a nativity set with a village setting. A Christmas tree was decorated to bring out the color red. On the top of storage cabinets stood 15 trees, measuring 8 inches to 24 inches.

A trunk was also decorated with Christmas colors. Maixner decorated a trunk with reds and greens and placed her children's dolls on the trunk.

She admitted that doing the decorations was a labor of love for her and her two helpers, Sorenson and Toquam. 

The men's parlor on the first floor was another room decorated by Blooming Prairie people. Jacqueline Reiter Vorlicek, new owner of A Touch of Charm, was more than willing to utilize her creative talents to decorate the parlor.

Vorlicek, who will change the name of A Touch of Charm to Prairie Home Floral, Decor and Gifts, said she was given the opportunity to decorate by Touch of Charm owner Leanne Hanson, who has done decorating in the Dunnell House in other years.

Vorlicek used a natural theme of antlers and pheasant feathers to give the men's parlor a masculine touch. She used fresh greens and muted color tones.


Frank Vorlicek, Jacqueline's father-in-law, often played the piano in the men's parlor.

"I just love history and it was a dream come true to do some Christmas decorating of a historical nature," said Jacqueline.

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Steele County Times & DCI

Steele County Times
411 E. Main St.
P.O. Box 247
Blooming Prairie, MN 55917

Dodge County Independent / ADvantage
121 West Main St.
Kasson, MN 55944

Dodge County Printing
121 West Main St.
Kasson, MN 55944


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