Gearing up for the holidays
Temperatures were not near 40 degrees as they were last year for the Blooming Prairie Area Chamber of Commerce Holiday Dazzle celebration, but they were tolerable on Friday, Dec. 7.
More than 30 merchants participated in the Chamber Holiday Dazzle event, an annual cooperative effort involving business people.
Temperatures were in the mid-20s and kind of ccccccccccccold if you didn't wear the proper clothing.
A highlight of the night was the crowning of Scrooge. Shoppers the past few weeks have had the opportunity to vote for their favorite Scrooge.
Candidates were: Leanne Hanson, A Touch of Charm; Jeff Zwiener, local handy man and lawn guy (mowing and snow removal); H. Peterson, mayor and Seth Peterson, 2018 Blooming Prairie High School Homecoming King.
Seth Peterson was announced the 2018 Scrooge by Becky Noble, Chamber executive director. Seth came with his parents, Tara and Chad Gimbel and his special friends, a pair of crutches. Seth suffered a torn ACL in a football game at mid-season.
Noble crowned Peterson outside of A Touch of Charm store. More than $800, $836.86 to be exact, was earned from the contest. All proceeds go to the Chamber Christmas Light Fund.
Last year's Scrooge, Aaron Ressler of Bunkie's Lanes & Grill, was not present for the crowning.
Business merchants offered free refreshments and in some cases, they offered some free goodie bags. Hometown Insurance carried on a tradition of giving out pistachio nuts.
New York Life Insurance accepted artwork from youngsters and gave each artist a sack of Christmas goodies.
Blooming Prairie merchants gave out snowballs to shoppers and later in the evening, drawings were held for Blooming Prairie Bucks. Rick Kittelson won the Snow Ball contest at B to Z Hardware. He was given $100 in BP bucks.
Kids also participated in a snow ball toss and a wooden nickel toss. Ken Esplan tossed the coins.
Overall winner on the nickel toss was Madi Lea, She received lots of special prizes.
The Women of Today, assisted by the local AAUW (American Association of University Women) sponsored a Santa House featuring gifts youngsters could get for their parents. Parents were not allowed in the shopping area. Lots of kids visited the Santa House at the BP City Center just after the BP Elementary Holiday Concert concluded.
Santa Claus also made an appearance on Main Street, arriving via horse and wagon provided by Roger Pittman of Bixby. Long lines of kids, parents and grandparents waited to see Santa.
Photos were taken by F & M State Bank employees and copies were given to the little kids who agreed, or disagreed to sit on Santa's lap.
Grinch toured the Main Street area on foot and posed for photos with the kids.
The Blooming Prairie Fire Department and ambulance squad located their rigs on Main Street. Kids were able to roast marshmallows or to make smores.
Because of the cold weather, Just for Kix dancers did not perform.
It was also Ladies Night Out at the Blooming Prairie Servicemen's Club. Vendors set up in the Liberty Room. A packed crowd was welcomed.