The Ottertail community is kicking off the holiday season with Otterdazzle's full day of activities on December 2, starting with a pancake breakfast in the morning and ending with a light parade and fireworks in the evening.
The event, sponsored by the Ottertail Business Association, is a popular community tradition that has been going on for many years, according to President Ron Grobeck.
"My wife and I have been here for seven years, and I know it's been going on longer than that," he said. "It's a great event that the community really turns out for."
The day's activities begin at 7 a.m. with the Ottertail Lions serving a pancake breakfast in the Ottertail Community Center/Fire Department Building until 11 a.m. A vendor and craft show starts at 8 a.m. and goes until 3 p.m. in the fire hall.
"This year we will have over 25 vendors, which is the largest number we've had, we worked hard to bring in a variety," Grobeck said.
Visitors won't go hungry, with a bake sale sponsored by the Ottertail Methodist Church and hot food served at noon. Santa makes an appearance around 2:30, and there will be kids crafts, cookie decorating sponsored by Ottertail bakery, a holiday bucket raffle and hayrides for entertainment.
Grobeck said all the activities are located close to one another, making it easy to transition to each one, even when it comes to the evening activities.
Grobeck feels what makes these types of events so popular is that they are classic small town.
"Events like these where everyone lines up on main street, you have that chill in the air, see the floats come down the street, these are what bring communities together."
The holiday lights parade is at 5 p.m., and Grobeck said they have about 20 floats entered in the parade. That will be followed by the lighting of Christmas trees in the community park. Area businesses, churches and non profits were invited to put a tree in the city park and decorate it. Grobeck said there are 12 trees so far. The trees will be lit everyday for two hours until the end of December. After the tree lighting there will be a fireworks display.
"It's sponsored by the Lions and it's going to be huge, a really spectacular display," Grobeck said. "And then after everyone can come back to the community center for chili."
A freewill offering will be taken for the chili bar, with proceeds going to the Ottertail Business Association to help with events they sponsor such as Otterdazzle, and to local charities in Otter tail.