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Otter Dazzle: Ottertail's biggest holiday event is this weekend

"It's a great family day and a good way to support the community," said Tiffany Jennings, describing Otter Dazzle.

Jennings is a leading organizer of this annual holiday event in Ottertail, and is president of the Ottertail Business Association. She and a team of 10-15 local business owners and community volunteers have been planning this year's festivities for nearly a year, with that process heating up over the last three months.

Otter Dazzle 2011 is coming up this weekend, with scheduled activities throughout the day on Saturday, Dec. 3 at the Ottertail Community Center.

"Everybody's really excited about it," she said. "I really encourage people to come out; it's a nice way to spend a winter day... and do something fun with the family for the holidays."

The celebration kicks off at 8 a.m. with a Pancake Breakfast provided by the Ottertail Lions Club. A craft sale will follow from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Turkey bowling - one of the most popular events of the day - will be played from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

From 10 a.m. until noon, the Dazzle Walk will take place.

"The Dazzle Walk is always a huge success," said Jennings. "We do one for adults and one for kids. It's like a cake walk, but with prizes."

Bingo lovers can enjoy the game from 1-3 p.m.

Throughout the afternoon, kids will be able to take free pictures with Santa Claus, and sleigh rides will be provided, weather permitting. There will also be cookie decorating. Hot chocolate and hot dogs will be served.

The Otter Dazzle holiday lights parade will begin at 5 p.m., with lineup at 4:30 behind the Village Inn.

Fireworks will immediately follow the parade - a feature Jennings said people are really looking forward to.

A community chili feed will be held after the fireworks. Free will donations will be accepted at the chili feed, with proceeds going to area families in need during the holiday season.

There will be a raffle throughout the day - purchase tickets for a chance at winning prizes.

In conjunction with Otter Dazzle, a special Christmas at the Creamery event has been planned. Beginning at 6 p.m., coffee, cider, and cookies will be served at the Ottertail Creamery building, and at 7 p.m., local artists and musicians will be performing Christmas music. A $5 donation is suggested.

Otter Dazzle events and fireworks are sponsored by the Ottertail Business Association, Lions Club, Rod and Gun, T.I.P.S., and Ottertail area businesses and residents.

"It takes a lot of volunteers and support of the community and businesses," Jennings said. "I really, really appreciate everybody being able to support the event."