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Between now and Christmas, there's plenty to do in Perham

It's the heart of the holiday season in Perham, and community groups and businesses all over town are spreading the spirit through special events and promotions.

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The Grinch, The Cat in the Hat and Frosty the Snowman were three of the characters taking photos with kids at last year's Santa Truck stop in Perham. (Submitted Photo)

It's the heart of the holiday season in Perham, and community groups and businesses all over town are spreading the spirit through special events and promotions.

In the two weeks since the city's annual Parade of Lights, which is always held the Friday after Thanksgiving, there have been several planned activities for people to enjoy. And in the weeks to come between now and Christmas, there will be plenty more.

Already, there have been wagon rides downtown, kids' crafts, cookie decorating, free movie matinees, a community Christmas party and more. People have started collecting gift donations for area families in need through the Perham Giving Tree, and businesses have been hosting Holiday Open Houses and other events as well as offering holiday shopping deals.

The free matinees, Perham Giving Tree and special promotions will continue in the coming days and weeks, and there will be a handful of other community events geared toward kids and families, as well. Following is a "Santa's list" of Christmas celebrations yet to come in Perham.

On Saturday, Dec. 15, the Comet Theatre downtown will continue its tradition of offering free Christmas matinees to kids and families every Saturday in December. At 11 a.m. and again at 1 p.m., families may bring an item to donate to the local food shelf in exchange for free tickets to a family-friendly movie. Featured movies change every week; on the 15th, "Sherlock Gnomes" will be shown.

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Also on Saturday, Dec. 15, Ma's Little Red Barn will appeal to kids' creative sides - and their sweet tooths - with a free cookie decorating event, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Those fun activities can be followed up with photos with Santa on Sunday, Dec. 16 at Wild Goose from noon until 3 p.m. That same day, over at Wild Goose's kid-focused counterpart, Goose Gang, there will be "elfie selfies" with Santa's elves from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Kids can make their own "elf energy mix" (popcorn bar with nuts, candies, etc.), and make and color their own ornaments. According to the Wild Goose's Facebook page, there will be a hay wagon offering people rides from store to store during this time.

Fun with Santa continues on Monday, Dec. 17 with a holiday story time with Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Perham Area Public Library. Story time starts at 6:30 p.m. and is open to all ages. There is no cost to attend.

And finally, on Friday, Dec. 21, The Santa Truck is Comin' to Town! At the United Community Bank parking lot in downtown Perham from 6:30-8 p.m., Melander Trucking will be providing music, goodie bags for kids, and photos with Santa, Mrs. Claus and a whole cast of holiday characters, all from a big rig lit to the nines with Christmas lights. The bank will provide hot chocolate and cookies.

Nikki Thompson, the marketing coordinator at United Community Bank, said the Melander family has been making Santa Truck stops at communities across the area for a number of years. It's been a favorite holiday event in Perham since the bank started hosting it a few years ago, "and it seems to grow every year," she said.

The following day, Saturday, Dec. 22, Comet Theatre will close out its season of free Christmas matinees with a showing of "Ferdinand." The movie will be shown twice, at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Families are asked to bring an item for donation to the local food shelf in lieu of paying for tickets.

Perham's passport promotion will continue through Christmas Eve day, offering Perham shoppers the chance to win prizes for every stamped "passport" that they enter into weekly drawings. Passports can be picked up and stamped at any of the participating stores in town (there are many). The promotion will culminate in a grand prize drawing on Friday, Jan. 4.

The Perham Giving Tree will continue to accept gift donations until 3 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 17. The Giving Tree is a longstanding charitable effort in Perham that provides local children in need with gifts at Christmas. This year, the tree is located at the In Their Own Words Veterans Museum, at 805 West Main Street. At the start of the holiday season, kids' Christmas gift wishes are written (anonymously) on cards that get hung on the tree. Those cards can then be picked up by anyone in the community who is generous enough to fulfill those wishes by purchasing and wrapping the desired gifts.

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Santa and Mrs. Claus took pictures with local kids at the Santa Truck event at United Community Bank in Perham last year. The popular holiday event will be back again this year on Friday, Dec. 21. (Submitted Photo)

Related Topics: EVENTS
A writer, editor and mom of four (two kids, two dogs), Marie's been in the newspaper business for over 20 years. She started at the Detroit Lakes Tribune in 2017 after working just down the road at the Perham Focus for several years. Before that, she was at the Herald-Review in Grand Rapids, Minn.
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