It’s the first weekend in December and flurries are flying — the perfect setting for Clear Lake’s annual holiday festival, called "Christmas by the Lake." Event coordinator Gene Madson says the highlight of the weekend will be Saturday evening’s lighted Christmas parade through the downtown.
Madson says 10-to-12,000 people line Clear Lake’s streets for the parade, followed by a fireworks display over the lake. There is other entertainment during the day on Saturday, including the Santa’s Workshop Festival for people of all ages. Workshop organizer Greg Schmidt says they’re bringing in a lot of talent, including headline acts from the Renaissance festivals in the Twin Cities and Des Moines.
Schmidt says events include: make your own Christmas cards, decorating your own cookies, horse-drawn wagon rides, kite-flying demonstrations, and characters from Charles Dickens books will be strolling the streets. Clear Lake is also hosting the Festival of Trees at Opportunity Village, with more than 100 Christmas trees and wreaths on display.
Also, the annual Polar Bear Swim to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation will take place Sunday morning at City Beach. For more information, look online under the Upcoming Events section at www.clearlakeiowa.com .