Dakota City's popular "Christmas in the Village" is open this Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Treat your entire family to a Christmas in a village from the early 1900s, except this one is lit up to enhance beauty, modern Christmas cheer, and , oh yes, safety. These photographs are from last weekend.
C'mon, you know you can't resist a walk through winter wonderland, especially when a warm wood-burning stove awaits you in the next building, just 20 yards away, or when you can ride on a trolley pulled by a team of beautiful horses.
Here's the train depot. You can open the door and walk in just by clicking below. Then you view more pictures and read more details.. It's like stepping into a perfect winter scene on a post card.
Once inside the depot, the first thing everyone heads for is the big wood-burning stove. There is something comforting about the intense heat, which warms the soul as well as the flesh. It helps, of
course, that someone else is feeding wood to the monster.
Nancy and I had our table set up in the waiting room inside the depot, but in the room behind the stove, a couple of rail road enthusiasts waited to explain interesting details to visitors.
Telegraph table in the next room where kids and adults could try their hand.
On Saturday a young violinist named Andrea Booth entertained us with Christmas music for an hour or so. We were surprised to hear she had been taking lessons for only two years and very sad when she had to leave. Good luck to you, Andrea!
The Christmas spirit in the village seemed to affect everyone. People stopped to introduce themselves and chat for long conversations. We even got to meet a fellow who has been working at Disney in Florida and playing Goofy for several years.
Of course, we are always thrilled when someone remembers us from other shows or comes to the depot especially to see us. We are even more happy to sell books and pose for pictures with the kids who will be getting them for Christmas.
Their mother bought these lucky children each a book and a cuddly critter from us.
Come during the day and stay into the late evening, but allow yourselves plenty of time to visit all of the buildings, enjoy the old-time sweets at the candy shop, and learn about the many artifacts.
Take time to walk and ride the streets and chat with the volunteers and visitors. You'll have a good time.
Sorry to say, however, Nancy and I will not be at Christmas in the Village this weekend because we will be selling our books and cuddly critters at a Christmas Craft Show at Maplewood Mall on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
I'll close with some more pictures below:
Picturesque horse-drawn trolley.
I wish I knew the story behind this trunk.
Hoops were used to pass messages and mail bags when trains didn't stop at a depot.
The string was on held on the hoop by grooves in the stick and a spring-loaded fastener, which would release the message and the string to the engineer or conductor when he put his arm through it.
Photographs by Nancy A. Fredrickson