MENDOTA - The feeling of Christmas will be in the air as the Mendota Area Chamber of Commerce hosts “A Mendota Christmas” on Saturday, Dec. 1. This special holiday celebration encourages everyone to come out for an afternoon of holiday cheer and to get started with their Christmas shopping. Mendota shops will be decorated and ready for Christmas featuring gifts for everyone on your list.
The festivities will kick off at 10 a.m. with a Holiday Craft & Vendor Show, featuring over 30 craftspeople and vendors displaying many ideas for everyone’s gift giving needs along with a Holiday Bake Sale. The show will take place in the lower level of the Mendota Elks Lodge, 707 Indiana Ave., downtown and will be open until 3 p.m.
Holiday Bake Sales, part of Mrs. Santa’s Cookie Sales, will be held at Mendota financial institutions that morning as well. They include: Eureka Savings Bank – Kiwanis Club Pecan Sale, and First State Bank – St. Mary’s Altar Society of Holy Cross. The holiday cookies, candies, breads, and pecans will be sold in the bank lobbies until noon.
Many fun activities are planned that afternoon.
* Balloon artist, Lica Lorraine will be strolling downtown and showing off her talents from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
* Ekana Nursery will be selling holiday items in the Elks Lodge parking lot from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
* The Mendota “Just for Kix” Dance Team will be performing in front of the Elks Lodge at 1 p.m. The 2nd-12th grade hip hop classes will be performing their holiday routines.
* Horse drawn carriage rides will be given free around the downtown area from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The carriage will depart from the post office at the corner Washington Street (Rt. 34) and Indiana Avenue.
* “Touch A Truck” will be located on Illinois Avenue from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Children of all ages are invited to explore police cars, firetrucks, and tractors.
* Boy Scouts will be selling wreaths in the First State Bank Parking Lot from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
* Santa and Mrs. Claus will listen to children’s wishes at Santa’s house in the First State Bank parking lot from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.
* The Mendota Optimist Club will be at the bank parking lot serving hotdogs and hot chocolate.
* Through a special project by Jennifer Bast (Foulk), a former Mendotan, and the Graves-Hume Public Library, children that visit Santa will be receiving an Usborne Book following their visit. This will take place at the Graves-Hume Library booth in the First State Bank parking lot.
* OSF HealthCare Saint Paul Auxiliary Gift Shop will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to help you with holiday gift ideas for friends and family.
Parents are encouraged to bring a camera and take holiday photos of their children at the various activities. Admission to all events is free, but the Chamber will collect free will donations to benefit the Mendota Operation Elf Action program, which provides Christmas gifts to children ages 1-13, whose families need assistance this holiday season.
Chamber Ambassadors will be on hand in the information booth serving free cups of coffee. The booth will be located on Illinois Avenue. Also, anyone wishing to take the name of a child to shop for this Christmas will be able to pick up a name tag at the Chamber’s info booth.
Shoppers are reminded that Mendota’s Shop Local Promotion kicked off on Nov. 17 and will continue through Dec. 31 at participating businesses. During this time shoppers will receive a sticker for every $10 they spend in a participating merchant’s business. Shop Local cards are available at participating business or at the Chamber office (names of participating business are listed on the back of Shop Local cards). Customers simply place the stickers on their cards and when cards are full (must contain at least three participating businesses), bring them to the Chamber office for a chance to win valuable prizes.
Mendota Shop Local Businesses will give away four gift baskets. The Grand Prize Basket will be worth over $1,000 in gift cards and merchandise and three other baskets will be worth over $300 each. In addition, $20 Mendota Gift Certificates will also be awarded to 10 additional drawing winners.
Shoppers may turn in as many cards as they wish by the deadline, Jan. 3, 2019 at 4 p.m. The drawing for these great gift baskets will take place on Jan. 4.
On Saturday, Dec. 1 in conjunction with “A Mendota Christmas,” shoppers will receive double stickers for every $10 they spend.