The season begins to sparkle

Families can enjoy sleigh rides through M.B. Johnson Park Dec. 21-23. (Photos/Moorhead parks and Recreation)

Nancy Edmonds Hanson

The towering Christmas tree at the foot of City Hall wasn’t the only thing that glowed when Mayor Shelly Carlson flipped the switch to officially kick off the holiday season in Moorhead on Nov. 23.

Eyes lighted up among the crowd of youngsters craning their necks to see the top of the city’s tree in the Center Mall atrium. They were part of a crowd of all ages who gathered to kick off the most festive season on the eve of the Thanksgiving holiday, sipping cocoa and nibbling cookies as recreation specialist Trevor Magnuson detailed the wintry outdoor fun planned for coming weeks by the Parks and Recreation Department.

Moorhead High School’s troupe of costumed carolers led by Kathy Brekke serenaded guests gathered for the annual ceremony. Then Moorhead Mayor Shelly Carlson, decked out in a Santa hat, welcomed youngsters to the limelight, asking them to join in the lighting of the tree.

Magnuson highlighted two special holiday activities sponsored by Moorhead Parks. On Sunday, the doors of the Moorhead Sports Center (2400 Fourth Ave. S.) will be open from 2:15 to 4:15 for a free skating session with Santa Claus. Some rental skates will be available (in limited sizes).

On Dec. 21 through 23, families can enjoy the winter riverside scenery at M.B. Johnson Park from a perch in a horse-drawn wagon – or possibly a sleigh, depending on snow conditions three weeks from now. Tickets are $5 per person, with kids under 2 free. To make reservations, call 218.299.5340.

Many other events are planned during Frostival in January, including an evening snowshoe excursion along the river highlighting Moorhead’s history, sponsored by the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County on Jan. 13; a winter wildlife excursion in Viking Park Jan. 27; fun at the Frozen Fortress Jan. 29; and much more.

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