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What's going on in the Detroit Lakes area this weekend

From "The Nutcracker" ballet to Holiday Magic at the Mall, this weekend is jam-packed with activities sure to get lakes area residents into the Christmas spirit.

Friday night will bring a visit from the Twin Cities-based Continental Ballet, for a 7:30 p.m. performance of the family friendly Christmas classic, "The Nutcracker," at the Historic Holmes Theatre.

Also on Friday night, the Humane Society of the Lakes will host its annual Tuxes & Tails fundraiser at the Detroit Lakes Holiday Inn, starting with a 6 p.m. social hour. The 7 p.m. dinner will be followed by a runway show in which volunteers bedecked in formal tuxedos will navigate the catwalk with a variety of adorable (and sometimes adoptable) pets.

On Saturday, the Washington Square Mall is the place to be, starting at 10 a.m. with a free kids' movie at Cinema 5 (those attending are asked to bring a donation for the Becker County Food Pantry). Also at 10 a.m., the Lakes Country Woodcarvers Show & Sale gets underway, continuing until 4 p.m.

The mall parking lot is also the departure point for free sleigh rides from noon to 3 p.m., and Santa will be on hand to take photos and hear kids' wishes inside the mall from noon to 4 p.m.

Also from noon to 2 p.m., the mall will host a Kids Christmas Party featuring opportunities to decorate Christmas cookies and ornaments (for a small fee).

But there are plenty of things going on outside the mall this Saturday as well. Emmanuel Community in Detroit Lakes will host its annual Christmas at Emmanuel holiday craft show and luncheon from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the Forest Conference Center.

Lucky Dog Boarding & Training Center in Detroit Lakes will host an open house for the Marshmallow Foundation from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. There will be vendors to get some Christmas shopping done, a tour of the pound to see animals available for adoption, and also a silent auction to help raise money for animals in need.

Detroit Lakes' Congregational Church will be hosting a Shopper's Luncheon and Bake Sale from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, featuring a choice of two soups, a sandwich and Christmas Cookies, as well as a bake sale stocked with goodies galore.

The Frazee Event Center will be hosting a Christmas Extravaganza on Saturday from 3 to 7 p.m., featuring multiple vendors and crafts.

Saturday evening, the Northern Lights Tabernacle will offer a free youth concert, and the Northwoods Harvest Barn & Cowboy Church will stage an "OId Time Country Christmas Concert," featuring the Uff Da Mountain Boys. Both events start at 7 p.m.

On Sunday, the Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge will host its Holiday Open House from noon to 4 p.m. There will be a weaving demonstration, a snowshoe walk at 1 and 2:30 p.m.; Ojibwe craft demonstrations and sales; a film screening, "Stranger in the Woods" at 12:15, 1:15, 2:15, 3:15 p.m.; sample foods from nature; children's crafts and activities; and 20 percent off all items in the gift shop.

Also on Sunday, the Lakes Crisis & Resource Center will host Breakfast With Santa in the cafeteria at Minnesota State Community & Technical College, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. All proceeds will benefit LCRC programming.

Holiday Magic at the Mall takes place from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday at the Washington Square Mall. A $5 ticket will admit guests into the mall for an evening of special discounts from mall merchants, Christmas goodies and live entertainment featuring Tim Eggebraaten.

Also starting at 5 p.m. Sunday, Detroit Lakes' Faith Lutheran Church will host "A Taste of Christmas." Sample a taste of traditional Christmas food and stay for the decorating of the Christmas tree and program.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454