Happenings around the lakes area, Dec. 14-25

All the upcoming events and gatherings in the Detroit Lakes area.

Holiday Train.jpg
The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train returns to Detroit Lakes for the first time since 2019 at 2:30 p.m. this Thursday, Dec. 15.
Detroit Lakes Tribune File Photo

The Detroit Lakes Tribune accepts community calendar items for publication online and, space permitting, in our Wednesday and Sunday print editions. Submissions must be made at least a week in advance of the event date, in writing, to either or . Each submission must include the date, time and location of event, and where to go for more information (phone, email and/or website). Also include whether the event is free or paid admission, and how much it costs when applicable.

Wednesday, December 14

45-Minute Fill Up: The Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce will host a free, 45-minute member networking event from 8:15 to 9 a.m. at the Chamber offices on Summit Avenue. This month's event features Jack Pines Resort and Cookhouse of Osage. All employees of Chamber member businesses are invited to bring their business cards, event flyers and information, enjoy some hot coffee and get to know their fellow Chamber members. No RSVP required.

Advent Mini-Concert: Detroit Lakes' First Lutheran Church will host the third of four Advent Mini-Concerts, featuring the Alleluia Ringers bell choir, directed by Carla Hanson, and flute soloist Peggy Hammerling. The music starts at 12:05 p.m., and will be followed by a soup-and-sandwich lunch in the church's fellowship hall. All of the half-hour concerts in this series can also be streamed live from the church website, , and are available for viewing throughout the holiday season. Cost of the luncheon is a free-will offering. The church is located at 912 Lake Ave., Detroit Lakes.

Student Blood Drive: The Detroit Lakes High School Student Council will host a blood drive at the high school from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. To schedule an appointment please contact Mary "Buff" Haus at You can also schedule an appointment online at , by using the blood drive code DLLAKERS.

Thursday, December 15

Defensive Driving Class: A 4-hour refresher, in-person Defensive Driving Class will be held from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the ITOW (In Their Own Words) Veterans Museum, 805 W. Main, Perham. Cost is $20. To register please call Denise Lillis at 218-346-3336.


Holiday Train: After missing the last two years because of the pandemic, the Canadian-Pacific Holiday Train is back, baby! The 14-car lighted train will roll into Detroit Lakes at 2:30 p.m. and Mahnomen at 4:20 p.m. Admission is as simple as bringing a nonperishable food item or cash donation for the local food pantry. In Detroit Lakes, the train will arrive at its regular location, the Holmes Street Railroad Crossing down from the Detroit Lakes Community Center, while in Mahnomen, the train will park west of Highway 59 and south of East Washington Avenue. At both locations, entertainment will be provided by singer, songwriter, and actor Alan Doyle and singer-songwriter Kelly Prescott.

Women Take the Mountain: Ladies of the lakes area, come to Detroit Mountain Recreation Area from 5 to 9 p.m. and enjoy some wine tasting, skiing and snowboarding (limited group lesson spots available), a Christmas-themed Paint and Sip with artist Anna Lassonde, and Christmas shopping, with local, female-owned businesses offering samples and demonstrations. There will be something for everyone, from jewelry and customized apparel to baked goods and much much more. (Guys out skiing or tubing at the Mountain that night are also welcome to do a little holiday shopping as well.) No ticket purchase required, just pay for products and services as you choose.

Rock & Roll Christmas: Detroit Lakes' Historic Holmes Theatre will host a sold-out performance of Rock & Roll Christmas at 7:30 p.m. This Las Vegas-caliber, multimedia, full-production show mixes an eight-piece band with music, comedy, parodies and even a game show! Join an all-star cast of musicians as they rock their way through timeless holiday classics and bring new takes on hit songs you didn’t even know were holiday classics. Show is sold out; contact the Holmes Theatre at 218-844-7469 for more information.

Friday, December 16

Tanya Tucker in Concert: Legendary country music chart-topper Tanya Tucker will perform at Mahnomen's Shooting Star Casino, starting at 8 p.m. Ticket prices are $17, $40 and $54, and they may be purchased online at .

Saturday, December 17

Photos and Wishes with Santa: Detroit Lakes' Washington Square Mall will host a visit by Santa Claus and his elves from noon to 3 p.m. Photos and wishes are free.

Free Holiday Movie: Cinemagic 7 Theatres, located inside Detroit Lakes' Washington Square Mall, will host a free screening of the holiday movie classic, "The Grinch," starting at 10 a.m. Doors and concessions open at 9:30.

Wreaths Across America: Detroit Lakes will participate in the nationwide Wreaths Across America festivities, with ceremonies taking place at Veterans Memorial Park, 11 a.m.; Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Park, 11:20 a.m.; Lyle Crovisier Memorial Park (at Detroit Lakes Boys & Girls Club), 11:30 a.m.; Oak Grove Cemetery, 11:40 a.m.; and Holy Rosary Cemetery, 12 p.m. For more information, contact organizers Tom and Pam Mortenson at .

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party: Third Crossing Bar and Restaurant in Frazee will host an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party from 5 to 11 p.m., with Karaoke by Matt Bachman, 7-11 p.m., along with drink and food specials, drawings and giveaways. Must be present to win; must be age 21 years and older to attend.


Sunday, December 18

Color Guard Breakfast: The Lake Region Veterans Color Guard will be hosting a breakfast fundraiser from 8 a.m. to noon at the American Legion Club, 810 West Lake Drive, Detroit Lakes. Suggested donation is $8 for a meal including scrambled eggs, pancakes or French toast, sausage or bacon, and coffee or orange juice. All are welcome.

Santa Visits the VFW: Santa and Mrs. Claus will be stopping by Detroit Lakes VFW Post 1676, 500 N. Washington Ave., to visit with the public from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be old-fashioned candy bags for every child, door prizes and bike giveaways (at noon and 1 p.m.) as well. Open to the public.

Holly Jolly Holiday: The Lakes Area Chorale presents "A Holly Jolly Holiday Concert," 4 p.m. at First Lutheran Church, 912 Lake Ave., Detroit Lakes, with small and large choral ensembles, duets and quartets, a flute ensemble, audience sing-alongs and more. Admission is a free will donation; open to the public.

Tuesday, December 20

Community Blood Drives: Both the Minnesota Department of Transportation's Detroit Lakes office and Laker Prep Early Childhood Center will be hosting community blood drives for Vitalant. The MnDOT event will run from 7:30 to 11 a.m. at 1000 U.S. Highway 10, while the Laker Prep event runs from noon to 12:45 p.m. at 551 11th Ave., both in Detroit Lakes. To sign up for a bloodmobile appointment at MnDOT, contact Kayla at 218-846-3646 or email her at ; for a bloodmobile appointment at Laker Prep, contact Katie at or text 218-314-1005. You can also sign up online at ; use the blood drive codes MNDOT or LAKERPREP depending on which event you're signing up for.

Wednesday, December 21

Advent Mini-Concert: Detroit Lakes' First Lutheran Church will host its final Advent Mini-Concert of the holiday season, featuring the Heart O'Lakes Barbershop Chorus along with Flutes and Keys, a flute and piano trio with Dotz Johnson, Carol Turner and Connie Wood. The music starts at 12:05 p.m., and will be followed by a soup-and-sandwich lunch in the church's fellowship hall. All of the half-hour concerts in this series can also be streamed live from the church website, , and are available for viewing throughout the holiday season. Cost of the luncheon is a free-will offering. The church is located at 912 Lake Ave., Detroit Lakes.

Thursday, December 22

Holiday Pop-Up Market: Detroit Lakes' Manna Food Co-op will host a Holiday Pop-Up Market featuring Doughing Crazy and Annie's Garden from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Come pick up some tasty breads and treats to adorn your holiday table.

Friday, December 23

Holiday Pop-Up Market: Detroit Lakes' Manna Food Co-op will host a Holiday Pop-Up Market featuring Kathy's Kreashions from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Come pick up some tasty breads and treats to adorn your holiday table.

Sunday, December 25

Christmas at Our House: First Lutheran Church in Detroit Lakes invites the community to celebrate "Christmas at Our House" in person, by reserving a meal delivery in advance or picking up a to-go dinner at the church anytime between 12-2 p.m.. The dinner is open to the community, free of charge; individuals and their families need not be First Lutheran members to participate. Meals will be delivered to those unable to leave their place of residence (within city limits). Please be home, as delivery will begin around 11:30 a.m. Call the church reservation line at 218-844-2808 to sign up; requests for meal delivery service must be received by noon on Friday, Dec. 23. Callers should leave a message with their name, address, phone number, number of meals and if the meal is going to be delivered or picked up. If you miss the cut-off for meal delivery, please use the dine-in or to-go options. The church is located at 912 Lake Ave., Detroit Lakes.


Multi-day and Recurring Events

Young Life Tree Sales: Lakes Area Young Life will be selling Christmas trees in the parking lot of West Lake Laundry, 802 West Lake Drive, Fridays from 4 to 7 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., through Dec. 17 (while supplies last).

Live Music: Up South, Dec. 16-17, Mustang Lounge at Shooting Star Casino, Mahnomen, 8 p.m. both nights; Sam Kuusisto, Dec. 23-24, Mustang Lounge at Mahnomen's Shooting Star Casino, 8 p.m. both nights.

Off the Wall Art Exhibit: Detroit Lakes artist Cathy Oehler is among those featured in the new "Off the Wall" dimensional art exhibit at the Lake Region Arts Council Gallery in Fergus Falls, which runs through Dec. 23. Other featured artists include Penny Kagigebi of White Earth Ojibwe, Rick Kagigebi of Lac Courte Oreille, Mary Jo Wentz of Battle Lake, Vicky Radel of Norcross, Jarod Marrow of Fergus Falls, Phyllis Joos of Hancock, Judy Christoffersen of Dent, Kae Homeman of Erhard, Kristi Kruder of Battle Lake, Dar Eckert of Fergus Falls, Timothy Cassidy of New York Mills, Mary Williams of Clitherall, Brian Christensen of Fergus Falls and Carl Zachmann of Fergus Falls.

GED/Adult Diploma Instruction: If finishing high school is still on your “to do” list, it is never too late!! Lakes Area Adult Education is open and ready to help you meet your goals. Orientation sessions for GED or Adult Diploma classes take place twice a month, so get in touch and get started now! Call 218-844-5760 or email .

Driver's License Exam Preparation: Classes for driver's license exam preparation are now being offered virtually through Lakes Area Adult Education. These classes are designed to help unlicensed adult drivers become familiar with vocabulary, signs and rules of the road so they can successfully pass the written portion of the Minnesota Driver’s License Exam.  Classes will be held Feb. 6-March 10 on Mondays and Fridays, 5 to 6:30 p.m., with an accelerated option offered on Mondays and Fridays from March 13-March 31 (same class times). Call 218-844-5760 or email for more information.

Free ESL Instruction: Free English as a Second Language instruction is offered for adults in the Detroit Lakes Area, every Monday through Thursday (holidays excepted) at Lakes Area Adult Education. The schedule is flexible and individualized. Call 218-844-5760 or email for more information.

DL Cloggers: The DL Cloggers meet to dance and socialize every Tuesday (excluding holidays) at 1 p.m. in the basement of Detroit Lakes VFW Post 1676. No prior dance experience necessary. For more information, call Ruby at 218-847-7741.

HR Connect: The Detroit Lakes Chamber is hosting an opportunity for human resources professionals, business owners and managers to connect, every first Thursday of the month at 8:15 a.m. at the Chamber office at 700 Summit Ave. Discuss human resource topics, share best practices and review data to help attract, retain and grow the workforce for the lakes region. Event is free for Chamber members, $10 for non-members.


Library Storytime: The Detroit Lakes Public Library offers weekly storytime sessions every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. Preschoolers and their caregivers are invited to join library staff for stories, flannel boards, finger plays, songs and more. This early literacy experience explores a different theme each week and is a way to encourage young children to enjoy reading; sometimes held outdoors during the summer months, weather permitting. Call 218-847-2168 for more information.

Baby Bounce: Songs, stories, and action poems for infants, toddlers and their caregivers are offered every Monday at the Detroit Lakes Public Library at 10:30 a.m. Program runs about a half hour including playtime and chatting with other caregivers. For ages 0-18 months. Call 218-847-2168 for more information.

Alcoholics Anonymous: Detroit Lakes' Alano Club meets at 827 Summit Ave. on the following days and times: Sundays at 1 p.m., 12x12 open meeting; Tuesdays at 7 p.m., Big Book open meeting; Wednesdays at noon, Grapevine open meeting; Wednesdays at 6 p.m., women's open meeting; Thursdays at 7 p.m., Intro to AA open meeting; Saturdays at 7 a.m., men's open meeting; Saturdays at 9 a.m., Women's Big Book closed meeting; Saturdays at 8 p.m., open topic meeting. There are no dues or fees for meetings. For more information, call 218-844-9970 or the District 3 AA Helpline at 877-833-2327.

Holy Rosary Al-Anon Meeting: There will be an Al-Anon meeting every Thursday, starting at noon, inside Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 1043 Lake Ave., Detroit Lakes.

Overeaters Anonymous: A 12-step program for those who struggle in their relationship with food, Overeaters Anonymous continues to meet at noon every Tuesday at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Detroit Lakes. There is no charge to attend. Contact Debbie C. at 218-234-3071. Another group also meets on Sunday nights at 6 p.m. via Zoom. This is a change of venue as of Oct. 9. Please call Sharon R. at 1-701-388-7585 or Hailee S. at 1-701-212-7904 for information if you plan to join the Zoom meeting. There is no charge to participate.

Lake Country Woodcarvers: At the Holmes Art Cellar every Tuesday from 1-4 p.m. Bring woodcarvings to show and/or take part in a free woodworking session. Pattern books and other resources available for checkout. No cost to participate. Call Dale Wavra at 701-371-5204 for more information.

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