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WITH VIDEO: Ottertail's annual festival was a dazzling good time

Ron Grobeck, Ottertail's mayor and Chamber of Commerce president, said there were steady groups of people there throughout the day: “It was nice to see good weather and large crowds, and lots of kids,” he said.

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Community members enjoy the thrill of the Ottertail holiday firework show as part of Otter Dazzle on Dec. 4, 2021. (Rebecca Mitchell / Perham Focus)
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With hay rides, ornament-making, raffle prizes, visits with Santa, a Christmas tree lighting, fireworks display and more, the city of Ottertail gave people a plethora of ways to celebrate the holiday season during its annual Otter Dazzle event, held this past Saturday, Dec. 4.

Ron Grobeck, Ottertail's mayor and Chamber of Commerce president, said there were steady groups of people there throughout the day: “It was nice to see good weather and large crowds, and lots of kids,” he said.

VIDEO:

Santa Claus shared his jolly joy with over 150 kids, gifting each child a goodie bag containing individually packaged cookies to decorate at home, plus a hat and gloves. Each parent received a family photo with Santa.

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With a "candy please" smile for their family photo, Andrew Goeden, left, Willow Goeden and Amanda Kolstad pose with Santa Claus at the Otter Dazzle event on Dec. 4, 2021. Rebecca Mitchell / Pioneer Journal

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The Ottertail Fire Hall was filled with ornament-makers and local vendors. (Rebecca Mitchell / Perham Focus)

Families also received presents through the Otter Dazzle raffle drawing event. Prizes included toys, treats, stuffed animals, blankets and fishing gear. Over 1,100 raffle tickets were sold, and funds raised will go back into the community.

The shining moment of the festival was a large firework display, sponsored by the Ottertail Lions, following the Christmas tree lighting. The Ottertail City Park featured one decorated Christmas tree and lighted holiday ornaments. The large ornaments are sponsored by the Ottertail Lions, Zion Lutheran Church of Amor and the Ottertail Chamber of Commerce.

Grobeck said the park will continue to be the focus at future events, with new ornaments added each year.

“It’ll be a nice cap to a perfect day,” Grobeck said. “It’s neat to see the kids. They get so excited about Christmas and the holidays.”

The Ottertail City Park light display is turned on at dusk each night, now through New Year’s Day.

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Families gathered in the Ottertail City Park for the Christmas tree lighting and firework show on Dec. 4, 2021. Rebecca Mitchell / Pioneer Journal

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Kids enjoyed the newly glowing lights, and throwing snowballs through the ornaments, in Ottertail City Park on Dec. 4, 2021. Rebecca Mitchell / Pioneer Journal

Mail a letter to Santa

Want to make sure Santa hears your Christmas wish list? Mail your letters by Dec. 10 to: Santa Claus, 123 Elf Road, North Pole, 88888. Make sure to include a stamp and your return address.

The United States Postal Service's Operation Santa helps families in need during the holidays, according to a Post Office news release. The wish lists are opened by Santa’s elves and uploaded to a website for adoption (without the personal information). There is no guarantee that letters submitted to the program will be adopted.

To adopt a wish list or two, visit USPSOperationSanta.com . There is a short registration and ID verification process. Packages are shipped through Jan. 14, 2022.

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Related Topics: EVENTSOTTERTAIL
Rebecca Mitchell is a Multimedia Reporter for the Wadena Pioneer Journal and Perham Focus. She loves capturing local stories through words, photos and videos, and providing resources for the community.
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