Your 2019 guide to small-town holiday festivities

Nov. 25, 2018

This piece is presented by the Minnehaha County and Lincoln County Economic Development Associations.

Celebrate the holidays with a variety of activities happening throughout Minnehaha and Lincoln counties. Bookmark this guide for the season, and take a quick trip outside of Sioux Falls for some instant holiday spirit.


Baltic’s annual Santa Day will be from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, in the Baltic School Commons. Take photos with Santa, and kids also can enjoy getting their face painted and playing games for prizes. There will be a cupcake walk, bake sale and cookies with hot chocolate. Baltic and East Nidaros Lutheran Churches organize the annual event.


While the community doesn’t have an organized celebration, there are several events throughout the month.

The Brandon VFW is bringing back the Parade of Lights. The route will start at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, from the high school and travel down Holly Boulevard to Main Street, ending at the VFW Hall. Santa Claus will lead the parade on the VFW’s float, and he’ll be dropped off at the hall to greet the kids. Hot chocolate and cookies will be served. If the parade is canceled because of the weather, Santa will be at the VFW at 6 p.m.

If you miss Santa after the Parade of Lights, he’ll be at Bottoms Up in Corson from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8. Parents are encouraged to bring their own cameras for photos. Santa asks that donations be made to the Pink Ladies, an organization that helps those in the area who are fighting cancer.

The annual Risen Savior Cookie Parade, Lunch and Fair will be from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8. Lunch in the fellowship hall includes homemade soups and turkey croissants.


The Canton Chamber of Commerce’s Holiday Extravaganza kicks off Monday, Dec. 2. There’s a soup and pie supper from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at St. Dominic Catholic Church. The Christmas Parade starts at 7 p.m. downtown, followed by the lighting of the Lincoln County Courthouse trees, caroling and hot chocolate at 7:30 p.m.

Activities on Saturday, Dec. 7, include a visit from Santa from 1 to 3 p.m. and a gingerbread house contest and silent auction from 1 to 4 p.m., both at the Good Samaritan Nursing Home.

Tours of the Kennedy Mansion will be available from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, to benefit Love Inc.

On Sunday, Dec. 8, Santa will be at The Canton Barn from 2 to 5 p.m.

Christmas in Canton with the Campfire Concerto, which features three members of the longtime South Dakota Acoustic Christmas group, will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, at the Canton Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $25 and $20 for students.

On Saturday, Dec. 14, the courthouse will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the annual Festival of Trees, with live music and a Christmas vendor fair.

And if you want to cut down your own Christmas tree, Riverview Christmas Tree Farm north of town is open on Thanksgiving, Black Friday and weekends through Dec.15.


Santa Day will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Crooks Community Center. In addition to Santa, there will be crafts to create and goodies to decorate. The event’s organizer, C.A.W.T., or Crooks Area Working Together, will serve walking tacos and hot dogs.

The annual Willow Creek Lutheran cookie parade will be from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 14 at the church, which is 8 miles north of town. You’ll also find lefse, rosettes and krumkake and truffles, but be sure to get there right away because the treats go fast.

Drop in at the Crooks Library from 10 a.m. to noon Monday, Dec. 23, for Winter Wonderland. Make crafts, enjoy treats and watch a puppet show at 10:30 a.m.

Dell Rapids

Dell Rapids is celebrating A Gingerbread Christmas from Dec. 6-8. Experience “Frozen 2” at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, at the nostalgic, single-screen Dells Theatre. On Saturday, Dec. 7, highlights include a Christmas Tea from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Dells Museum, “The Santa Clause” at 10 a.m. at Dells Theatre and sleigh or hay rides from 2 to 4 p.m. on Main Street. The Parade of Lights starts downtown at 6:30 p.m., and Santa will be available for photos afterward at the museum. Click here to get the full schedule.  


Garretson has a new holiday event this year: Light the Park at Split Rock Park. Individuals and businesses claimed campsites and other areas at the park and decorated them. People are invited to drive through the park and see the lights on Thanksgiving or every Friday and Saturday night through Dec. 28. The lights will be on from 5 to 10 p.m. Freewill donations will be collected to help build a picnic shelter at the park.

The town’s annual Hometown Christmas will be Dec. 13-15. Activities include a free customer appreciation breakfast from 9 to 11 a.m. at the American Legion, with a holiday vendor fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit Santa from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Garretson School Commons, where there also will be $1 craft projects until 3 p.m. From 2 to 4 p.m., there will be toddler train and firetruck rides. Kris Rogen is offering a tour of Nativity scenes at the farm at 48194 252nd St. from noon to 5 p.m. The Parade of Lights starts from City Hall at 5:30 p.m., and Santa will be at Light the Park from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tucker’s Walk Vineyard and Humble Hill Winery are having wine tasting all three days, and Garretson businesses will be offering specials all weekend. Click here to download the full schedule.

Photo courtesy of The Garretson Gazette


The Harrisburg Chamber of Commerce is partnering with the Harrisburg Community Library and Christmas Tree Acres to present A Harrisburg Holiday. At 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive in town to help light the Christmas tree in front of City Hall. Following the lighting, everyone is invited across the street to the library to enjoy story time, crafts and pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

On Saturday, Dec. 7, several businesses are sponsoring carriage rides through town from 10 a.m. to noon. Darrell Vik and his team will be picking up riders at Lava’s Coffee & Cafe.

On Saturday, Dec. 14, the annual Prairie Christmas concert and holiday shopping event will be at the Harrisburg High School Performing Arts Center. Doors open at noon for shopping. The concerts are at 2 and 5 p.m. Get tickets by clicking here. 

Santa “Claws” will be at the SDK Resort north of Harrisburg on Highway 115 from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. Bring your dog and a camera to get photos with Santa. Freewill donations will be accepted for Sioux Falls Animeals on Wheels.

Find a fresh-cut tree, decorated wreaths, roping and handmade crafts and gifts at Christmas Tree Acres on Highway 115. The business is open from 4 to 6 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the weekend through Dec. 15. Santa will be there from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday and Dec. 7-8.


Hometown Christmas will be celebrated Sunday, Dec. 1, in Hartford. The day starts off with a community breakfast at the Hartford Fire Station and ends with a fireworks show at 7:30 p.m. In between, there are more meals, photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, cookie decorating  for kids at Buffalo Ridge Brewing, a kids carnival, vendor show, horse-drawn wagon rides, the Jingle Bell Run and more. At 5:30 p.m., there’s the lighting of the Main Street Christmas tree and a Parade of Lights. Click here to get the full schedule.


The Lennox Commercial Club’s annual Santa Night and Christmas Tree Walk will be from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2, at the LWC Intermediate School. Enjoy a meal with freewill donation, craft and bake sale, and visit with Santa until 7 p.m. The Lennox Community Library also is having an open house during those hours with cider and cookies, a coloring contest and door prizes.

Other events:

Dec. 5: Lennox junior and high school choirs’ winter choral concert, Sure on This Shining Night, 7 p.m.

Dec. 14:  Festival of Tables, LWC Intermediate School, sponsored by the Lennox Band Boosters. Doors open at 10 a.m. Tour the tables and raffle items, and enjoy brunch. The band students will play holiday music. Tickets are available in advance or at the door.

Photo courtesy of The Lennox Independent


Take a photo with Santa at the Tea Community Library from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 30. Santa will read a story, and there will be cookies, face painting and coloring books.

Photo courtesy of the Tea Weekly


The Worthing Masonic Lodge is hosting its annual breakfast with Santa from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Olde Town Dinner Theater. The lodge will serve pancakes, sausages and eggs for a freewill donation. Kids can have their photo taken with Santa. In case of bad weather, the backup date is Dec. 21.

Billion Southtown’s Holiday Light Show includes more than 10,000 lights synchronized to holiday songs and runs every evening from 4 p.m. to midnight. The show is expected to be ready by Thanksgiving and runs into the new year. Visitors are invited to stop in the dealership during business hours for popcorn and coffee.

Want to stay in the know?

Get our free business news delivered to your inbox.

Your 2019 guide to small-town holiday festivities

Celebrate the holidays with a variety of activities happening throughout Minnehaha and Lincoln counties.

News Tip

Have a business news item to share with us?

Scroll to top