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Holiday event returns to downtown Hastings

This December, get ready to enjoy the holiday season right here in Hastings. The Hastings Downtown Business Association is holding its Downtown Hastings Holiday Event Nov. 30, and Dec. 7, 14, 21 and 22.

This is the second year the downtown businesses have come together to host the celebration. It started last year with a single day event featuring reindeer sleigh rides and pictures with Santa.

The idea is to encourage people to visit the variety of items and services available downtown.

“We’re trying to get people to come into the downtown area and be aware that we’re here,” said Lynn Hoeschen, one of the organizers for the event. Hoeschen is a DBA member and co-owner of the Town Cobbler Shoe and Leather Repair.

“We felt last year was very successful,” Hoeschen said.

“We figured it’s the holiday season and we’d like people to be down there more than just one day,” she added.

So this year, the DBA and other sponsors decided to run the event over five days. Each day has a set of events scheduled; there are also window decorating contests for the businesses to show off their holiday spirit, a downtown tree decorating contest and treats.

“We’re there, we’re giving out treats and goodies and it will be a lot of fun,” Hoeschen said.

The event kicks off this Saturday, Nov. 30, with the return of the reindeer sleigh rides from noon to 4 p.m. There will be photos with Santa from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at R.J.’s Tavern, a Christmas tree raffle at Tenacious K’s (next to Berens Jewelry), in-store specials at several downtown businesses and food vendors.

Here’s the rest of the schedule:

• Saturday, Dec. 7 – Horse drawn wagon rides, noon to 4 p.m.; Pawn Stars, noon to 3 p.m.; Antique Road Show, noon to 3 p.m.; pictures with Santa at The Legion, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.; caroling by Black Dirt Theater; Christmas tree raffle at Tenacious K’s.

• Saturday, Dec. 14 – Horse drawn wagon rides, noon to 4 p.m.; breakfast with Santa at 2nd Street Depot, 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.; Christmas tree raffle (drawing at 3 p.m.); in-store specials.

• Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 21 and 22 – Grinch weekend; pictures with the Grinch at R.J.’s Tavern, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.; lunch with the Grinch, at the Busted Nut (Saturday) or at R.J.’s Tavern (Sunday), 12:30 p.m.; restaurants serving Roast Beast and Whoville drinks; steampunk at Gracie and Me, noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, look for the Hastings Downtown Business Association page on Facebook.