* I received a free Holiday Trolley Ride to help facilitate my review. All thoughts are 100% honest and my own!
The Christmas season is one of the things I looked forward to as a little girl growing up in Albert Lea. I knew Lou Rich would have their traditional Santa statue waving from over their doorway. The city workers would begin switching out the summer banners for Christmas lights. Every light pole from every interstate exit would have Christmas lights, leading cars to our charming downtown businesses. Windows and doorways up and down Broadway and the surrounding downtown businesses would be lit up and decorated, creating a warm, welcoming atmosphere for shoppers.
Now that I am grown with a family of my own Albert Lea holds many of the same traditions I experienced as a little girl. Santa still waves over the doorway at Lou Rich and he greets children at the Northbridge Mall as he has done for years. Our downtown still holds a warm, welcoming small town Christmas feel.
This year Albert Lea added a Holiday Bazaar on Broadway to celebrate the holidays. It was a wonderful celebration enjoyed by adults and children alike.
Mark, Maddie, and me enjoyed Bragen Rights Photography’s photo booth. Dressing silly and having a great time doing it!
The Albert Lea Art Center ladies worked their artistic magic and created lovely masterpieces on kids faces. I even saw a few adults partaking in the event that only cost $1! We love being able to enjoy beautiful local art!
The highlight of the night was the Holiday horse drawn trolley. Our kids were giddy with joy as sleigh bells jingled with each clip clop of the horses hooves. The trolley driver serenaded us with classic Christmas carols as we rode around the downtown. Each one of our kids had the magic of the Christmas season in their eyes! After the ride we were able to pet the beautiful Belgians team and thank them for their hard work!
Santa greeted the kids on the street corner ready to listen to all Christmas lists and handed out candy canes!
We ended our night with hot chocolate and treats from The Interchange Bistro right next to the bank building! It was a wonderful family night our kids will be talking about for days to come.
Home town Christmas is truly the best Christmas! There is nothing better than enjoying family, friends, and the Christmas season all at one time!
I want to thank Susie Petersen at the Albert Lea Convention and Visitors Bureau! She put hours of work into an event that was enjoyed by locals and guests! I also want to thank the downtown businesses for making your shop windows and stores welcoming and inviting! You brought back the downtown feeling I remember as a little girl! Albert Lea is truly home sweet home!
Do you have a favorite local event you look forward to every year?