ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

PIONEER VIEWPOINTS: Christmastime in the First City!

The holidays are a time for coming together. And Bemidji does the holidays right. Hats off to the Bemidji Jaycees for the annual First City of Lights Celebration, which included the ever-popular Night We Light Parade as well as other events. The ...

The holidays are a time for coming together.

And Bemidji does the holidays right.

Hats off to the Bemidji Jaycees for the annual First City of Lights Celebration, which included the ever-popular Night We Light Parade as well as other events. The lights that adorn the downtown area around the Paul and Babe statues look great and really lend credence to what the banner said at the lighting ceremony: Bemidji is Christmas City.

The event is in its 20th year and truly is a way to celebrate community.

And this year, the Bemidji Jaycees also have unveiled a new feature for Christmas cheer: the First City of Lights Tour of Homes. This tour will showcase some of Bemidji's best decorated and lit homes for the holidays. You can find a map of the tour on the Bemidji Jaycees' Facebook page. The tour runs through Jan. 1, so there's still time to register. There's no set criteria to be included in the tour; just that homes need to be lit from 5 to 10 p.m. nightly through Jan. 1. "You could light one tree and you can still register," Bemidji Jaycees First City of Lights Chairman Josh Peterson told the Pioneer.

ADVERTISEMENT

Sounds like a fun way to show your Christmas spirit.

The other event that highlights Bemidji's holiday spirit is the annual Community Meal served on Thanksgiving Day. This was the 37th year of the gathering, and once again, more than 600 people were expected to be served at Calvary Lutheran, this year's host church. The meal rotates among eight local churches each year.

More than 75 volunteers put in countless hours preparing and serving the big meal, and groups large and small to individuals pitch in to make things work. To organize such a large undertaking, the planning actually starts in April. Another hats off to the committee and all the volunteers who make this event a cornerstone of the holiday season.

And over the next few weeks, there will be numerous other events to celebrate the Christmas and holiday spirit, including the annual Madrigal Dinners at BSU this week, the Bemidji Symphony Orchestra's Lights and Lore concert Dec. 6 and the Bemidji Chorale's 37th annual Christmas concerts Dec. 11. Check the Pioneer's website for upcoming events, and the Bemidji Chamber of Commerce and Visit Bemidji are always great resources, too.

So, we don't want to hear anyone saying there's nothing to do, or that Bemidji doesn't have any Christmas spirit. We've have Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox-sized holiday spirit!

What To Read Next
When a highly sensitive item is added to the agenda without any notice, it casts doubt on the transparency of the process.
A combined organization will ensure Minnesotans continue to have access to innovative, equitable, high-quality care close to home — now and in the future.