Holiday spirit expanded the population of downtown Mayville the evening of Dec. 4. It had been more than a half-decade since the Festival of Lights, but the MayPort Community Club and downtown merchants made Winterfest a first year glowing success.
“We had incredible community support,” Meghan Hovde, one of ten Winterfest committee planners, told the Tribune, with a huge emphasis on “incredible.”
Merchants opened their doors for a few extra hours, inviting patrons to “Shop Hop.” With the idea of promoting generosity in the community, Thrivent Lutheran put together “action teams” who added to the festivities.
The first at Hardware Hank handled a holiday staple, lefse. That meant Sue and Jeremy Strand started early in the morning, peeling 75-to-80 pounds of potatoes.
“Each batch of Grandma Edith’s recipe calls for seven cups of riced potatoes,” Jeremy said. “We’ve made 14 batches and each batch rolls out to 18-to-20 lefse rounds.”
Several youngsters took a turn with the rolling pin to make their own lefse rounds and bag them to take home. Hovde said the lefsemaking team was very successful.
Nearby inside Hardware Hank, Goose River Bank employees, another action team, poured plenty of hot chocolate, heaped with marshmallows and whipped topping.
Customers walked from door to door as Countryside Creations, Hometown Inn, Viking Media, Jacobson Studio, Aasen Drug and other businesses echoed holiday greetings, offered Christmas goodies, and had guests register for prizes that would be given away at the end of the evening. Free-will donations would go toward the purchase of new holiday lights for Main Street.
Mayville Fire and Rescue crews put firewood to use, lighting handwarming blazes in barrels at the street corners. Hayrides ferried children, parents and grandparents around the block.
Kids lined up to have their picture taken with Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus.
A third action team at the Masons’ Lodge was a little too successful. Members served warming bowls of chili up until 6 p.m., when they ran out. It was a good thing the pizza ovens were roaring at Videos Plus.
The crowd moved from indoors outside to the street, where folk dancers joyfully waltzed to Norwegian music. Several viewers were wearing garlands