by Nathan Warner
Strands of Christmas tree lights lit up Zimmerman Saturday during the official tree-lighting tradition. Ron Mathison rode in on a fire truck as Santa to officiate the ceremony that concluded the annual Celebrate the Season festivities.
“It was a wonderful, successful event,” Bill Potrament, president of the Zimmerman Civic Club, said, “and it was the best-attended celebration ever. ‘Record numbers’ would sum up this year’s event.”
The mild weather may have had a hand to play in the great turnout that brought bustling crowds and welcome cheer to town. People packed into Nelson Nursery, where the holiday boutique saw many local businesses represented with free samples and incredible products. Melinda Singleton created smiles with her balloon-animal creations next to Nelson Chiropractic’s table that was offering free nerve scans to parents, while children delighted in the reindeer and dogs spun out of balloons.
The Zimmerman Chamber of Commerce served 300 cups of hot cocoa while the Civic Club assembled more than 300 Christmas candy crackers that kids burst to discover candy inside.
The horse-drawn wagon rides were well attended, with crowds waiting outside Johnson’s Hardware Hank for the wagon to pull back into the parking lot.
Closer to the highway, cheer turned pages at Reading Frenzy BookShop where many authors popped in throughout the day, including Mike Link and Katie Crowley with their book, “Going Full Circle,” that tells the true story of their walk along the entire shoreline of Lake Superior.
Next door, Dunn Bros Coffee served up cheer from their new Provisions Bakery and Café with a free build-your-own pizza giveaway to kids who placed orders through their patient parents.
The gift giveaways kept people visiting businesses with a record number of drawing slips placed for the prized 32-inch flat screen TV.
Closing off the day, the tree-lighting ceremony was very well attended, with crowds lingering long afterwards around the bonfires, drinking hot chocolate provided by Dunn Bros and eating cookies from The Bank of Elk River. “This year, we didn’t blow a fuse when we turned the tree on,” Potrament laughed, “which certainly was a plus because I know we hope to light up town even more next year.”