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Jingle Bells festivities set for Dec. 13

Cameron Tuma, left, and Allantae Holsbrook lined up their Jingle Bells tickets in 2011. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)

The time has come to dig into purse and pocket and organize those Jingle Bells tickets.

The 11th annual Jingle Bells Sweepstakes and community dinner festivities begin at 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13 at Century School.

Jingle Bells distribution ends at the close of business hours Monday with last minute ticket drop-off accepted at the Chamber through Wednesday.

Due to rule changes this year, odds for winning are greater, Chamber exec (a.k.a. Santa's elf) Katie Magozzi reports.

One ticket has been given for each $10 purchase, up to a maximum of 10 per transaction this year. Last year, approximately 850,000 tickets were thrown into the pot. This year, winners will be drawn from an estimated 500,000 tickets.

Eleven winners will claim Jingle Bell prizes - one $5,000 grand prize with 10 ticket holders winning $500.

Also this year, a $500 cash prize will be awarded to the business that gave out the $5,000 winning ticket.

And arriving for the festivities Thursday holds more than just a delectable dinner served by Chamber Ambassadors.

Drawings for an "extensive array" of door prizes donated by area merchants will be awarded just to those attending. This is the first time door prizes will be claimed the evening of the event.

Winners of the Jingle Bells drawing, however, need not be present to win. Ticket holders have until Friday, Jan. 4 to claim prizes.

"Resonance" will be singing a collection of carols spanning centuries. The singers will include Brinn Krabbenhoft, Julie Kaiser, Mary Maxwell, Brian Hobson, Jason Wright, Bruce Bolton and Gail Haller.

Girls Scouts have been at work in the kitchen creating cookies for a bake sale during the evening.

The Chamber Ambassador's dinner menu is cheesy potato soup, twice-baked ham sandwiches, crackers and pop or coffee for $3.

Dinner sponsors are Midhaven Farms Secret Garden, J&B Foods, Coborn's, Nei Bottling and West 40.

Santa will be on hand to hear Christmas requests.

Governor's Fishing Opener raffle tickets will be on sale.

And merriment will prevail.

Winning ticket numbers will be posted in the Park Rapids Enterprise, at and and at participating merchants and the Chamber.