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Holiday spirit shines on Main

With a crescent moon in the background, the LaFontaine family flipped the switch to light the community Christmas tree.1 / 3
Visitors swarmed downtown Park Rapids Friday evening to taste yummy treats. At RiverBend Home Expresssions, Becky Wilkins and LuAnn Hurd-Lof served a wild rice fruit salad and meatballs with a smoky BBQ sauce.2 / 3
Santa and Mrs. Claus spread good cheer to tiny tykes and their folks. (Photos by Shannon Geisen/Enterprise)3 / 3

Another balmy winter evening greeted shoppers Friday at the Yuletide Sampler and Community Christmas Tree Lighting.

Participating merchants offered hot cider, cocoa and other treats to thank the community for their support and commence the holiday shopping season.

Meanwhile, family and friends of Rita Blake staged a live Nativity on Main.

Paul Dove and members of Calvary Church lead a Christmas carol sing-along prior to the CHI St. Joseph's Hospice Care Light Up a Life community tree-lighting ceremony. By giving a gift in honor or in memory of a loved one, the funds help bring individualized care to hospice patients in the area. This year's event honored the memory of Guy LaFontaine, former owner of the Outdoorsman Cafe in Walker.

The giant spruce on Main Street was donated by Val and Terry Kimball of Hubbard.

Arriving via fire truck, Santa and Mrs. Claus brought smiles to young and old. Santa sang and played ukulele, then paused for selfies before heading to Bella Caffe, where he'll be available for visits from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays through Dec. 23.