Hot drinks fuel Nevis Celebration of Lights

The wind had a bite, but the offer of hot cider, hot chocolate, cookies and a bonfire helped bring the town out for a carol sing and tree lighting.

City Administrator Dawn Veit (standing, fifth from left) leads a group of hardy Nevis residents in a hearty carol sing around the bonfire during the Nevis Lions Club's Celebration of Lights on Dec. 3, 2022.
Robin Fish / Park Rapids Enterprise
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Jack Frost was at his nose-nipping tricks during the Nevis Lions Club’s Celebration of Lights on Dec. 3 in Nevis.

Mrs. Claus and Santa (Debra and Bud Gates) visit with 7-year-old Gema Rash on Dec. 3, 2022 at Santa's Workshop (the Nevis Civic & Commerce Visitor Center).
Robin Fish / Park Rapids Enterprise

Nevertheless, families enjoyed visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus (Bud and Debra Gates) at a Civic & Commerce Visitor Center dressed up as Santa’s workshop. While they were there, they also had opportunities to help decorate the community friendship tree and leave food donations in a “Fill the Sleigh” wagon for the Akeley-Nevis Food Shelf.

Thomas, Henry, James, Sarah and Isaac Lindow leave a food donation in the "Fill the Sleigh" wagon for the Akeley-Nevis Food Shelf, part of the Nevis Lion's Club's Celebration of Lights on Dec. 3, 2022.
Robin Fish / Park Rapids Enterprise

Across the street, Muskie Waters Co. offered a respite from the biting wind with a hot chocolate bar, while the Lions served hot cider and cookies at the Muskie Park pavilion.

Santa (Bud Gates) and Mrs. Claus (Debra Gates) join in the jolly carol sing Dec. 3, 2022 at Muskie Park in Nevis.
Robin Fish / Park Rapids Enterprise

As the afternoon wore on and the time for lighting the community tree approached, a large crowd gathered around a bonfire in Muskie Park to sing Christmas carols.


Thousands of people came to Wadena between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day to view the Christmas in Wadena animated light show, with many of them donating to the cause.

Robin Fish is a staff reporter at the Park Rapids Enterprise. Contact him at or 218-252-3053.
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