The holiday season will get into full swing in the next couple weeks with events geared to encourage residents to shop at their local small businesses.

Isanti

From Nov. 13-15, Isanti will host the 31st annual “Home for the Holidays.” Participants are encouraged to visit various businesses as they host open houses and feature special offers. There will also be a “passport” that can be filled out at participating businesses. Completed passports will be eligible for prizes, with the grand prize being $50 in North65 Chamber Bucks. Unfortunately, the annual craft fair had to be canceled.

Cambridge

While the annual “Snowflake Parade” unfortunately also had to be canceled, businesses in downtown Cambridge are still encouraged to decorate for the holidays. To that extent, a “Winter Walk & Holiday Decorating Contest” is being conducted as part of the monthly “Third Thursday” event.

Beginning Thursday, Nov. 19 and running through Nov. 28, visitors are encouraged to judge the business’ storefront decorations and vote for their favorites on the Discover Downtown Cambridge Facebook page or at DiscoverDowntownCambridge.org.

In addition, the City of Cambridge is still hoping to have a lighted Christmas tree at the corner of Highway 95 and Main Street, at the former Arlington Hotel lot. However, there is no word as of yet if there will be an official tree-lighting event like in years past.

North Branch

The annual Christmas Festival and Light Up the Night Christmas Parade, which is put on by the North Branch Beautification Association, has been canceled due to COVID-19. However plans are in the works for a business and possibly residential decorating contest. Full details for this have yet to be announced.

Also in North Branch, the Lions Club will be delivering their traditional Thanksgiving Dinners to those needing one. To reserve a free dinner, complete with roast turkey, stuffing, potatoes with gravy, cranberries, vegetables, waldorf salad, dinner roll, and pumpkin pie, contact Post-Haste at 651-237-1115, North Branch Chamber of Commerce at 651-674-4077, or The Chisago County Senior Center at 651-674-8658.

The Lions are also looking for volunteers to help deliver the meals on Thanksgiving Day, along with donations since they have been unable to hold their normal fundraising events. Volunteers can contact John at 651-237-1115. Donations can be mailed to North Branch Lions, PO Box 172, North Branch, MN, 55056 or dropped off at Post-Haste Business Solutions, 5842 Old Main Street, Suite 7 in North Branch.

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