Catch the Christmas spirit this weekend!

(Above) Gene Madson is leading his 25th Christmas By The Lake celebration.-file photo.

by Marianne Gasaway

Christmas comes a little early for Gene Madson every year.  As chairman of the Christmas By The Lake celebration for each of its 25 years, Madson said the excitement he feels in the days approaching Saturday’s event could rival any youngster.

“I hear so many times from people who say they have childhood memories of visiting the Santa House in Clear Lake, or doing some other special activity.  That’s what it’s all about — creating happy memories for people,” said Madson.

In addition to the popular lineup of events which has kept thousands coming to the lake each December to make new memories, some new pieces have been added to the day-long event this year.

The cast of “Newsies,” from Powerhouse Theatre in Clear Lake, will perform songs from their popular show at 10:30 a.m. in the 500 block of Main Avenue, sponsored by the Mirror-Reporter.  Another new feature will be a European-style Outdoor Market featuring local artisans, entertainment and traditional food and drink, sponsored by Simply Nourished on North 3rd Street.

Santa’s workshop festival has moved to the Blackbox Theatre at The Hub on North 5th Street this year.   From 1:30 to  4 p.m. there will be scheduled performances of the “Punch & Judy” puppet show, the Victorian Magician, comedy skits, short music performances and more. In an adjacent space, children can encounter Tea With Queen Victoria or get a souvenir from the Jolly Elf balloon twister or help decorate cookies in the Hub Cafe.

Wood carver Pat Doyle will be returning to Clear Lake on Saturday after an absence of more than 10 years.  Doyle will demonstrate his craft while making three new carvings, a Santa, angel and eagle in flight to commemorate Christmas By the Lake’s 2019 theme, “Patriotic,” In Honor of Pearl Harbor Day.

The patriotic theme is especially ap-

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