Getting ready

Volunteers are busy building a Christmas By The Lake celebration that will draw thousandsSanta has his elves to help him get ready for a busy Christmas season.  But what about Clear Lake?  Who gets the community ready to host thousands for the annual Christmas By The Lake celebration?


Truth is, there’s a lot of elves here, too.

Literally hundreds of persons are behind the success of the  event, voted

 “One of the Top 20 Places in the United States to spend your Holiday” by A&E television.  Christmas By The Lake was also the winner of the 2004 Iowa Tourism Event of the year.

Gene Madson has chaired the event since it began 19 years ago.

“It just gets bigger and better each year,” said Madson, who can be seen strolling up and down Main Street during the celebration.  He’ll be out early checking on the petting zoo at City Park, food vendors, trolley and carriage ride stops and, or course, Santa in his City Park house.  There’ll be free s’mores for kids, Christmas karaoke and much, much more before the 5 p.m. Lighted Parade. 

This year’s parade carries special meaning for Madson, because it falls on the anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  Christmas By The Lake Committee members are creating a special float and have invited World War II veterans to ride in the parade.  A flyover by the  ethanol-powered Vanguard Squadron will also be part of the festivities this year (see related story).

“So many people do so much-- and that’s what makes the celebration so much fun every year,” added Madson.  “There’s something for all ages.  There’s lots of fun for the holiday season.”


Unique touches

Among those who have helped to give the celebration its unique

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