"It was the first year we decorated the park," Roxanne Stangle, Minden town board member, recalled of the town's annual Christmas event. "When we turned the lights on, we went 'Oh, they're so pretty,' so we decided to make it a bigger deal."
Although Stangle has run the event since its inception 25 years ago, Matt Bernard, another Minden town board member, is taking over this year.
Santa will be available to visit with children Friday night, after he flips the switch to light up Minden Park at 6 p.m.
There will also be carriage rides around Minden and fire pits down Esmeralda Street.
Gluwein, hot chocolate, brautwurst, polish sausages, nachos, popcorn, chili, chili dogs, pretzels, saurkraut, pretzel sandwiches, coffee, spiced hot coffee, bug bags, and Chocolaccinos will be for sale, and The Corner Bar and Minden Food Company will be open.
Douglas High School's Jazz Band will be performing from 6 to 8 p.m. on Esmeralda Street.
The German Marketplace offers German food and shopping, and will take place in the C.O.D. Garage.
The marketplace became a traditional Minden Christmas event when Stangle visited Germany, and witnessed the real German Christmas marketplaces in person. She said she loved the cheerful vibe and community feel of the marketplaces, which run from Dec. 1 through Christmas in Germany, and decided to try to implement them here in Carson Valley.
Stangle said she hopes the German marketplace will one day last as long as the original marketplaces in Germany.
This year's marketplace will include booths from Tinycakes, Tahoe Bath Works, photographer Dave Olson, Hallelujah Toffee, and more.
The Elks Spaghetti Feed will take place at 5 p.m. in the CVIC Hall, so diners will be able to watch the lighting of the park at 6 p.m. Dinner will cost $8 for adults and $5 for children ages 12 and under.
Following the lighting, the Elks Christmas tree Bingo will be in the CVIC Hall at 7 p.m.
The German Marketplace will continue on Saturday, and Saturday evening there will be children's Christmas crafts in the CVIC Hall. The fire pits will also be out Saturday evening, along with live music from The Rappin' Rats.
"They give a message of how to make right decisions and do the right thing," said Stangle about The Rappin' Rats. "It's very cute for the kids."
For more information, contact Stangle at 782-2444.
IF YOU GO:
What: Lighting of Minden Park and Minden German Marketplace
When: 6 p.m. Friday
Where: Minden Park