The Grill Next Door hosts holiday light contest and parade

Kathy Meek, Donna Moxley and Lorrie Grannis set up their Carson Valley Quilt Guild Tree at the Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center in Gardnerville.

Kathy Meek, Donna Moxley and Lorrie Grannis set up their Carson Valley Quilt Guild Tree at the Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center in Gardnerville.

Driving around to look at holiday lights has always been a favorite family tradition, and one local restaurant has come up with a fun way to recognize some of the most spectacular displays.

The Grill Next Door is sponsoring a Ranchos Community Christmas Light Contest and parade in December. Gardnerville Ranchos residents who have their homes lighted up for the holidays are invited to enter the cheerful competition, as are those who’d like to decorate their cars for the upcoming parade.

Entries to the house contest must be submitted by Saturday, and cars can be entered into the parade up until the day of the event on Dec. 10. The entry form can be completed online at

Starting at 4 p.m. Dec. 10, bring your camera to The Grill Next Door, 1281 Kimmerling Road, Suite 11 in the Gardnerville Ranchos, for free selfies with Santa and the Grinch. Complimentary hot cocoa and candy canes will be served. At 6 p.m., Santa and the Grinch will lead a car parade from The Grill Next Door parking lot and chart a course through the Ranchos past as many house entries as possible.

A map of participating houses will be available Monday and can be picked up at The Grill Next Door; Coldwell Banker Select, 1674 Highway 395 in Minden; or Country Financial, 1664 Highway 395, Suite 104 in Minden. The map will also be posted to The Grill Next Door’s Facebook page.

The map will have a ballot, and the community is invited to vote for their favorite house entry. Ballots must be dropped off at The Grill Next Door by Dec. 23, and the house with the most votes wins a prize. One randomly selected ballot will win a gift certificate, and judges will determine the prize-winning car entry at the December 10 parade.

Historical Society hosts Holiday Gala

Douglas County Historical Society’s Holiday Gala takes place Dec. 3 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Carson Valley Museum and Cultural Center, 1477 Main St. in Gardnerville.

The event offers an opportunity to peruse the festive main hall, where the Gallery of Trees and gingerbread house entries are on display. I stopped by the museum on Small Business Saturday, and there were already a good number of trees alight in the space with more to come.

Visitors can take a selfie with Santa until 1 p.m. DCHS Special Events Coordinator Dennis Little said Santa needs to leave the gala a little early in order to rest up before hopping into his sleigh for the Parade of Lights later that evening.

Anyone interested in sending a letter to Santa is welcome to use the fillable letter template offered by DCHS and available at the museum. Letters can either be dropped in the old mailbox located in the Main Street exhibit on the lower floor of the Carson Valley Museum and Cultural Center or mailed to the facility. If the sender provides a mailing address by Dec. 19, Santa should have enough time to send a reply.

Library Lego Building Challenge begins

Douglas County Library’s Winter Lego Building Challenge starts

Thursday and goes through Jan. 3. This year’s theme is “medieval,” and entries must be original builds constructed from Lego bricks and elements. Submissions cannot exceed 16 inches wide by 16 inches deep by 12 inches high.

The contest has six different age categories: 2-3 (must use DUPLO® bricks), 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, 10-12, and 13 and older or Family Build.

Rules and entry forms are available or online at Entries must be accompanied by the completed form and brought to either the Minden or Zephyr Cove Library by 12 Noon on January 3; check the library webpage for each branch’s hours. Winners will be announced January 10, and winning creations will be displayed at each library branch through January 31.

Children interested in using the library’s bricks are invited to do so at the Minden Library 3-4 p.m. Friday or at the Zephyr Cove Library anytime during their open hours.

This event is sponsored by the Friends of the Douglas County Public Library. The Minden Library is located at 1625 Library Lane, and the Zephyr Cove branch is located at 233 Warrior Way in Glenbrook. More information is available on the DCPL Facebook page or by calling 775-782-9841.

Amy Roby can be reached at


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