Towns start off Christmas season this week |

Towns start off Christmas season this week

Staff Reports

Gardnerville and Minden will be the scenes of annual Christmas celebrations to welcome the holiday season this week.

Gardnerville is hosting its third annual Christmas Kickoff tonight at Heritage Park from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

“Gardnerville is not involved in the Parade of Lights, and we wanted to do something festive for ourselves,” said Carol Louthan, administrative assistant for the town of Gardnerville.

The event will include the lighting of Heritage Park Pavilion, holiday music and song by the Sierra Ringers and the Christmas Carolers, horse carriage rides around the park, hot chocolate, cider, Dutch oven cobblers, popcorn, and of course Santa Claus for the kids.

Also, the Carson Valley Community Theater will be performing the holiday melodrama, “Santa’s Little Helper.”

“It’s the third year they’ve performed,” said Louthan. “It’s wonderful. The actors interact with the audience.”

Louthan said that last year 150 to 300 people attended the event and that she hopes for more this year.

“We want to bring people together and wish them a happy holiday season,” she said.

Heritage Park is located at 1447 Court House Street in Gardnerville. For more information, call 782-7134.

Minden will start its annual celebration with the annual lighting of the town tree and the gazebo in the park.

“We’ll be adding something to the gazebo lighting this year. You’ll have to wait and see,” said office manager of the town of Minden Sheila Byington. “It’s wonderful to see a small community come together and fill the streets. If people aren’t in the holiday spirit yet, they will be by the end of the night.”

At noon on Friday, the German Christmas market will open in the old COD garage in downtown Minden. At 5 p.m., the Minden Douglas Elks will host a spaghetti feed at CVIC Hall.

The Christmas lights around Minden Park will be turned on at 6 p.m., followed by a visit from Santa Claus in COD garage at 6:15 p.m. Children will receive one free picture with Santa and will be able to enjoy hot cider and cookies compliments of Carson Valley Inn.

At 7 p.m., the Minden Douglas Elks will wrap up the night with Christmas tree bingo in CVIC Hall.

The festivities will resume Saturday morning with the German Christmas market opening in COD garage at 10. Live music with Ben Crocker will be performed in the garage from 4 to 8 p.m.

Also from 4 to 8 p.m., a kid’s craft fair and Santa letter writing workshop will take place at CVIC Hall.

“Children make the ornaments, and they can get help writing letters to Santa,” Byington said.

The 12th annual Parade of Lights is also Saturday, beginning at Lampe Park at 5 p.m., continuing on Highway 395 and ending in Minden Park at 6 p.m. The theme this year is “Holiday Traditions around the World.” Hot chocolate, cider and cookies will be served compliments of Red’s 395 Grill. The parade’s grand marshal will be Ray Sidney of Big George Ventures, Inc.

At 7 p.m., the Carson Valley Community Theater will perform “Santa’s Little Helper” at CVIC Hall.

On Sunday morning at 11, the German Christmas market will open for the last time in COD garage. The market will close for the year at 4 p.m. The Carson Valley Community Theater will be performing an encore of “Santa’s Little Helper” in the garage at 2 p.m.

For more information about these or any other events, visit, or call the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce at 782-8144.