Merry Christmas from the Granite Falls Area Chamber of Commerce! Let's make 2018 the best year ever for Granite Falls with more possibilities and exciting plans for the Minnesota River, Memorial Park, new businesses in town and increased marketing targeting visitors and new residents.

Christmas was certainly in the air last Sunday, December 17 with two family friendly activities going on that afternoon. The "Shopping with the Elves" event provided an opportunity for children to shop for their family members and was a great success with many gifts purchased and wrapped.

The same afternoon featured Lomen's reindeer at the Andrew J. Volstead House with Santa and Mrs. Claus inside taking orders and posing for photos. Carl Lomen was married to Andrew Volstead's only daughter, Laura, and is credited for bringing part of his Alaskan reindeer herd to parades in St. Paul and other large cities in the 1920s. So along with celebrating the season, there is also a historical reason for the reindeer to visit Granite Falls.

The warm weather was probably a factor accounting for record attendance at this event. It was fun to see all the family photos with Santa and outside in his sleigh flanked by the reindeer.

Thank you to all the volunteers who made this possible! Thank you for the donations for the children's shopping mall both from local businesses and individuals. The Granite Falls Historical Society plans to make this a yearly event and the Chamber will also host the children's shopping mall again next year. 

The Chamber's Strategic Planning meeting on December 12 was well attended and resulted in some new direction and ideas for the Chamber of Commerce. We will be hosting a monthly event starting in 2018, either a luncheon or morning coffee open to members. If you have ideas, stop in and share them, we're here for our members and the community. If you need help with your Google listing or Facebook page, I can assist you with social media and even show you how to create a simple website for your business. 

Tickets are now available at the Chamber office, board members and The Rock for our annual community celebration on January 27 at The Rock. Comedian Roger Radley will be the featured entertainment along with a great meal from The Rock. Yes, the menu includes their famous ribs! Tickets make a great last minute Christmas gift!

Merry Christmas!