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Festive spirit surrounds Woodbury

Darren Henderson, a 2-year-old Cottage Grove boy, reaches out to touch a reindeer last weekend in Woodbury.1 / 2
Woodbury native Audra Weier leads a group of Klondike Kate singers.2 / 2

Holiday cheer was on display and on the march last weekend in Woodbury.

Saturday at Valley Creek Mall, hundreds of people stood in line, where children waited patiently to sit on Santa Claus' lap. They were greeted at the door by two reindeer that children were able to pet and look on with curiosity.

Later in the day, patients and staff at Woodwinds Health Campus were greeted with a unique taste of holiday cheer.

A group of Klondike Kates - women crooners bestowed with the annual title during St. Paul Winter Carnival ceremonies - arrived at the hospital, strolling its halls while singing Christmas carols.

The group travels to various hospitals and group homes around the metro, spreading holiday cheer through song.

"It's just natural for us to be caroling," said Kim Tsoukalas, the 2003 Kate.

Their visit Saturday marked the first such trip to Woodwinds.

Among the caroling Kates was Woodbury native Audra Weier, who was named Klondike Kate for 2008.

"It's pretty awesome," she said of the visits.

Mike Longaecker
Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker
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