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Local woodcarver to be featured at preview gala

The "Victorian Christmas at the Courthouse" preview gala will feature woodcarver Ron Nelson. He will demonstrate his skills at the Washington County Historic Courthouse on Friday, Nov. 21 from 6:30 to 9 pm.

Nelson is a local resident who has turned his hobby into a resource for the community. Each year, he carves a limited number of Santas which he donates to the courthouse to raise money for the restoration fund.

He grew up in Stillwater and moved from Minnesota to teach Industrial Arts in Maryland and Wisconsin, where he finished his career as an assistant principal in Fond du Lac.

After retirement, he and his wife Mary returned to Stillwater and purchased the home where he was raised.

Nelson will be carving in the vault area, which will feature an exhibit titled "Here Comes Santa Claus." A limited number of his Santas will be available for sale.

He also donates carved historical figures to the Stillwater Library and "everyday people" for First Presbyterian Church.

Proceeds from the preview event and the Santa sales go towards the ongoing restoration of the courthouse.

The preview gala is $25 and includes champagne, appetizers and desserts.

Live music will be on hand and the grounds and building are decorated for the holiday season. Costumed vendors will offer a wide variety of quality arts and crafts for sale.

For more information, call (651) 275-7075, visit or e-mail