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Afton Village Holiday is Nov. 30 and Dec. 1

The annual Afton Village Holiday, sponsored by the Afton Area Business Association, will be Nov. 30 and Nov. 1 and include festive shopping, complimentary refreshments, horse and carriage rides, live music, strolling carolers, Santa Claus and other family activities.

It's that time again to travel back to a simpler holiday time, similar to that of a Norman Rockwell painting.

The annual Afton Village Holiday, sponsored by the Afton Area Business Association, will be Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.

"We're trying to bring back the old fashioned Christmas spirit," said Kathy Jarvis, of the Afton House Inn. "It's more about the activities and fun things to do more so than the gifts."

This year's event will kick off Friday, Nov. 30, from 5-8:30 p.m., with "Candlelight Night," which will include festive shopping with complimentary refreshments, including wine tasting at Swirl Wine Bar, and music as well as horse and wagon rides, and strolling carolers from River Falls, Hudson and White Bear Lake high schools.

"Every shop will have something festive and fun going on," said Deb Larson, of the Afton Area Business Association.

Visitors can also warm up at one of several bonfires in the village.

"Friday night is 'Candlelight Night,' so the whole village will light up with twinkly lights and bonfires and we'll have candles - it'll just look very festive and beautiful," Larson said. "It's definitely a romantic night."

Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., will be "Family Day" and include a variety of activities for families that include breakfast and lunch with Santa Claus, a letters to Santa Claus station, going business-to-business collecting treats in stockings, festive hair tinsel, a model train demonstration at the Afton Museum, cookie decorating and a variety of holiday crafts.

"The stocking promotion is huge," Larson said. "We've had to increase the stocking order every year."

Larson, who recently released a children's book about ice fishing, will also be on hand on Saturday to promote her book and help children make a bobber ornament.

Adults will also be able to enjoy festive shopping with complimentary refreshments and live music.

Additionally a "mitten tree" will be set up both days. Visitors are asked to hang warm clothes on the tree, which will then be donated to Valley Outreach.

Saturday will also host Baglio's of Afton's annual Holiday Style Show at the Afton House Inn.

"We came up with a great formula last year," Larson said. "From one end of town to another it's all Santa Claus and festivities."

Larson and Jarvis said they are expecting a good turnout for this year's event.

"It was very well received last year," Larson said. "People really thanked us for putting on this fun event.

"It's just a wonderful old fashioned Christmas event."

The Afton Village Holiday will be Nov. 30 from 5-8:30 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. A full schedule of events can be found at

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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