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Holidays to be heralded this weekend in Afton

Afton Area Business Association’s annual Afton Village Holiday will run Dec. 6-7 in Afton’s Old Village. The event will feature a variety of activities including crafts, horse and wagon rides, strolling carolers and Santa Claus. (Bulletin file photo)

Afton will be embracing the concept of a “country Christmas” next month.

Afton Area Business Association will be holding its annual Afton Village Holiday Dec. 6-7.

“The theme of course, is the two-day old-fashioned holiday celebration,” said Raenette Manderfeld-Pung, co-organizer of the event. “Bring your kids out here and experience what the old time country Christmas was all about.”

The Afton Village Holiday will kick off Friday, Dec. 6 from 5-9 p.m., with “Candlelight Night,” which will include festive shopping with complimentary refreshments, live music, horse and wagon rides and strolling carolers from River Falls High School.

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

Additionally, the village will be lit up by holiday lights and candles.

“We wanted to encourage the light thing this year,” Manderfeld-Pung said. “We want to light up the town that evening.”

A holiday boutique will also be set up at the Old School Art Studio, which will feature a variety of artisans including jewelry, ceramics and paintings.

Saturday, Dec. 7 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., will be “Family Day” and will 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, horse and wagon rides, a model train demonstration at the Afton Museum, cookie decorating and a variety of holiday crafts.

Donae Cotton Photography will also be offering photo sessions with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

There will be plenty for adults to do on Saturday also, with festive shopping, complimentary refreshments and live music.

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

Additionally, carolers from Hudson and White Bear Lake high schools will be strolling through the village on Saturday.

“They just filled the air with their music,” Manderfeld-Pung said.

New this year, Manderfeld-Pung said, will be the inclusion of two charitable giving organizations.

The first,, will be collecting winter hats and mittens at Baglio’s of Afton, which will then be distributed to children throughout the Twin Cities and Duluth.

A second organization, Love Your Melon, will be set up at the Afton House Inn.

For every hat purchased, to be donated, Love Your Melon will donate a second hat to children battling cancer.

“We’re really passionate about adding the element of giving back and paying forward,” Manderfeld-Pung said, “and his is the perfect season to do it.

“We’re blessed in different ways, so it’s important to give back to your community.”

Manderfeld-Pung said she hopes to grow the Afton Village Holiday every year.

“It’s a great opportunity for children who don’t normally have that experience because we offer something that a lot of communities can’t,” she said. “We have the small town, old fashioned holiday where we still celebrate Santa – we really embrace all of that out here.”

For a full schedule of events visit

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.

(651) 702-0976