RON AND BARB CHAFEE of Big Lake (right) were among the first at last years BLHS food class Thanksgiving dinner. (Archive photo.)

Agenda is filled with Big Lake events

Gary W. Meyer


The week before and  of Thanksgiving will be a busy time for Big Lakers as preparations for the holiday moves ahead. 
  Monday (Nov. 18) The Big Lake Community Blood Drive at Mary of the Visitation Catholic Church starting at noon.  Call Norb Vossen at (763) 263-1814 to make an appointment.
The Big Lake Ambassadors will also be there to welcome you and to make sure you have plenty of sweet treats.
  Thursday (Nov. 21) high school students will host local senior citizens and adults with differing abilities at their annual Thanksgiving dinner. Students cook all the food from scratch themselves for this meal, served at noon in the foods & nutrition room. 
RSVP to Big Lake Community Education 763-262-2523.
Thursday (Nov. 21) Liberty 5th Graders present Pirates - The Musical and Independence 5th Graders present Rock and Roll Forever - both start at 6:30 p.m. and are held in their respective schools.
 Wednesday (Nov. 27) is the annual community Thanksgiving Service at Mary of the Visitation Catholic Church at 7 p.m. with a pie and ice cream social to follow. 
All of the Big Lake churches and their members are invited to participate in the service, giving thanks as a community, for the many blessings of the past year.
The collection taken at the service will benefit the Big Lake Food Shelf. Non-perishable food items are also accepted at the service.
 Thanksgiving weekend signals the beginning of  preparations for the Christmas Holiday as bell-ringing for the Salvation Army gets underway at Coborn’s.
 Volunteers  are asked to donate two hours at a time to ringing the bell and manning the big red kettle. Families, organizations and groups of friends are encouraged to apply. To volunteer, call Tina Peterson at the Big Lake Police Dept. 763-263- 2500.
The Big Lake Legacy Foundation invites the Big Lake community to celebrate the beginning of the holiday season with a Christmas Tree lighting ceremony to be held near the skating rinks behind City Hall Monday, Dec. 2, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
The Christmas Tree lighting ceremony, which will take place on land owned by Mary of the Visitation Catholic Church, will include singing some Christmas carols, led by a combined choir from area churches.
There will be representatives from the Toys For Tots organization, The Mitten Tree, sponsored this year by the Big Lake Lioness, and the Big Lake Food Shelf, to accept any donations people would like to bring.
Diane Jacobsen of The Carousell Works Historic Event Center has invited everyone in to their fireside room to enjoy seasonal snacks and a beverage, generously provided by A Catered Event.
Santa Claus will be a special guest at the event to talk to all the children. He will also pose for pictures for anyone who would like to bring their own camera.
Children are encouraged to send a Christmas card to a soldier or veteran at the St. Cloud Veterans’ Hospital to thank them for their service and let them know they are not forgotten at this special time of year. Cards will be provided and will be delivered by Legacy Foundation volunteers.
Tuesday  (Dec. 3) Liberty 4th Graders present Once On a Housetop at 6:30 p.m. at Liberty School.
Thursday (Dec. 5) holiday-inspired Middle School Band concert at 7 p.m. in the Big Lake High School auditorium.
Area residents  have a unique opportunity to enjoy a Christmas Concert with The Blenders, who will perform in the Big Lake High School auditorium Sunday, Dec. 8, starting at 4 p.m.
General admission tickets for the concert cost $30. However area residents can purchase tickets for the concert from KleinBank for $25. 
Tickets are also available online by going to the website. Enter promotion code Westrib to receive the $5 discount if the ticket is purchased prior to Nov. 17. Also anyone ordering five tickets or more will receive the discount price.
Any profits generated by the concert will go to support the Legacy Foundation of Big Lake and will be used to fund future events and activities.
Look for more holiday activities coming in the next few weeks.


BIG LAKE AMBASSADOR 2015-16 candidates were painting faces at the Big Lake Chamber of Commerce Business Expo. They are, from the left, Kayla Robertson, Izzy Rasmussen, Cady Shaw, Bella Kallas, Allie Bahe and Ali Wandersee. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).

PRAIRIE FIRE THEATER ACTORS Lauren Longyear and Gregory Stowers spent one short week with these Big Lake students working on the play Sleeping Beauty before they presented the show twice this weekend. Prairie Fire is sponsored by Big Lake Community Education. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).

CENTRACARE HEALTH MONTICELLO BIRTH CENTER staff celebrated their one year anniversary and the birth of 290 babies March 4. Pictured are Timothy Olson, MD, OB/GYN with the Monticello Clinic; Abby LaBounty, MD, Family Physician with Monticello Clinic; Hannah Whelan, RN, Birth Center Manager at CentraCare Health–Monticello; and Matt Hoffman, MD, Pediatrician with Monticello Clinic. (Submitted photos).

A CAR FIRE IN THE PARKING LOT outside Great River Spine and Sport totaled the vehicle as Big Lake Fire Department had to use the jaws of life to open the hood while the flames were so hot they melted the tires and the snow flakes fell. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).

Jenna and Dan Nygaard visit with Friends of the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge President Bruce Johnson, who is holding a beaver pelt.