Saturday, November 29, 2014

It's Christmas Time in the City!

When we are in the language camps in Poland each of us does some sort of presentation for all the students. Most often these presentations center on the home areas of the volunteers. Last year one volunteer came from Milwaukee. He showed pictures of summer Lake Michigan activities but kept making the point over and over that it was cold in Milwaukee in the winter and there was nothing to do there in the winter. I told him he needed to move to Saint Paul -- life here does not shut down in the winter.

So this posting is about my walk around the city late this afternoon, centering on the start of the holiday celebration.

First the decorations outside my building's front door have changed from autumn to winter.

In a minute or two I was by the Fitzgerald Theater, quiet tonight because the Prairie Home Companion was probably on Thanksgiving holiday hiatus.

I continued walking towards 7th Place wanting to see the new Christmas European Market.

I enjoyed seeing the straw bales wrapped as gifts.

And the smell was wonderful from the spicy cider and wines for sale.

I headed towards Landmark Center to see the tree in Rice Park and found it dark. Thought I had come on the wrong day until I looked at my watch. It was only 5:15 and the tree lighting was at 5:30. It was now so dark that in my head I thought it was 7 PM or so!

I headed over the skating rink which opened today.

There I found that the "royalty" from the Winter Carnival were skating.

Towards 5:30 I headed for the east side of Rice Park. And soon I heard a countdown and the tree lit up, all the other trees in Rice Park lighted, and the fireworks started.

Later I walked over the south side in front of the Central Library and took a still picture of the tree.

From here I walked slowly towards my building. I suddenly heard someone say, "Look at the line!"

This long line was for a shop called "Candyland" which logically has many different kinds of candy as well as caramel corn.

I noticed on my walk that all the restaurants were full -- many dressed in hockey shirts for the later Minnesota Wild game.

Near home I saw a firetruck coming home.

I hope you enjoyed this little walk around Saint Paul and also hope I've demonstrated that my city doesn't shut down in the winter time!

And also another happening in my city this weekend is the celebration of the Hmong New Year. This celebration is expected to include about 20,000 people at River Center. 

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