Find Santa. Dodge the Grinch.
Those will be the key objectives for anyone heading to downtown Fort Dodge next weekend to start their Christmas shopping.
Santa, of course, needs no introduction. Pretty much everyone wants to find him.
The Grinch is the nasty green fellow who tried to ruin the holidays for all the Whos in Whoville in the classic cartoon ”How The Grinch Stole Christmas.”
Both will be roaming around downtown Fort Dodge on Saturday.
Coupons and gift certificates for downtown merchants will be available.
At 4:30 p.m. Saturday Santa will join Mayor Matt Bemrich to turn on the Christmas lights at the City Square.
Then the jolly old elf will travel down Central Avenue to light up the towering evergreen tree in Veterans Park at 12th Street.
Santa will then adjourn to Dariette, 17 S. 12th St., where he will greet his young admirers.
”This is our kickoff to the holiday season for our downtown businesses,” said Kris Patrick, executive director of Main Street Fort Dodge.
She said 23 businesses will be offering various specials and promotions, many of which began on Wednesday.
”We have more people shopping downtown on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving than we do on the Friday after Thanksgiving,” Patrick said.
Things will move into holiday high gear on Saturday. That is Small Business Saturday. It’s also when Santa and The Grinch will make their appearance.
Beginning at 9 a.m that day, representatives of Main Street Fort Dodge will be at the Trolley Center in the 900 block of Central Avenue., handing out $10 gift certificates and bags of coupons to the first 100 people who stop by.
An encounter with The Grinch, however, may earn an unsuspecting shopper a ticket asking them to make a funny face or do a jumping jack, according to Patrick.
She said that when Santa arrives at Dariette, all the children in line to see him will get a free ice cream cone.
To actually see Santa, children and their parents have to go to the drive-thru at Dariette. Santa will be at the window there.
Patrick said the same procedure was used last year, and added ”everybody had a great time.”
9 a.m.– Gift certificates and bags of coupons given to first 100 people at the Trolley Center
4:30 p.m. — Santa Claus and Mayor Matt Bemrich light up the City Square, then the tree at Central Avenue and 12th Street
5 p.m. — Santa arrives at Dariette