BLUE EARTH - The Annual Holiday Sampler will kick off Friday night and run through Saturday in Blue Earth.
Faribault County Courthouse will be open 5-9 p.m. Friday for the second year in a row for self-guided tours, music and homemade treats.
Courthouse employees will be present to answer questions. One of them, Lorrie Bosma, will again be making Krumkake, a Norwegian favorite, due to popular demand.
Lorrie Bosma adjusts nutcrackers on a fireplace mantle. Employees at the Faribault County Courthouse have decorated and will host an open house this Friday as part of the Holiday Sampler.
"People seem to think that was kind of fun. It's easy to do," she said.
Cookies, bars, cider and coffee will be available.
The front entrance and handicap-accessible back entrance will be open.
The courthouse will have a box for people to enter their names for the Holiday Sampler drawing.
"We think the building is so pretty decorated up with lights and everything, so the public can enjoy and be a part of it," Bosma said. "We had such a good turnout [last year]. We even got thank you notes in the mail; people thought it was so nice."
Folks can get to the courthouse the old fashioned way - riding on a horse-drawn trolley. Trolley rides will run from 4-8 p.m. Friday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
The trolley will start and end routes at the Senior Center, which will host 16 home-based vendors to tempt buyers with their wares, said Cindy Lyon, executive director of the Blue Earth Area Chamber of Commerce.
"Folks can preview what they've got for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's," Lyon said. "They can see what people have; pre-shop or get ideas."
Also at the Senior Center will be the Business Improvement Committee bake sale, starting at 3 p.m. Friday, St. Peter and Paul Catholic youth serving supper from 5-7 p.m. Friday, and P31 performing music.
Other activities will take place downtown, along Main Street and side streets.
Blue Earth Area High School Madrigals will be caroling at participating businesses, which will have big red bows on the doors to signify they are open. Visitors can enter their name at each business for a $200 grand prize drawing.
The Giant Museum will be open 6-8 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Enter through the Chamber office.
Santa will pay a visit to the Green Giant statue at 10 a.m. Saturday, and the Giant will be scarfed at 10:30 a.m.
Santa also will be available for photos at GT Photos from 5-7 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
Blue Earth Wine and Spirits will host a wine-tasting from 1-4 p.m. Saturday.
One of the long-standing traditions is Blue Earth Area Mentors' Tour of Tables at Hamilton Hall. The doors open at 9 a.m. for the viewing, which ends at 10:30 a.m.
Those with tickets for lunch and the program may begin entering at 11 a.m. Tickets can be purchased at Dikken's until space runs out. More than 20 tables will be set up, with eight settings at each table.
"It's our largest fund-raiser," said Katy Gonzalez, director of BEAM, noting it usually brings in about $8,000.
The event also gives BEAM a chance to offer updates on the program.
"Mentees perform; a mentor and mentee speak about what it's like to be part of this program," Gonzalez said. "Lots of businesses support it."