MARLENE DESCHLER/SPRING GROVE HERALD -- The Syttende Mai Little Misses helped families line up for their visit with Santa and they took a little break to visit with him themselves! Shown with Mrs. Claus, Santa, and their elf helper are: Brianna Johnson, Tiffany Michels, and Ava Olerud.
MARLENE DESCHLER/SPRING GROVE HERALD -- The Syttende Mai Little Misses helped families line up for their visit with Santa and they took a little break to visit with him themselves! Shown with Mrs. Claus, Santa, and their elf helper are: Brianna Johnson, Tiffany Michels, and Ava Olerud.
The Houston County Festival of Trees is always a highlight of Thanksgiving weekend as a fun and festive way to kick off the holiday season. Celebrating Christmas with Dr. Seuss, about 700 people toured the Fest Building on Friday during Open Viewing. Santa had a busy lap with about 250 children visiting him sharing their Christmas lists and dreams.

Saturday night brought the big Holiday Gala and Auction with about 260 people attending. Many wonderful, donated items were purchased by generous bidders. Final totals are still being calculated, but the total from the auction looks to be close to $15,000! This is only one part of the fundraisers that helped raise money for Houston County Food Shelf and Care and Share as well as other designated charities. Festival of Trees attendees were also able to give a free-will donation at the door and close to $1,200 was raised. Totals from other fundraisers throughout the weekend are being totaled; watch the Herald for updates on final amounts raised.