Head to Fairmont Municipal Airport early if you want to see Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive from the North Pole for the start of the Fairmont Glows Festival at 4 p.m. Friday. Join local residents getting in the holiday spirit before heading downtown for the Glows Parade (6 p.m.), featuring dozens of illuminated and themed floats and other festival fun. For more info, call 1-507-235-5547.
A holiday parade at 10 a.m. Saturday kicks off Quad City Arts’ annual Festival of Trees, one of the largest events of its kind in the Midwest. The event runs through Dec. 1 (closed Thanksgiving) at the RiverCenter, and holiday revelers will be treated to an 18-foot-high tree synced to lights and more than 150 locally designed decorated trees, room vignettes, stockings and ornaments. The ever-popular Gingerbread Village features delightful edible structures made by local bakers, and on Family Day (Nov. 29) costumed characters portraying how Christmas is celebrated around the world will stamp guests’ festival “passports” and pose for pictures. Other highlights include a children’s activity center, Santa, live music and the popular Festival Express train (qcfestivaloftrees.com).
Elk Horn & Kimballton, IOWA
Stop by the Danish Villages of Elk Horn and Kimballton for Julefest Nov. 29-30. Enjoy special events and tours at the Danish Windmill Museum and the Museum of Danish America. Visitors also can enjoy the Old Danish Workshop, live entertainment, holiday exhibits, shopping and food, and watch or join the annual Naughty or Nisse 5K run (danishvillages.com).
Colleen A. Coles