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All aboard for romance

Are you like me, too frozen to put much thought into Valentine’s Day plans this year? Or maybe you just aren’t sure what would really blow the socks off your sweetie without driving out of town? Going out to dinner and a movie is fun, maybe you could do that Friday night - then surprise your Valentine with another night out on Saturday. You are in luck. It’s not too late to take advantage of a unique venue and event right here.

The Depot in Wadena is hosting a Wine and Chocolate event on Saturday, Feb. 15 from 7 to 11 p.m. Rick Fisher was vital in reviving this massive collaboration between The Depot, The Partners of a Healthy Wadena Region, Madhatters Community Theatre and a long list of volunteers. He’s decided to go with a glam theme this year and has gone all out in decorating.

Tickets are $20 per person in advance and $30 per person at the door. The advance tickets are sold at An Open Book, First National Bank, Mid-Central Federal Savings Bank, Thrifty White Drug and Wadena State Bank and will be sold until Friday. Two adult beverages are included with each ticket.

“We will have different wines and beers along with chocolate, fruit, cheese and breads. We are offering something new this year, a beer sampler flight. It will have four different types of beer samples ranging from light to dark beers. If you happen to like a certain sample, you can use your other ticket or purchase a glass of that specific beer,” Fisher said. He added “I want to make sure that everyone knows that you do not need to be part of a couple to attend. You can come with a group of friends or even come alone. Everyone is welcome.”

This is hands down the Depot’s biggest fundraiser to keep afloat on its own. Not only will you enjoy a wonderful evening out, you’ll be supporting a living piece of history in our community.

The Depot was originally built in 1915 and was used by Northern Pacific as a passenger depot before it stopped picking up travelers in 1971. The building sat empty until April 24, 2008 when Partners of a Healthy Wadena Region started using the building to house their office.

According to the website, “Partners of a Healthy Wadena Region is a 501 (C) (3) nonprofit corporation was established in May of 2000 to assist with the implementation of the city-wide strategic vision and eight priority projects. Most recently the Partners have taken on the Restoration and Reuse of the former Northern Pacific Passenger Depot as its primary objective which includes organizing Heritage and Cultural Tourism programming for the area.” Their mission is simple:  “to increase opportunities for a better life for all who live, work and play in the Wadena area.”  

They have been the key to the entire restoration project. Some of their key accomplishments are:

  • Receiving $437,000 Minnesota Department of Transportation grant for the Wadena Depot Restoration Project

  • Receiving $79,300 Minnesota State Historical Society Capital Grants-in-Aid for Wadena Depot Restoration Project

  • Raised over $100,000 in private dollars for the Depot Project Fund Drive

  • Organizing Friends of the Depot supporters

If you’ve never been to the Depot, now is the perfect opportunity. Not only can you see this breathtaking building which is on the National Register of Historic Places, you’ll have an enjoyable evening out on the town. If you’d like, hide the paper and take full credit for coming up with this fantastic idea all on your own.