Weather Forecast


Curtis and Loretta return to Wadena to perform at Christmas Festival

Provided photo by Jennifer Bong Curtis and Loretta bring a delightful old-fashioned Christmas show, complete with holiday songs, Victorian costumes, sweet vocal harmonies, and an array of traditional turn-of-the-century instruments, including folk harp, mandolin, mandocello, harmonica, and celeste (a small 1800s acoustic keyboard that sounds like bells.) Curtis Teague and Loretta Simonet are a married couple who have performed together professionally for 33 years.

The singing duo Curtis and Loretta are making a return visit to Wadena on Saturday, Nov. 27 at the Wadena Christmas Festival.

"Christmas Memories" is the theme for the 35th annual Christmas Festival, held at the Wadena Elementary school and Memorial Auditorium Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 27-28. Doors open at 9 a.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. on Sunday.

The festival consists of hourly performers on stage in the auditorium and an arts and crafts festival offering 80 vendors of everything from wooden craft items to stained glass, jewelry, clothing and decorative holiday crafts, photography and art. Food concessions are available in the cafeteria and at the concession stand on State Highway 29. The festive smells of freshly cut pine trees garland and hot wassail add to the sights and sounds of one of Wadena's biggest events of the year. The trees and garland may be purchased at the end of the festival.

Interested people may reserve a tree or garland by signing up in the cafeteria or by contacting Mim Maas.

"It is truly an event that involves many community organizations and volunteers" said Maas, the event coordinator. "My committee begins organizing the event mid summer and the months of September and October are busy for us all. We receive help from the Wadena Rotary, Lions, Boy Scouts, Relay for Life and the high school FCCLA club."

The Saturday schedule of stage performers is:

10 a.m.: WDC Elementary After School Choir

11 a.m.: Bradley Joseph

Noon: Paul Imholte (The Stringman)

1 p.m.: Fran's Celtic Sunshine

2 p.m.: Loretta and Curtis

3 p.m.: Bradley Joseph

Paul Imholte will also be strolling with his stringed instruments all day.

Saturday in the cafeteria:

10 a.m. Lea Snyder and students

11 a.m. Alice Gronlund students

Noon Mary Beth Brockpahler students

1 p.m. Marilyn Twete piano and voice students

Sunday stage performers:

11 a.m.: Jackie Tellers

Noon: Bradley Joseph

1 p.m.: Just for Kix

2 p.m.: Wadena Area Community Band

3 p.m.: Mario Arroyo

In the cafeteria:

12:30 p.m.: Miss Wadena Hannah Larson and her court will be doing a Christmas sing-along

1 p.m. Wendy Lindlief students

According to Maas, the cafeteria is the official Santa Claus and Festival headquarters and is also a place to eat and draw for chances to win one of the many door prizes that are donated by participating arts and crafts vendors. On Saturday from 1-4 p.m. and again on Sunday from 1-4 p.m. will be Christmas crafts for children.

"For a while this summer, we didn't know if we would still be able to have the festival because of the tornado and the availability of the school," Maas said. "But we have worked it out and the show must go on!"

Maas emphasized that the proceeds from the festival are donated back to the community, and that this year they are being earmarked for tornado relief and rebuilding.