Downtown Excelsior Brings Holiday Spirit Through Weekly Events

Downtown Excelsior is filled with cheer during the holiday season.
Last year’s holiday festivities in Excelsior drew big crowds, who rubbed elbows with Santa and enjoyed activities like carriage rides.

Starting with the annual Christkindlmarkt in late November, the Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Chamber of Commerce extends its local holiday festivities into this month. Chamber members want to spread holiday cheer and encourage residents and visitors to get involved and take advantage of downtown Excelsior’s charm—just as pervasive on a snowy day as a summer one. Each Saturday until Christmas, the Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Chamber of Commerce’s holiday retail committee hosts events to bring friends, families and neighbors together to celebrate.

This year, the theme is “It’s Christmas Time in Excelsior,” inspired by the classic song “Silver Bells.” “We’re bringing back authentic charm with contemporary spirit,” explains retailer and committee member Connie Frederick, who owns Water Street boutique Ooh La La. She adds, “We want to make sure that all of December is big with holiday events; that’s why we came together to form this [holiday] committee to make it fun and exciting.”

Just like last year, local shops will offer special deals and promotions to help raise funds for holiday décor downtown, including lighting, garlands and more. Additionally, individual stores will host weekly deals and events on Saturdays this month. According to Frederick, it’s all about bringing the community together and enjoying the town. “We want families to come and really enjoy their time in Excelsior, and enjoy what the community has to offer,” she says. “It’s so beautiful with the lights, the lake, the festivities and the carolers walking around.”

Holiday Happenings

Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays through December 18
Holiday Gift Wrapping

Giving gifts is always fun, but wrapping them? It’s a tedious job that requires time, patience and a steady hand with the scissors. Bring your unwrapped gifts to the chamber’s Welcome Center (37 Water St.), where volunteers with wrapping expertise will craft beautiful packages. Thursdays 2–5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

December 3, 10 and 17
Christmas Downtown

Santa Claus and carolers stroll downtown Excelsior spreading good cheer. Visitors can enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides down Water Street and cinnamon roasted almonds for a snack. “We’re really trying to make it really festive; we’ll light all the trees, and the buildings will be lit up,” says Frederick. On December 3, after you check out the twinkling lights and greenery that adorn downtown shops, stop by the chili dinner at the Masonic Lodge (249 Water St.; 5 p.m.) and visit with Santa and Christmas carolers. At 6 p.m., the chamber presents its donation to the Open Hands Foundation. At 7 p.m., follow Santa to the Christmas tree lighting ceremony.