County lights up for yule season

The Hettinger County Courthouse in Mott all lit up in the annual Christmas theme, signifying the start of the season in the community. – Photo by Cynthia Marxen

‘Tis the season to light up Mott.

In a tradition which began in 2013, the Hettinger County Courthouse will be lighting up again when the North Dakota State University Extension Office kicks off its latest Christmas Tree Decorating Contest.

By Brad Mosher

The Herald

The entries are limited to non-profits and will be on display at the courthouse through Christmas, according to Duaine Marxen, the county extension agent.

The entrants are restricted to non-profits because there would not be enough room in the county building, he explained.

The deadline for entry into the competition will be Dec. 10. When the entrants are judged when there will be three awards – a first and second place, along with a people’s choice award. The People’s Choice award will be done by ballots where the visitors made and submitted their choices.

There will be trees in several locations around the building for the visitors to come to see.

“This has developed into something really special for the Mott area,” Marxen said, noting how much it has grown over the years.

Not only has it expanded to businesses in downtown Mott, but other groups are involved – including the 4H, he said.

The 4H club is also having an ornament making workshop at the Mott Courthouse Sunday afternoon.

“We’ll have 4H kids coming in and making different kinds of Christmas ornaments to either hang on the tree or to be wall hangers. It will be county-wide for the 4H and will be exclusively for the 4H kids,” he said. “The 4Hers going to have some fun.”

The rest of the community gets into the holiday mood with decorations and displays, Marxen said. “Everybody kind of does their own thing,” he said. “We just have the event here at the courthouse being what gets it started.

“There will be a good turnout as far as decorating trees is concerned,” he added.

Hometown Holiday starts

In New England, the residents will start up their colorful celebration on the first Sunday in December – Dec. 2.

“They will have displays all over town. There is a vendors show involved and something for the kids,” he said.

The New England festivities will be starting at 11 a.m. at the Memorial Hall in town, according to one of the organizers for the event, Laurie Monke.

The seasonal event has been going on at the Memorial Hall for the last 13 years, she explained.

The first activity will be a Free Will dinner by the band from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the basement at the Memorial Hall.

The money raised at the dinner will go to their upcoming band trip to Seattle.

In addition, there will be a vendor and craft fair from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. and a bake sale for the public library, she added.

The big draw may be the arrival of Santa Claus at 2 p.m., Monke said.

There will be a separate section to the vendor and craft fair designed just for the children, according to Monke.

“The parents can give the kids money and they can come and shop for their parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters – whoever they choose to do it for.

“There will be like gloves for the dads, tools and stuff like socks for the winter,” she said. “There’ll be mugs, also.”

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