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Candlelight and reindeer downtown this weekend

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There is something for everyone going on this weekend in Hudson.

Candlelight Stroll

The annual Candlelight Stroll is Friday, Dec. 4 from 6-9 p.m. Luminary candles will shine along downtown streets setting the scene for free carriage rides, strolling carolers and curbside refreshments, all part of a holiday evening with the adults in mind.

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New this year, The Phipps Center for the Arts, at the corner of Locust and First streets, will host community bell choirs throughout the evening along with their annual holiday art sale.

There will be holiday goodies at many of the downtown businesses as well as special offers, shopping discounts and free gift wrapping. And participating downtown restaurants will have special holiday desserts on their menus.

The free carriage rides begin at the Hudson arch in Lakefront Park and make stops throughout downtown wherever you see a wooden soldier. Watch for complete details of the event at downtown businesses.

See Octagon, Phipps Inn at night

There's more candlelight to enjoy at the 2009 Light Up Night Tour at the Octagon House and The Phipps Inn, also on Friday night from 6-8 p.m.

The St. Croix County Historical Society and The Phipps Inn again open their doors to visitors to enjoy the charm of these historic Hudson homes at the holiday season. Look for both homes to be decorated inside and out. Octagon House volunteers will appear in costume and share stories of the past. Wine and cheese will be served in the carriage house.

The Phipps Inn Bed and Breakfast just across the street will provide guests with a tour of the main level of this Victorian mansion built in 1884 by Hudson philanthropist William H. Phipps.

Admission to both houses is $7 for adults, $3 for students (ages 13-19) and $2 for children (12 and under). Tickets must be purchased at the Octagon House for both houses and there are no advance sales. For more information call (715) 386-2654.

Reindeer in the Park

Santa and his reindeer will make their annual visit to Hudson from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5 in Lakefront Park.

Youngsters can bring their letters for Santa, learn about nature programs and take home free toys and treats. The children's activity tent offers make and take crafts, including magic reindeer food and evergreen decorations.

Horse-drawn wagon rides give visitors a trip along the St. Croix River and a chance to enjoy Hudson's holiday streetscape. Rides will start at Lakefront Park and meander throughout the downtown.

Miss Hudson Royalty will assist as Santa's helpers. There will also be performances by the Hudson High School Swing Choir and Lake Elmo Inn ice carver Tom Schiller who will create a reindeer image in ice.

The Phipps Center for the Arts will host a hands-on art activity for all ages from 1-3 pm, along with their annual holiday sale "A Gift by the Hand." And when finished in the park, there is more to see and do at downtown shops and restaurants.

For more information go to www.hudsonwi.org or contact the Chamber of Commerce at (715)386-8411.

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