Only you can make Sleepy Eye greater than it already is!

It’s MEA break for the school kids Thursday and Friday. Yes, I know it isn’t called MEA anymore, except when I say it. Kids need something fun to do? Do they complain there is nothing special in Sleepy Eye? Send them over to Sportsmen’s Park and they can be part of Sleepy Eye’s most special event—Holiday Lights in Motion!

With beautiful weather in store, the HLM committee hopes to get a lot of trees wrapped with lights this week. They will be in the park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday through Sunday. It’s time for the kids to learn that if you want something good in your town, you need to help make it happen. The committee would like to have an idea of how many helpers will come, so send a message to shari@sleepyeyeholidaylights.org.

I have a fun MEA memory. I grew up on the south end of town (duh, protestant) and our go-to- place was South Park. That fall—maybe sixth or seventh grade—the weather was fabulous for MEA. A group of us were at the park and decided it would be a good idea to pile up leaves on the tennis court and jump down from the fence. If memory serves correct, it was a good idea. No broken bones. Also, there was a cute boy there that we didn’t know (the best kind) a cousin of a classmate . . . a real dreamboat.

Well, anyway, back to the subject. If you want something fun and interesting to happen in Sleepy Eye, just do it. That’s what the Holiday Lights in Motion folks did. They had an idea and they got to work and made it happen. Look what we have in Sleepy Eye now—a wonderful attraction that visitors and local people alike enjoy.

There is another new group in town and they have the same spirit of just doing it. A group of downtown business people began meeting to brainstorm ideas for livening up downtown Sleepy Eye. They call themselves the Downtown District Committee and they just do it.

Tired of hearing that downtown doesn’t look great, or that there isn’t enough activity, or not the right kind of businesses, the DDC turned away from complaints and turned to action.

Their first big event was a downtown car show during the Corn Days celebration, and it was a hit the first time out. I’m thinking it is back next year, bigger and better.

For their next act, the DDC is adding to the excitement that the Holiday Lights in Motion bring to Sleepy Eye. Watch for The Polar X-Press Christmas in downtown Sleepy Eye on Saturdays in December. They’ve already started preparing a Christmas Elves Workshop, and Avenue of Trees, in downtown buildings that are currently vacant. (Hey, who knows? Maybe someone will see what a great space is available for a new business!) Plans include a tree lighting downtown, Polar Princess Salon and Santa Claus visits.

The Polar X-Press Christmas activities will take place from 2 to 7 p.m. on December Saturdays. Families can enjoy the downtown fun and then head out for a drive through the park to see the lights.

Next time you feel like complaining about Sleepy Eye, stop yourself and just do something about it instead. We can work together to make this town all we want it to be.