The Polar X-Press holiday fun started on Dec. 2 - will continue each Saturday afternoon before Christmas.

The Downtown District Committee celebrated the first Saturday of their Polar X-Press event on Dec. 2 with the Elves Workshop in one store, the Avenue of Trees, Polar Princess Salon and a vendor market in another and Santa Claus at Krenz Real Estate/Twice As Nice on the Prairie. A special event this first week was a tree lighting ceremony held in Veteran’s Park, featuring the Sleepy Eye Honor Guard and St. Mary’s Caecelian Choir.

“We had a great day,” said organizer Kathy Krenz. “We had steady traffic where I was, at the Avenue of Trees with all the little Polar Princesses.” Krenz said a new Polar Princess came though each half hour, from 2 to 6 p.m. The little girls had their hair done and put on a princess dress and crown, then posed for pictures with real Sleepy Eye Royalty—Miss Sleepy Eye, Courtney Engholm and Princess Megan Sellner.

Krenz said the vendors had a good afternoon and were very happy with the number of customers who came through.

“The Elves Workshop was bustling with activity, too,” said Krenz. “Everyone enjoyed watching the elves make toys.”

At 6 p.m. the Polar X-Press activities paused and everyone gathered in Veteran’s Park for the tree lighting. “Grace Lutheran Church brought us a tree and decorated it—we tied it securely to the pole [thank goodness for that, after Monday’s wind] and it will be lit each night now.”

The ceremony included remarks by Miss Sleepy Eye Courtney Engholm, Mayor Wayne Pelzel, and Nichole Krenz who emceed the event. “They were all wonderful,” said Kathy Krenz. St. Mary’s Caecilian Choir provided lovely music for the large group of people gathered for the tree lighting ceremony. “Someone told me they counted 150 people,” said Krenz. “I don’t know for sure—it was dark!”

While the tree lighting ceremony was a one-time event, all other Polar X-Press fun will continue each Saturday before Christmas, 2 to 7 p.m. Activities are clustered in the downtown area west of First Avenue. To make a reservation for a Polar Princess makeover, contact Krenz at Twice As Nice on the Prairie.