Jingle Bell Run

What’s more fun than raising money for a good cause? Doing it while dressed as Frosty the Snowman, an elf, or sporting your favorite ugly Christmas sweater.

Runners will have their chance to do both during the Jingle Bell Run, held at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3 in front of Courts Plus in Fargo. Runners of this 5K or 1 mile race are encouraged to dress up in their favorite holiday-themed outfit as they raise awareness and money to find a cure for Arthritis, America’s #1 cause of disability. For those who choose not to brave the cold, an indoor track will be available for runners and walkers alike. “It’s a wonderful, festive event that kicks off holiday spirit and spreads awareness of the Arthritis Foundation,” said Brittany Ingersoll, Arthritis Foundation Development Manager of North Dakota.

In addition to the run, a Jingle Ball Bash will be held on Thursday, Dec. 1 at the Sanctuary Events Center in Fargo. Attendees can enjoy a delicious dinner, bid on a number of items at the silent auction, enjoy live music and wine tasting, try ballroom dancing and sign up for door prizes. All proceeds will benefit the Jingle Bell Run. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., followed by the event at 7 p.m. Single tickets are $30; couples are $50.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, the disease affects more than 50 million adults and 300,000 children in the Unites States. While Arthritis is a common disease, it is not well understood. Jingle Bell Runs are held in communities all over the country, and Ingersoll hopes to not only spread the word and raise awareness, but to also raise the funds needed to fight for a cure. “This event really rallies around those affected,” she said.

Date: Saturday, Dec. 3

Time: 8-11 a.m.

Location: Courts Plus, 3491 University Dr., Fargo

For tickets or to register: Contact Brittany Ingersol at bingersoll@arthritis.org or (320) 491-0836

Community Lessons & Carols

For a more traditional Christmas experience, come enjoy the songs, sounds, and spirit of Community Lessons & Carols at Trinity Lutheran Church in Moorhead. Following in the tradition of King’s College, Cambridge, this classic opportunity prepares hearts and minds for Christmas. Lessons will be shared by known representatives of our community and carols will be led by Trinity’s Cathedral Choir, children’s choirs, brass group and bell ensemble. All are welcome, and are encouraged to make this part of your annual traditions. A free-will offering will be collected for Lost & Found Recovery Center, which helps those lost in and affected by addiction.

Date: Saturday, Dec. 17

Time: 7 p.m.

Location: Trinity Lutheran Church, 210 7th St. S, Moorhead

Enjoy the Lights in Lindenwood

Grab your family and friends and drive to Lindenwood Park in Fargo to witness this year’s Holiday Light display. Enjoy the warmth and comfort of your car while you sip hot chocolate and listen to Christmas carols. There were over 65 displays last year, thanks to generous area businesses and organizations. Now in its 18th year, the Holiday Lights at Lindenwood, sponsored by the FM Sertoma Club, continues to get bigger and better.

According to Jim Wolslegel, Sertoma President, there are more displays this year, and many have been updated, with over 7,000 new LED light bulbs installed. Also new this year, the proceeds from the first three Mondays will be donated to Honor Flight, an organization dedicated to transporting as many U.S. military veterans as possible to Washington D.C. (at no cost to the veterans) to see the memorials of the respective war(s) they fought in.

The light displays will be open from November 25 through December 31 from 5:30-10 p.m. daily. Admission is $6 per can or van ($5 with a canned good donation for local food pantries) and $10 for buses and limos. Last year, around two tons of food was donated. All proceeds stay in the Fargo-Moorhead area and benefit local charities. Not only is the event doing a lot of good, seeing the lights is just plain fun. “It’s a family affair that many look forward to, year after year,” Wolslegel said.

Date: November 25-December 31

Time: 5:30-10 p.m.

Location: Lindenwood Park, 1905 Roger Maris Dr., Fargo

SantaCon pairs Cheer and Charity

If raising money for local charities, dressing up in fun holiday costumes, and possibly having a festive Tom & Jerry drink are on your Christmas list, you’ll fit right in at the 7th Annual SantaCon Crawl. The local pub crawl benefits the Gladys Ray Shelter and Veteran’s Drop-In Center as attendees get jolly at participating bars.

The SantaCon Crawl will begin at Rooter’s Bar at 1 p.m. as (21 and over) “crawlers” dressed as Santa, Mrs. Claus, reindeer, elves and other holiday characters stroll through downtown bars, enjoying holiday spirits, merriment, and donating items and money along the way. The most-needed items include toiletries, cans of ground coffee, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, razors, and warm gloves and hats for their residents. “It is for a good cause,” said Brittney Goodman, Marketing Coordinator for the event. “It’s about breaking the cycle of homelessness.”

According to Jan Eliassen, Director of the Gladys Ray Shelter, goers of the SantaCon Crawl are definitely doing their part to help. “All money raised goes into a fund that provides opportunities for shelter guests to receive assistance to meet a specific need or continue working toward their goals,” she said. “Often people that are homeless do not have the resources to overcome immediate barriers to housing, employment, training, family reunification, or even meeting basic health needs. SantaCon funds are used to help individuals overcome some of those immediate barriers.”

Examples of past scholarships include support for obtaining a copy of a birth certificate or identification needed to apply for jobs or housing, purchasing required apparel for a new job (boots, gloves, uniform, etc.), filling prescriptions, rental housing applications, transportation to return home, eye appointments and/or new glasses, household items when moving into housing, and medical or dental co-pays.  “Requests for support can be related to anything that will break down barriers or improve an individual’s immediate situation,” Eliassen added.

Participants can purchase tickets from volunteers along the way for a chance to win a large screen plasma TV, artwork, and many other items. Winners will be drawn at the Pickled Parrot at 7:45 p.m. “It’s all about dressing up as a holiday character, having fun, raising some money, donating items, and getting into the holiday spirit, Goodman added. She also promotes good, safe decisions along the way. Cab company numbers are included on the route map given to participants to encourage safe rides home. There is absolutely no underage drinking, and she hopes participants will tip their servers well. “Don’t be a bad Santa. Be a jolly, charitable, fun Santa,” she said.

The first SantaCon began in San Francisco in 1994. Since then, it has expanded to 364 cities in 51 countries. The Fargo event started as a small gathering of friends seven years ago, but has blossomed into a beloved holiday event, with over 200 participants last year. The first year the event raised funds for the Boys and Girls Club. The second year, it benefited the Food Bank of Fargo. This is the fifth year raising funds and donated needed items for the Gladys Ray Shelter and Veterans Drop-In Center. “We all believe in the cause and we also find that the Gladys Ray volunteers and employees are a big help in making the event happen,” said Goodman. “It’s a perfect partnership.”

Date: Saturday, Dec. 10

Time: 1-8 p.m.

Location: Downtown Fargo, beginning at Rooter’s Bar, 107 Broadway.

Other stops include The Hodo, Downtown VFW, The Empire, Dempsey’s, The Sidestreet, and the Pickled Parrot


By Kristin Johnson