The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train comes to town on Dec 12. Photo courtesy of Canadian Pacific
Holiday events in Cottage Grove are abundant

With Halloween now in the rear-view mirror, Cottage Grove residents can look ahead to a host of festive fall and winter holiday events with family and friends over the coming weeks.

Feel like a crisp 5K jog before the turkey with all the trimmings? The “Hale to the Bird 5K” run kicks off at 9 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24, in Hamlet Park. Check-in begins at 8 a.m. If you can’t make it in person, participants are welcome to join virtually and show support, with optional shirt and bib pick-up the night before between 7-9 p.m. With proceeds going to support the Friends In Need Food Shelf, this event offers a nice start to the holiday season, while also giving direct support to fellow residents. The registration fee is $30 for 13+, and $12 for 12 and under. Register in advance online at

Next up is a full month of the Cottage Grove Holiday Lights Tour. An online map will be updated with tour stops of residents’ holiday light displays throughout the city. The tour map will go live Nov. 28-Dec. 31 at LightsDisplay.

The city’s Hometown Holiday Celebration will be held from 5-7 p.m. Nov. 30 at Cottage Grove City Hall. There will be a tree-lighting ceremony, music from the Park High Choir, food trucks, as well as visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus, and even reindeer.

Mayor Myron Bailey noted, “This will be bigger than we’ve done in the past. I encourage everyone to mark your calendar for Nov. 30.”

More information is available at cottagegrovemn. gov/650/Hometown-Holiday- Celebration. From 10 a.m. to noon Dec. 3, visit the “Fill Up a Fire Truck” event in Hamlet Park to give to those in need. Donations of cash, toilet paper, and paper towels will be collected in a CGFD truck for the Friends In Need Food Shelf. Details can be found at

As long as Santa’s in town, it’s time for two breakfast opportunities with the man himself. On Dec 4 at 8 a.m., the Cottage Grove Lions will host their Santa Breakfast at the VFW. This event will also feature Sparkles the Elf and plenty of great food. On Dec. 11, Santa will be at the River Oaks Golf Course for their Santa Breakfast between 9:15 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. Pictures with Santa and sleigh rides through the golf course grounds round out the morning. Reservations are required. Call 651-4382121 to get your seat at the table. Details can be found at event/breakfast-with-santa.

After a few years of being out of public service, the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train will again make a stop in Cottage Grove on its northern tour. A grand display of holiday lights chugging into town, the train will be making its stop around 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec 12. The event is free and open to the public. There will be music and giving opportunities with cash and food donations, and the site will be open for gathering from 4-6 p.m. Musical performances by Kelly Prescott and Alan Doyle begin at 5:15 p.m. For more information, go to event/holiday-train.

Meet Santa Claus at the River Oaks Golf Course during their Santa Breakfast on Dec. 11. Photo courtesy of River Oaks Golf Course

November 16, 2022