First annual Holiday Spectacular delivers dazzling dose of holiday magic

Neighbors and friends strolled along snow-dusted Main Street with bags from local shopkeepers in hand,  greeting their neighbors and sipping hot chocolate. The twinkle of multicolored lights on a freshly-cut community Christmas tree served as the perfect backdrop to sounds of laughter and Christmas carols that filled the crisp December evening.  

You might mistake the scene described above for a Hallmark Christmas movie but on Tuesday, December 4, there was no need to look anywhere else for authentic Christmas spirit but the Holiday Spectacular in Wessington Springs, South Dakota.

Springs businessman Ryan Jensen spearheaded the concept of the first annual Holiday Spectacular and worked with other area businesses and the City of Wessington Springs to roll out the red and green carpet, treating shoppers to holiday specials just for the night. The city’s first community Christmas tree lighting kicked off the evening, after Jensen brought a beautiful, 15-foot Balsam Fir from a tree farm in Brandon to the northwest side of City Hall for the event. 

“It is the community that made this night successful,” Jensen said. “All of the businesses and area entities as well as all of the people who came out and attended, that’s what made it such a special night.” 

Longtime residents of the area reflected with nostalgia and excitement that the evening reminded them of the Main Street magic that was alive and well decades ago on Saturday nights —  when coming to town to shop and visit with friends was an event in itself. 

For area residents  who weren’t around to remember those “magical Saturday nights” the Hallmark Christmas Movie comparison was the next best thing, on the tip of everyone’s tongue throughout the evening. 

More than an event, it evoked in folks something special, kind and genuine. Something worth striving to reignite and continue. Something beautiful and very, truly Christmas.