Chamber and Development Corp of Crawford County
Chamber & Development Council of Crawford County | 18 South Main Street | Denison, Iowa51442
Phone: 712-263-5621 or 263-6622 | Fax: 712-263-4789 | E-Mail: Contact


CDC Creates New Holiday Event 12/12/2019

On Saturday, December 14, Denison will play host to a new holiday event that will double as a draw for tourism and as an event to encourage local shopping.

The “Winter Snowcial” is the creation of the Chamber & Development Council (CDC) of Crawford County.

The event will take place on Center Street, which is the short street on the north side of Crawford County Bank.

“We have received a special event permit from the city to close down Center Street,” said Evan Blakley, CDC executive director. “This will be a very cozy, small-footprint event.”

A beverage garden will be set up, along with three wood-burning fire pits with seating.

The beverage garden will sell several types of beer and a spiced wine.

“We’re also working to coordinate with a local coffee business to serve coffee and hot chocolate within the beverage garden or next to it,” Blakley said. “We will be able to add a little extra cheer to those drinks.”

The extra cheer will come in the form of Baileys Irish Cream and cinnamon schnapps.

Picnic tables will be set up and the event may spill into the park area on the north side of the street.

New Christmas decorations will be in place on Center Street and all of the uptown area.

“In part, this was inspired by the city Christmas lights committee and their efforts,” Blakley said. “We’re excited about the things they are bringing to the community. We wanted to build off of that renewed activity to bring Christmas cheer back to the community and also to bring folks to the community to shop and explore everything we have to offer here during the holidays.”

The CDC wants Denison to be a small town Christmas destination.

“We have a lot going for us in that regard with all kinds of great local merchants,” Blakley said.

The event will be coordinated with the horse-drawn wagon rides around uptown Denison, which are being presented by the Women in Business Impact Organization.

The Donna Reed Theater will have showings of “It’s a Wonderful Life” at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. concurrent with the Winter Snowcial.

“The Santa House will be open and Santa will be here, so children can go and visit Santa and get their picture taken,” he said.

The Bake Shop and Hollywood Café, in the Donna Reed Theater building, will also be open during the event.

“There is the potential we could have some specialty food vendors, as well,” Blakley said.

A holiday artisan craft fair will take place at the Stables at Copper Ridge.

Linda Lou's Boutique, in the Broadway and Main Mall, will be open.

“It will be a great time for visitors to come to town,” he said. “They certainly won’t be bored.”

The CDC will host a storefront decoration contest during the event.

“We will ask our visitors to vote for their favorite,” he said. “It’s totally free and we will be giving away a $100 CDC gift card to the winning business.”

He noted that businesses participating in the decoration contest don’t have to be uptown.

“That business could be anywhere in the community,” Blakley said.

The CDC is looking for additional partners for the Winter Snowcial within the community.

“We ask that nonprofits contact us if they have a way to add to the event, whether that is a children’s activity or a game,” he said. “There are all sorts of ways that different businesses or nonprofits can get involved. Just reach out to us with an idea and we’ll make it happen.”

Food vendors won’t be charged a fee.

“They just need to coordinate with us,” Blakley said.

The Winter Snowcial will also be a fundraiser for a good cause each year.


“Fifty percent of our beverage garden proceeds this year will be donated to Goodfellows,” he said.

Blakley said Goodfellows’ efforts to make the holidays brighter for struggling families are why that organization was chosen.

“I think it encapsulates the spirit of Christmas, so it was a good alignment with our event,” he said.

Blakley noted that the Dow City Hometown Christmas event takes place on the same day as the Winter Snowcial.

“Someone coming from either direction can stop at both communities,” he said. “After our event is complete, we are going to encourage people to go to Dow City for their lighted parade.”

Events on Sunday offer an opportunity for guests to the area to spend the night on Saturday, Blakley said.

Emmy-nominated Michael Londra will perform “Celtic Yuletide” at the Donna Reed Theater on Sunday, December 15, at 3 p.m.

The Believe Gala, presented by Eventide Lutheran Home, featuring a holiday concert by Jill Miller and a variety of local performers, begins at 5 p.m. on Sunday at the Stables at Copper Ridge.

“There will be lots of activities around the community that weekend,” he said.

Center Street will be closed on Friday, December 13, for setup.

“Folks that are used to parking on Center Street should make plans to park somewhere else on Friday the 13th,” Blakley said.

For the Winter Snowcial event on Saturday, December 14, the beverage garden will be open from noon to 5 p.m.

Horse-drawn carriage rides will take from 1 to 3 p.m.

“As a community, we’ll all bundle up and use this as an opportunity to socialize at a time when we don’t normally get to see everyone in the community,” he said. “This will be a great event and a great time to host visitors and show what we have to offer as a community.

“It will be snow much fun,” said Crawford County Tourism Coordinator Blair Weigum.

For additional information, or to find out how a business or organization can become involved in the event, call the CDC office at 712-263-5621.

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