Deck the Falls

Deck the Falls, a Cannon Falls tradition, got the entire community in the holiday spirit.


Emma Conway

There was a magical firework show after the annual tree lighting.

There are tons of ways to get in the holiday spirit. Some people enjoy shopping for gifts or picking out a Christmas tree, while others enjoy baking cookies and playing in the snow. In Cannon Falls, the kickoff to the holidays was on November 30, when businesses all across town hosted dozens of holiday themed activities for residents of Cannon Falls and visitors. The biggest event of the day was the 24th annual Deck the Falls parade, a mobile hot spot of holiday cheer.

This year, the parade consisted of 19 different floats. Many organizations and businesses contributed to the floats. Among these were the Lion’s Club, the girl scouts, cub scouts, the police and fire departments in addition to Hiawatha Broadband Communications, La Boutique Unique, Artisan Plaza, Clements Chevrolet and Cadillac, and Cannon Falls Senior Living. The Cannon Falls School of Dance had a nutcracker float plus, Rudy Rudeen had his horse and sleigh in the parade. One of the floats was, of course, Mr. and Mrs. Claus. This was one of the four floats that the Cannon Falls Chamber of Commerce had in the parade. Kyle Paulson, the Chamber of Commerce president, stressed that, “The parade is the kickoff to the holiday season.”

The parade is the kickoff to the holiday season. ”

— Kyle Paulson

The parade wasn’t the only thing happening on Saturday though. There were tons of activities for younger kids and their families to do all day long. At Hannah’s Bend, there were sleigh rides. For those who are a little less adventurous, Santa Claus was at the library reading to children from 2:00 to 2:30. In addition to this, he and Mrs. Claus were at the bakery for picture opportunities. This endeavor also doubled as a charity event, seeing as kids and their families were asked to bring a donation for Toys for Tots while they met Santa. St Pius church also put on an activity for the children. It was a scavenger hunt where the kids went to eleven businesses around town to get stamps on their scavenger hunt “passports”. Those who completed them returned to the church and received prizes. After all the excitement was over, St Pius also did a showing of Elf as well as distributing hot chocolate and popcorn to those who watched the movie.  

Saturday wasn’t only for the kids though. All day long, there were holiday activities for people of all ages spread throughout the town. Since Saturday was small business saturday, businesses around Cannon Falls were running doing all they could to rack up business. Paulson also stated that “All day Saturday, we have many specials, open houses and sales going on throughout Cannon Falls to get more people to come into the town to see what we have to offer as far as business and retail. The parade is the culmination of that.” Another contributor to this was Cannon River Senior Living who put on a holiday boutique of sorts where the residents sold some of their creations. A few vendors helped them out by selling their designs as well. 

All of the holiday activities served as a lead up to a Cannon Falls holiday tradition-the lighting of the Christmas tree. After thanking all of the people who helped out with the day’s activities and handing out chamber dollars to the winners of 16 various drawings for a total of 900 dollars, the tree was lit. This year, there was a surprise during the lighting of the Christmas tree. Fireworks were set off from John Burch Park for all of the event’s spectators. 

Holidays are a big deal for many people and with so many ways to celebrate, either around town or at home, there is a way for everyone to enjoy themselves as we get ever closer to the Christmas season.