For many, Christmas is about lists.

Whether it is the child writing down their hopes and dreams found under the tree or the holiday cook compiling the grocery store purchases for Christmas dinner, lists come out this time of the year.

So, as one goes over that Christmas shopping list, Anne Johnson, Redwood Area Chamber and Tourism executive director, encourages consumers to try something new this year – find a way to check off some of those things locally.

Shoppers will have the opportunity to kick that holiday shopping season off this Friday when Christmas by Candlelight is held in Redwood Falls. 

“This is the kickoff of the holiday shopping season,” said Johnson, adding that night there will be plenty of opportunities to find those things on one’s list throughout the community.

The annual event, which runs from 4-8 p.m., is held as a way to get people into the holiday mood, and this year there will be plenty of ways to do that.

Among the highlights of this year’s Christmas by Candlelight is a visit by Santa Claus. Santa will be setting up shop at the Chapter Two Bookstore on Second Street where he will meet with kids from 5-8 p.m. Santa will take a break from talking with children at 6:15 p.m. to take part in another of the events Friday night – the Holiday Parade of Lights. Santa will return from 7-8 p.m.

The parade is being held at 6:30 p.m. and will run from the Redwood County government center parking lot – where the units will line up – and will head east to Washington Street and then north to Second Street. The parade will continue west along Second Street back to Mill Street where the route ends. In addition to Santa, there will be visits by Queen Elsa, Princess Anna and Olaf.

Johnson said there is a $20 entry fee for the parade, which she said helps to cover the costs of putting together the annual Christmas by Candlelight. A registration form for the parade can be found at

The parade is a great way for people to promote their business, organization, club or an upcoming event, said Johnson. For those who are not able to be there in person, the parade will also be shown live on Facebook.

This year there will again be free s’mores downtown.

Other events include:

• An art show featuring the work of Redwood Valley High School students at The Tables.

• The annual Tree of Lights ceremony at Redwood Alliance Church at 6 p.m.

• The Boy Scout chili feed at Minnwest Bank from 5-7 p.m.

• Christmas carolers will be out providing entertainment.

Johnson encouraged everyone to kick off their shopping season by giving local stores a try.

“We all need to make a conscious effort to support the local economy,” said Johnson, adding it starts by walking in the door.

The entire family is invited to Redwood Falls this Friday to celebrate Christmas by Candlelight.