The Free Press
Festive competitions are underway for homeowners and businesses in Mankato and North Mankato.
Registration has begun for an annual home-decorating competition sponsored by North Mankato’s city offices and North Mankato Taylor Library. The contest’s deadline to register is Thursday.
Voting for Hometown Holiday Lights runs Dec. 4-27. Prizes will be awarded to the best-decorated individual house and the best group of houses’ displays. Winners will be announced Dec. 28.
Beginning Dec. 4, a map showing the location of participating residences will be available at City Hall and the library, 1001 Belgrade Ave.
To register for the contest, or to find a map to download, go to: www.northmankato.com/news_detail_T43_R109.php. For more information, call 345-5120.
An annual holiday window-display competition between participating Mankato-North Mankato businesses also is underway. Cash awards will be given for the top three spots.
Let it Glow, Kato! registrations are being accepted at: bit.ly/47n6GOE#LetItGlow Kato #CityCenter.
Voting opened Friday and closes Dec 26. To vote, go to:
A list of participants will be available on Greater Mankato Growth’s website.
Lecture to focus on Colombia
“Colombia: Peace, Drugs and Friendship” is the next topic in the free series “Learning is Forever series” through the St. Peter Community Center, 600 S. Fifth St.
The free program is 11 a.m. Tuesday in Room 219.
The guest speaker is Mimi Gerstbauer, professor of political science and peace justice and conflict studies at Gustavus Adolphus College.
Gerstbauer, who traveled with students to Colombia in January, will discuss the long history of the United States’ friendship with the South American country, drug connections and remarkable movements toward peace after decades of war.
Mental illness alliance offers info
An informational meeting about National Alliance on Mental Illness is set for 11:15 a.m. Sunday at Grace Lutheran Church, 110 N. Fourth St., Mankato.
The meeting is sponsored by NAMI’s local chapter, which offers meetings 6:30-8 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursday of each month at the church.
Kay King will present the services offered by NAMI, including its network of resources, access to help and opportunities to assist. King is an older adults program coordinator and community educator with the nonprofit NAMI Minnesota.
For more information on the local chapter, call 358-7804.
Bells on Belgrade set for Saturday
An evening parade, horse-drawn trolley rides, kids games, crafts and a visit from Santa will be part of the annual Bells on Belgrade Saturday. Activities begin at 3 p.m. on the 200 block of North Mankato’s Belgrade Avenue
A 6:30 p.m. Winter Wonderland Parade concludes the holiday celebration.
Business on Belgrade, an association of business owners and community members who organize events in lower North Mankato, is the host for the family-friendly event that began in 2014.
The Free Press