In 2017 on the Friday night after Thanksgiving, a team of smiling workers descended on downtown Lindsborg. As effective as it was unannounced, this volunteer team made its mark and quickly left the scene.
Target: Scooping up dead leaves. Reason: Acknowledging small businesses.
The leaf team later said it wanted to cheer on small local businesses that generate local sales tax as well as donate time and resources to local events and causes. The team said it wanted the area to look especially spiffy for the next day’s Small Business Saturday.
This unexpected kindness *did* warm some hearts.
The Lindsborg Leaf Team is returning in 2018, folks — this time announced. Anyone may take part. Please gather at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23, in front of First Bank Kansas, receive instructions, then be dispersed to locations to begin leaf removal — doorways and gutters alike. Please bring rakes, brooms and blowers if possible. Leaf bags will be provided, as will trailers to haul them away.
It’s a burst of teamwork, good humor and exercise. New this year: Complimentary hot chocolate and coffee drinks afterward at The White Peacock for anyone who joins with the Leaf Team!
That’s Friday night, Nov. 23, 7 p.m. with drinks at The Pea by about 8 p.m.
About Small Business Saturday on Nov. 24, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ....
From 1-3 p.m., complimentary horse drawn wagon rides for families and visits with Mrs. Claus will be offered in front of the Bank of Tescott at 202 N. Main St.
This year, instead of arranging a drawing for two large children’s prize packages, we have opted to encourage multiple drawings across town, as well as attractive food and drink specials and retail sales for the day. Bright blue balloons will be tied in front of locations with Small Business Saturday-related offerings.
How can you help? 1.) share the news, 2.) bring family and friends to stroll, eat and have coffee, 3.) display Small Business Saturday paraphernalia if you have a location suited to it, and 4.) wear your Shop Small tee-shirts from last year.
Small Business Saturday paraphernalia (signs, shopping bags, pens, banners, pendants and other) will be distributed at the Monday, Nov. 19, Ad Hoc gathering and thereafter at Bank of Tescott and The Ivory Thimble by pickup.
Now looking further ahead:
1 Artists Studio Open House 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with maps to participating galleries and local artists studios in the Lindsborg area; demonstrations, refreshments and new projects
1 Snowflake Parade 11 a.m. downtown, a friendly little parade for children and other imaginative people
1 Pulled pork meal 11:30-2 at Trinity Methodist, by donation
2 Jultide at Bethany College, afternoon performance of beautiful holiday music
8 Lucia Festival, check the schedule of offerings at www.visitlindsborg.org for this beautiful and popular Swedish-American celebration of light
8 Old-Fashioned Christmas at the McPherson County Old Mill
15 Cookies and Mrs. Claus, morning, First Bank Kansas; visit Mrs. Claus and decorate your own cookies
31 Roaring ‘20s-themed NYE party to launch the celebration of Lindsborg’s 150th year; costumes encouraged, see www.lindsborg150th.com
First a couple of reminders, then a story:
• We encourage you to drop by the Sundstrom Center between 3 and 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, to congratulate outgoing city clerk Jerry Sperling and utility clerk Gaylene Butler. Both have devoted many years to making Lindsborg work. These were jobs for both Gaylene and Jerry, but they did their work in a special way -- as neighbors and committed friends of the community. Thanks for everything, Jerry and Gaylene, and best wishes in your next acts.
• From 11-1 Saturday, Nov. 17, the Lindsborg Community Library will offer a "We Are Thankful" meal of soup, chili, cinnamon rolls and other baked goods. The meal is by cash donation or by bringing canned/packaged food for later distribution by TACOL.
Even on an overcast day, there’s cheer in the twinkling white lights in downtown Lindsborg trees and on the Old Mill Bridge. On a dark, cold night? The light adds true delight for residents and visitors alike.
It takes many hands to create Lindsborg’s pair of Great Bright Ways.
Downtown building owner Merle Larson again hung many of the estimated 30,000 lights in downtown trees. This year Merle was aided by Lindsborg resident Mike Bray. Their work was done over more than two weeks when weather and schedules permitted along Main and Lincoln streets. On the Old Mill Bridge, devoted Lindsborg volunteer Karmon Almquist worked with Lindsborg's Ken Sjogren and David Hay of First Bank Kansas, installing strands and replacing bulbs that line the large structure.
The City of Lindsborg devoted nearly a day of employee time and use of one of its utility bucket trucks to help get lights around the very tallest of downtown trees. The City also pays the utility bill for nearly four months of illumination both on the bridge and downtown.
Bob McCall at Lindsborg Hardware has been a great help, too. Again, Bob set an attractive price for the community's bulk lighting purchases -- and he allows us to run a tab, to boot.
Each year Lindsborg citizens — residents and businesses alike — are asked to donate toward a fund to buy lighting strands and replacement bulbs. This year, we need at least $1,800 — maybe a tad more. Thus far, only half of that $1,800 is in the fund.
Each year trees grow taller and require more strands for coverage. Strands fray in moisture and wind, requiring replacement. Bulbs break in vandalism or accidents. So far Lindsborg is fortunate to have knowledgeable and physically able volunteers. What would it cost to hire a private firm to decorate downtown trees in the same lighting scheme? One area vendor quoted $11,000.
Many business owners and residents have expressed appreciation for the seasonal brightness that “appeared” last weekend. That’s why we hope you that will be moved to kick in a few bucks toward this project if you have not already done so.
Checks can go to the Lindsborg At Work Association in care of David Hay at First Bank Kansas. Cash can go in collection containers at Scott's Hometown Foods, Hairymolarys, Yes Way and Casey's.
Thanks for helping lighting up Lindsborg.
One story, then six reminders.
* * *
About 12 years ago, Jim Prugh of Colorado, a successful engineer thinking about his next act, purchased a downtown Lindsborg building. At that time, Jim did not — could not — know that he would become a noted developer of beautiful historic vacation and executive-stay properties. Neither did he know that his purchase of 105 N. Main would only be the first of several properties in this community, both in the downtown area and in residential neighborhoods.
Nor did Jim know how much his work would so significantly steer the story of Lindsborg.
Still, back then Jim and spouse Diane Fatheree *did* sense something remarkable here. They asked themselves, “Why is this town here? Why is it different?” This sense made them want to stay plugged in and pursue a path that was not at all clear at the beginning.
Meanwhile, thanks to a lot of work from a lot of people, Lindsborg built its capacities and possibilities over 12 years.
Today Jim and Diane — and Lindsborg — find themselves celebrating the grand opening of an innovative “co-living” corporate executive stay lodging. Five bedrooms and baths with shared kitchen, living and dining areas. In a 100+ year-old farmhouse moved whole onto a new foundation at 204 W. Grant St. Restored with research, honed skills and creativity by a local team led by Brian and Victoria Freeman of Lindsborg.
When walking into the executive stay housing called Akerhuset, it’s difficult to miss a massive chunk of wood beam suspended as a light fixture over a gleaming central kitchen island. That chunk was salvaged from the recent Coronado Heights castle restoration and purchased from the Smoky Valley Historic Association. The beam-light fixture was held firmly with custom metal work by Dauer Welding and wired by local professionals. It is a symbol for much of what Jim and Diane, Brian and Vicki, the numerous local artisans and professionals have done in 12 years — show us how redevelopment can succeed on a national playing field using local history, resources and talents.
That’s why a can of the Lindsborg Ad Hoc Roundtable's elbow grease found its way into new hands this morning. The can was filled with house-made lemon shortbread cookies from the artisans at Lindsborg’s Courtyard Bakery — and our thanks for, well, umm, everything.
• Tonight, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m. in Pearson Swedish Chapel at Bethany College is a screening of a film called “Eating Animals.” The film features several national farmers, including Lindsborg’s own Frank Reese Jr. of Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch. Q&A with Frank to follow.
• Keep a good thought for Smoky Valley’s gridiron team, which remains undefeated in regular season play and also so far in post-season play. On Friday night, Nov. 9, at Anderson Field, the Vikings are slated to play undefeated Pratt. Go Vikes!
• Also on Friday night, Nov. 9, a whopping 16 locations will be open late for Lindsborg's regular 2nd Friday Makers Street Art Walk from 5-8 p.m. If you make a purchase that night, find complimentary gift wrapping from by our friends at Nee-Tech Wireless.
• Lindsborg’s seasonal lighting, both in the downtown area and at the Old Mill Bridge, will be turned on at 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9. So many local people request and enjoy these lighting treatments, and everyone’s help is needed to pay for new and replacement bulbs and strands. If you haven’t chipped in to the lighting fund yet, please do so. We need you now. Drop cash or checks to David Hay at First Bank Kansas.
• On Saturday, Nov. 10, it’s the annual Lindsborg Open House from 10-4. Get involved in the Tomte Scramble game to win a giant Lindsborg shopping spree or baskets of gifts. Or just stroll and enjoy what visitors often tell us is some of the juiciest independent shopping, dining and positive community atmosphere in the state.
• On Sunday, Nov. 11, at 2 p.m. at the Birger Sandzen Memorial Art Gallery, we are being offered a hybrid visual and performing arts experience called "Pictures At An Exhibition." Several performers in varying music styles will counterpoint with visual arts on display. As are all the Lindsborg Landmark Concert Series performances, this one is sure to be amazing. Free admission to all, thanks to the series' sponsors, including the Lindsborg Arts Council.