The downtown Spencer observance, which began in 1986, has always included live store window displays, a variety of entertainment for all ages, and the opportunity to socialize with fellow area residents.
"Kids and animals are the biggest draw, of course," Bob Rose, Spencer Chamber of Commerce and Spencer MainStreet executive director, said of the downtown window displays, which are on display from 6-8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 5.
The TubaChristmas experience was added to Spencer's holiday mix 11 years ago.
"This has continued to be a popular thing and a great addition to Grand Meander," Rose said. "If you haven't heard a tuba concert before, ... it's amazing. It's a different sound. Hopefully, if the weather is decent, we'll have 15-20 of the regulars and some of the local high school students who play the tuba."
The local TubaChristmas performance will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Bogenrief Studios. Kurt Schwarck, who will conduct the area tuba and euphonium players, will be joined by TubaChristmas guest conductor Alan Berdahl.
"Alan has done Sioux Falls' TubaChristmas for many years and has always been very gracious about coming over and helping us," Rose said. " ... At one time, we were the only one in Iowa. But, Estherville started one about five years ago and it seems to me there's one in central Iowa somewhere at various times during the holiday season."
Over the years, local artists' creation of ice sculptures has also been added to Spencer's Grand Meander tradition. Monday night, Perry Polson and Jim Schooley will sculpt blocks of ice outside their respective downtown businesses, Wild Wood and Toad's Coffee.
"We would encourage people to observe those," Rose said. "Because that takes a lot of talent and it's fun to watch it develop over the course of a couple hours. They actually transform a block of ice into a statue, a work of art."
The extended forecast is calling for cold temperatures Monday night. Warming stations, where people may warm up with a cup of hot chocolate, will be available at Nelson Jewelry, Indoor Archery, H&N Chevy Buick, White Drug, Electrolux, Spencer Sewing, and Cotton and Grave Farm Management.
"Over the years, we've only canceled one Grand Meander," Rose recalled. "And, that was because the weather conditions continued to deteriorate. It was somewhat icy and road conditions weren't good. It was cold and windy and we didn't want people out on the roads.
"So, cold and a little bit of snow is not going to bother us. If it's dangerous road conditions, then we have no choice. But, we're optimistic it's going to be good."
|Carroll's Bakery||Carroll's Bakery|
|Spirit of Harmony Sweet Adelines||The Wardrobe Building|
|Spencer BPW||BeeHive Crafts and Framing|
|Spencer Jaycees||Pizza Ranch north window|
|People for Pets||Medlar Arts and Crafts|
|Telco Triad||Telco Triad|
|Spencer Family Church||Steffen Furniture|
|Iowa Egg Council||The Hen House outside|
|Just for Kix||Midwest Piano|
|Kiwanis After Five||Squire Shoppe|
|Ninth Street Baptist Church||Kari's|
|Iowa Great Lakes Kennel Club||Carey's Electronics|
|Spencer Family YMCA||H&N Chevy Buick|
|Spencer Teacher Association||White Glove|
|Spencer FFA||Pizza Ranch south window|
|Clay County 4-H||On Eagles Wings|