Tour of homes, other activities to take place in Lake Mills

Published 8:41 pm Tuesday, December 10, 2019

LAKE MILLS — It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas — at least in five homes in Lake Mills anyway.

This year the Lake Mills Area Historical Society will host its seventh annual Twilight Tour of Homes, but this will mark only the second year the society has hosted the event the night before the community’s Old Town Christmas celebration.

Bonnie Rodberg, a member of the historical society, said the change of schedule allows for those who participate to showcase both the exterior and interior of their homes. This year, in addition to The 1901 Victorian Inn, there will be four local couples opening their homes up to the public.

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“They can show as much of their house as they want,” Rodberg said, noting some just show the main floor of their home, while others only invite the public to see the main living spaces of their homes, such as the kitchen, dining room and living room.

Rodberg said she doesn’t know what this year’s participants have in mind, but she feels they’re in store for a treat.

“I know people won’t be disappointed,” she said.

One of the houses being shown is a newly constructed house owned by Mike and Kathy Knudtson. The couple moved into their new home in November. The shed and house combination hosts a large warmed garage with a man cave and an open floor plan. The couple said they plan to let people visit all the rooms of their home during the Twilight Tour.

The event is one of two fundraisers the historical society does each year.

Tickets are $15 each and are available at the Victorian Inn and the homes that are part of the tour, so participants can start and finish the tour where they would like.

Kathy Knutson describes her Christmas decorating style as having a rustic farmhouse feel. – Kelly Wassenberg/Albert Lea Tribune

Along with The 1901 Victorian House at 308 S. Lincoln, homes participating in the event this year include:

• Ben and Anna Stene, 203 N. First Ave. E.

• Bonnie Steffens, 206 N. First Ave. E.

• Lynn and Donna Lair, 402 S. Fourth Ave. E.

• Mike and Kathy Knudtson, 45494 U.S. Highway 69

A ticket allows its holder to visit each home in the allotted time frame and enjoy a light dinner at The 1901 Victorian Inn, which will consist of Victorian ham and cheese sliders, Victorian bread pudding, Christmas cookies and rosettes and apple cider or coffee.

For a full list of other events happening during Lake Mills’ Old Town Christmas, see the schedule below.


Old Town Christmas


5-7 p.m.: Twilight Tour of Homes



All day: Holiday Fest scavenger hunt. Pick up a scavenger hunt list at a participating business and start searching. A winner will be chosen during a 5 p.m. drawing, which will include the names of all the people who have turned in a complete list.

9-11 a.m.: Children’s holiday party. Parents can stay or drop off children for two hours at Rice Lake Golf & Country Club. Activities planned include crafts, games and more. Cost is $5 per child.

10 a.m.-1 p.m.: Gingerbread house decorating at Lake Mills Public Library.

Noon: Free holiday movies at The Mills Theatre. A variety of free Christmas movies will be shown. Moviegoers can stay for them all or pop in for their favorites.

Noon:  “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”

12:30 p.m.: “The Little Drummer Boy”

1 p.m.: “Frosty the Snowman”

1:30 p.m.: “Frosty Returns”

2 p.m.: “The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus”

3 p.m.: “Garfield’s Christmas”

3:30 p.m.: “A Charlie Brown Christmas”

4 p.m.: “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”

1-3 p.m.: Operation Gratitude Letters at Thrivent Financial  lets children color greeting cards for military members overseas.

1-5 p.m.: Marketplace on Mill Street, formerly known as Pit Stop Printing, will host a reindeer dust-making station.

Dusk: There will be a Christmas lighting contest, and the public is welcome to participate in the voting. Entrants will be listed on the Lake Mills Community Development Corporation Facebook page.

Dusk: The drive-thru lights display at Fjeldstad Field will be open throughout the month of December. Donations are accepted at this event.

Mike and Kathy Knudtson display their Iowa State University spirit with a mini Christmas tree and snowman dressed in Cyclones gear. – Kelly Wassenberg/Albert Lea Tribune