South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota’s Most Unusual Christmas Traditions
So you won't be seeing 'Elfapalooza' (Alabama), a 'Tumbleweed Tree' (Arizona), or eating some 'Possum Pie' (Arkansas) here, but there are still some offbeat ways to get festive in these parts.
Recently, Wealth of Geeks looked at the Bizarre and Unusual Christmas Traditions From Every State, and here's what they uncovered for our neck of the woods.
The event they chose for South Dakota is Aberdeen's 'Living Tree', an event that featured a choir seated in a pyramid shape to resemble a classic festive tree.
Sadly, it looks like this event has never returned after COVID. It was last held in 2019.
With the 'Living Tree' no longer an option, I decided to call an audible and put in something from the Black Hills - Holiday Express Aboard the 1880 Train.
This is the Christmas version of the popular 1800 train, which runs round trip from Hill City.
The holiday edition features an appearance from Santa, who will visit with kids on the return trip. The journey comes with hot cocoa, a sugar cookie, and a special story on the way to the 'North Pole'.
If you want to leave the kids behind, there's a 'spiked' version of the trip, which features spiked hot cocoa in a keepsake mug!
Their pick for Iowa's unusual holiday custom is the 'Christmas Pickle'.
This dates back to the influx of German immigrants into the Hawkeye State, beginning in the 1840s. By the 1920s, half of the farmers in Iowa were of German descent.
One of the traditions that came with the immigrants involved hanging a pickle decoration on the Christmas tree. Whoever finds it gets to open the first present.
And while the pickle is for show in Iowa, in Minnesota they eat their holiday tradition.
Lutefisk, air-dried cod in a lye solution, originated in Scandinavia and came to Minnesota with the influx of immigrants from Norway.
Other notable unusual celebrations from around the country:
- Georgia: Pink Pig Train
- Kansas: Drive-Thru Pancakes
- Kentucky: Santa Swims With Sharks
- Maryland: Crab Trap Christmas Tree
- New Mexico: Red Pepper Decorations
- Virginia: Selfies with a Camel
LOOK: Holiday gift crazes and fads of the past century
Gallery Credit: Jennnifer Billock
LOOK: 25 over-the-top Christmas displays from across America
Gallery Credit: Annalise Mantz & Madison Troyer