NORA, S.D. (KCAU) – A former general store dating back to the 1900s is being used as a Christmas attraction in South Dakota.
In a town of just five residents, the Nora Store gets jam-packed with carolers. This has become a tradition for some families.
“Possibly about 25 years, we’ve been coming. I lost my wife about four and a half years ago, but she always came with me before that,” said Louis Herbolsheimer, a Nora Christmas attendee.
In 1989, Mike Pedersen was living in the back of an old general store.
“I moved into the back in 1973 and had a big room here, and it wasn’t long, I was in the right place at the right time, and I was given the pipe organ,” Owner of the Nora Store Mike Pedersen said.
Acquiring the pipe organ was the start of Nora Christmas.
“Well, I’ve always been fascinated with pipe organs, and I started putting parts and pieces together. So I thought, I told my buddies one night, they came to work on the organ, I said let’s hurry up and get this done. And they said why, we’ve got all winter. No, I said we don’t. I said I’d like to get it done, and I’d like to put an ad in the paper and see if anyone would come to Nora and sing Christmas carols,” Pedersen said.
Over the years, Pedersen said the store garnered attention from visitors looking to sing Christmas carols.
“Only God knew who was coming. Even today, I don’t know most of these people. It’s kind of interesting, I’ve never been concerned about how many come, but who would come,” Pedersen said.
Spreading joy to the world one person at a time.
“We come, everybody to sing and listen to the lords songs and so forth and, the younger generation, if you take them, they’ll come back,” Herbolsheimer said.
“We’re losing a sense of community, and I think that there’s a lot of people who are struggling. I always tell people that I hope and pray that whoever walks in through those doors will feel significant and once they’ve experienced Nora Christmas, they leave blessed and refreshed,” Pedersen said.