NIMROD, Minn. - The 15th annual Cowboy Christmas at the Nimrod Community Hall on Saturday, Dec. 15, was about as authentic as you can find. The hidden gem of a holiday get-together among friends from the ranching and farming community is an unvarnished evening of hot dish, children, friends, live country music and dancing.

With worn cowboy boots stuffed with pine boughs adorning every table, the atmosphere is pure country.

The event started with a gathering at the community center in the little town of Nimrod in Wadena County.

“This is the only time I see these folks,” said Deana Malone. “The rest of the year we are so busy with the ranching and cattle, we just do not have time.”

As night comes, guests walk through the doors with casseroles and pans of hot and cold creations. When the last of the food comes through the door and the band has tuned up, a prayer is said and the line winds through the building. After a good meal, it is time to dance and the kids meet Santa. This year, more than 140 people attended the event.