Mayor's Christmas Tree Lighting festivities Saturday

November 18, 2016

It’s actually looking very much like Christmas in Tonganoxie.

Organizers and volunteers have been getting the downtown area ready for the annual Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting festivities, which will be 3-6 p.m. Saturday in downtown Tonganoxie.

Festivities will begin at 3 p.m. Saturday in downtown Tonganoxie at the pocket park, Fourth and Delaware streets.

The free event is a holiday tradition of Christmas carols, carriage rides, visits with Santa in a winter wonderland, musical and dance performances, food trucks, balloon creations, a human-sized hamster wheel, crafts at the library and more. New decorations have been added to downtown also.

Stories and artwork

Visitors can also enjoy a holiday story written by local business owners as the visitors stroll down Fourth Street. This story can be found on the windows of the downtown businesses, which will begin and end at City Hall.

Students at Tonganoxie Elementary, Middle and High schools created ornaments for the Winter Wonderland in the Council Chambers. That’s where youths can meet Santa Claus.

TMS industrial arts teacher Chris Weller cut out the elves in the pocket park, while TMS art instructor Cassie Donahey created the artwork for the elves. Weller also cut out some ornaments for the decorations.

THS art teacher Amy Johnson and students Jordyn Spencer, Erin Williams, Lexi Lauri, Kylee Vestal, Christine Pudenz, Cameron Renne, Brenna Bigge, Alana Canales and Savanah Reynolds created sidewalk chalk artwork just west of the pocket park. One chalk area is interactive for photos, as visitors can lie within the scene and “stand” on a stool and “hang” the star atop the tree.

Youths also should check out information at the pocket park Saturday regarding the hashtag #elvesoftonganoxie during the festivities.

Be sure to “like” City of Tonganoxie, KS Government on Facebook and @TonganoxieCity on Twitter. Youngsters then can take a photo with the elves in front of the Mayor’s Christmas tree in the downtown pocket park at Fourth and Delaware. Photos of the youths can be posted on Facebook and Twitter using #elvesoftonganoxie

The best photo of a boy and a girl with the elves will be deemed the winners. The contest will end Dec. 20. Participants are encouraged to be creative with their photos.

a boy and girl will be selected and prizes given.

Schedule of events

The lineup for the event is as follows:

• 3 p.m., BJ the DJ kicks off the event with holiday music

• 3:30 p.m., Chieftain Singers

4 p.m., Tonganoxie Elementary School Choir

4:30 p.m., Chieftain Singers

• 4:45 p.m., Graves Dance Studio

• 5 p.m., Tonganoxie Jazz Band

• 5:15 p.m. Mayor Jason Ward’s welcome remarks and story reading

• 5:30 p.m., tree lighting

Parking and other activities

Fourth Street, from Main Street to Green Street, and Delaware Street, from Third Street to Fourth Street, will be closed for the event.

However, there is public parking available along Fourth Street, west of Green Street, as well as Third Street and at the Tonganoxie Water Park.

Other events also are planned for the day, including a meet and greet with library director Nicole Holifield and children’s activities and light refreshments from 2-4 p.m.

Boy Scouts also will be having a pancake and sausage feed, 4:30-7:30 p.m. at Tonganoxie United Methodist Church, 328 E. Fourth St.

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